Louis Palma of Little Falls, a former longtime Montclair resident, died peacefully on Jan. 29, 2022, surrounded by his family. He was 89. 

Born in Brooklyn in 1932 and raised in Jamaica, Queens, Mr. Palma lived a full, energetic and loving life as an avid chef, fisherman, Giants and Yankees fan, friend and family man. His ability to form close bonds with people across generations, backgrounds and cultures was unrivaled.

After serving in the Army during the Korean War in Hawaii, he worked in the lithography business as a press operator, ink specialist and plant foreman, living in Douglaston, New York, before moving to Montclair in 1976. 

During that time, along with close friend Al Reinfelder, Mr. Palma created the Alou Tackle Co., which produced the Alou eel — the first of the soft plastic striped bass fishing lures that paved the way for many modern brands, and called by many the best ever made. 

This business first brought him to Martha’s Vineyard in 1967, a place he visited regularly and cherished for the rest of his life, and where some of his most enduring friendships were made.

Mr. Palma retired from the printing industry in the early 1990s and started a one-man handyman business, an endeavor he continued for many years. Again, this work introduced him to people who became part of his family. 

He had a lifelong passion for cooking, which he shared with everyone he interacted with. He carried on Italian family traditions, with a particular fondness for Christmas eve. He tended to his vegetable garden, taught himself how to smoke and cure meats, became a skilled baker and loved to learn how to cook food from many ethnicities. 

With his quick wit, unfailing sense of humor and great charm, Mr. Palma loved to bring people together around a table. Stories of meals cooked with and by him over the last 50-plus years are still regularly recounted and will be for many years to come. 

Mr. Palma is survived by his wife of 49 years, Susan; two sons, Jeffrey (Amy) and Mark (Shaun); four grandchildren, Maggie, Carolyn, Lucy and Kai; three sisters, Jennie, Josephine and Anna; a brother, Joseph, and countless nieces, nephews and friends who he always thought of and treated as family. 

A service will be held at St. Cassian Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 10 a.m. 

In lieu of flowers, please make a gift to Stripers Forever at stripersforever.org, or to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements were by Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home.