Alexsandro Pitalo was a commercial fisherman and boat captain who immigrated to Biloxi to work in the seafood industry. Like many members of the seafood industry, Pitalo was of Slavic descent, hailing from the Island of Brac, Yugoslavia. Pitalo was born in 1887 and spent much of his youth fishing in the Adriatic Sea. He came to the United States in 1905 on the ship City of New York. He reached Biloxi and began working in the seafood industry. By 1913, he married Catherine Sekul and the two took up residence at 326 Pine Street. They raised five sons including: Dr. Stephen Pitalo, John Pitalo, Peter Pitalo, Mark Pitalo, and Alex “Lou” Pitalo. Alexsandro officially became an American citizen on December 9, 1919.
Pitalo owned several boats throughout his career. Some of these included the Christmas Eve, Five Brothers, No Sisters, and the Catherine Pitalo. This last boat was a large trawl vessel designed by boat builder Francis Brander. Pitalo fished the waters of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, and he was known to freight his produce to New Orleans during off seasons.
Alexsandro worked to benefit his family and community in a variety of ways. He was an active member of St. Michael Catholic Church Parish and was dedicated to raising funds for the church. He was one of the founding members of the Slavonian Benevolent Association of St. Nikolai as well as a member of the Fisherman’s Union. Beyond his own work as a fisherman, Pitalo was instrumental to the seafood industry as one of the original organizers of the Seacoast Packing Company. He was a yearly participant in the Blessing of the Fleet. He spent many happy years with his children and grandchildren, passing on his love for the coastal culture.
Alexsandro Pitalo died on November 8, 1960, at the age of seventy-three. His legacy lives on through his numerous descendants who have carried on his tradition of hard work and devotion to family.