Andrew Valente: Tributes paid after death of Kirkcaldy fish and chip legend

Tributes have been paid to Andrew Valente after the legendary chip and ice cream shop owner passed away suddenly last month.

Andrew (94) died on Monday, January 31, at his home in Kirkcaldy.

One of three siblings, Andrew was born and raised in Overton Road, Kirkcaldy, in May 28, 1927, to Italian immigrants, Luigi and Carolina Valente.

Andrew started working in the family’s chip and ice cream shop when he was only nine-years-old, selling ice cream from a bike around the town after school.

Andrew as a young man selling ice cream.

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At the start of the Second World War, Andrew and his family were sent Strathyre Internment Camp where he and his cousin, Tony Valente, carved their initials into a tree that can still be seen there today.

Leaving school at 16, he went on to work full time in the family’s fish and chip shop at 66 Cairn Street in Kirkcaldy where he would stay up all night making ice cream to be sold the next day.

Andrew would often sneak off to watch Raith Rovers play on Saturdays, parking his ice cream van hidden away in Links Street so his dad wouldn’t find out.

Andrew with his youngest son Romano on his 94th birthday.

In 1949 he travelled to Arpino in Italy to attend his cousin’s wedding where he met the love of his life, Anna. It was love at first sight, and he fell deeply in love after seeing her bright green eyes.

Andrew returned to Kirkcaldy and wrote to Anna for the following five years before returning to Arpino to marry her 1954.

The couple moved back to Scotland after their wedding, and their first child, Rosana, was born later in that year.

With the death of Andrew’s father in 1980, he took over the family business and opened up the Jolly Friar on St Clair Street when the shop in Cairn Street was demolished following a compulsory purchase order in 1983.

Andrew loved Italy and would often drive the whole family there for holidays - on one occasion he found himself lost in France but made it safely home after happening across a Kirkcaldy haulage firm lorry, and followed it home.

Described as a modest man with great business sense, he would save any broken wafer cones to give away to poor children with a scoop of ice cream just to bring a smile to their faces.

Romano Valente, Andrew’s son, said: “My dad was a great man. I have spent my whole life alongside him in the family business and have some fond memories of him.

"He was always giving me advice and I’ll never forget our last words where he gave me some money and told me to spend it wisely – even at 94 he was as sharp as ever, and his memory never gave up on him.

"I remember when I was younger we used to go to the picture house every Tuesday where we would watch musicals that he loved.

"I’ll miss him so much, the way he moaned about things, our talks about golf and snooker, and I’ll miss all of his wisdom that he gave me.

"He was a loving father and grandfather and will be dearly missed by all that knew him.”

Andrew is survived by his four children Rosana Motalli, Marisa Valente, Sandro Valente, and Romano Valente.

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