Lawrence Giglio, 83, of Delanco, a former maritime executive in Philadelphia who helped establish cross trade with Russia in the 1980s, died of pneumonia Friday, May 21, at Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly.

After serving for 10 years in the Merchant Marine, Mr. Giglio fell naturally into the shipping business.

The New England native settled in Riverside in 1955 and started working for Mathiasen Tanker Industries in Philadelphia, quickly rising to a senior executive position, his son Vincent said.

Mr. Giglio was appointed president of Rice Unruh Co., a subdivision of Luckenback Steamship Co., in Philadelphia in 1968.

The small office did a fair share of business, but in Mr. Giglio's mind, it could have been doing much more. So in 1976, Mr. Giglio took a chance and purchased Rice Unruh Co. from Luckenback, his son said.

He transformed it from a small office with a handful of employees to a large company with 17 offices throughout the country, handling the arrivals of ships from all over the world.

In the 1980s, Mr. Giglio was one of the key players in setting up cross trading with Russian ships, said Nick Manzi, partner and president of Atlantic Logistics Inc. and a former colleague of Mr. Giglio's.

Mr. Giglio sold Rice Unruh Co. in 1989 to Manzi and John Reynolds, who also were shipping agents in Philadelphia at the time. The combined firm, renamed Rice, Unruh, Reynolds Co., became the general shipping agents for Russia in the United States.

Mr. Giglio retired a few years later but remained active in many maritime associations and boards in the Philadelphia area. In 1990, he was named Man of the Year by the Ports of Philadelphia Maritime Society for his efforts in promoting international trade and unification of the Ports of Philadelphia, his family said.

"His word was his bond," Manzi said of the way Mr. Giglio conducted business and groomed his company to be one of the most successful shipping agents in Philadelphia at the time.

Mr. Giglio was born and raised in Chelsea, Mass. After graduating in 1944 from high school in Everett, Mass., he joined the Merchant Marine and traveled all over the world - from the Panama Canal to the Persian Gulf.

After a 10-year stint with the Merchant Marine, Mr. Giglio landed a job with Mathiasen Tanker, and it was there that he met his future wife, Joan Kissell.

The couple married in 1964 and moved to Willingboro. They moved around South Jersey until settling in Delanco in 2004.

Mr. Giglio also was known for his sense of humor and handyman skills around the house.

Being in the shipping industry, he had a love for water and watercraft. For more than 10 years, Mr. Giglio owned a 60-foot wooden motor yacht and took trips down the Delaware River or along the Florida coast during the winters, his son said.

In addition to his wife and son Vincent, Mr. Giglio is survived by another son, Lawrence; a granddaughter; and three sisters.

Viewings will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 26, and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 27, at the Dennison Funeral Home, 214 W. Front St., Florence.

A funeral will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 27, at St. Casimir Roman Catholic Church, 502 New Jersey Ave., Riverside. Interment will be in Holy Assumption Cemetery, Roebling.