Albert D. Maita, a veteran state worker who climbed the ranks to an executive position at the California Department of Motor Vehicles, died Thursday of stomach cancer, his family said. He was 83.
Mr. Maita retired in 1987 as chief of headquarters operations division after 39 years at the DMV. He started after graduating from Sacramento High School in 1947 in an entry-level job sweeping up chads from keypunch cards and was promoted to accounting tabulating machine supervisor in 1956.
An enthusiastic public servant, Mr. Maita transferred to electronic data processing as the DMV began automating operations in the 1960s and oversaw the installation and programming of computers. He continued climbing the ranks to be a division chief in 1978.
"He always said he was never satisfied with what he was he wanted to be something more," said his son-in-law Bill McPoil. "His advice for getting ahead was, 'Don't dress for what you are. Dress for what you want to be.' "
Besides working for the state, Mr. Maita served on the board of Golden 1 Credit Union from 1977 to 2006. He invested in residential rental properties, starting in the 1960s by subdividing and building duplexes on land his Italian immigrant grandparents had settled in 1928 on 14th Avenue in Sacramento.
"He always said he didn't have tenants -- he had neighbors," his son-in-law said.
Albert Dominic Maita was born in 1929 to Louis and Edith Maita. He grew up on the family's ranch and orchard in what is now the Tahoe Park East neighborhood with his elder brother Vincent, who is president and owner of Maita Automotive Group in Sacramento.
Albert Maita married his wife, Norma, in 1949 and had four children.
Proud of his Sacramento roots and Italian heritage, he was active in the Piemonte Reale Benevolent Society, Sacramento Italian Golf Club and Sacramento Romulus. He served as president of the Old Sacramento Farmers Market near Broadway and Fifth Street, where his parents and other growers sold produce to wholesalers.
Mr. Maita was an avid golfer who played two or three times a week until recently. He enjoyed taking annual trips to Monterey and Santa Cruz with several families and hosting weekend barbecues for relatives and friends at his home.
"There were a lot of family outings," Vincent Maita said. "His kids grew up with my kids. The family is very close."
Albert D. Maita
Born: Feb. 28, 1929
Died: Oct. 11, 2012
Survived by: Wife, Norma Maita of Sacramento; son, Bruce Maita of Rancho Murieta; daughters, Gayle Maita, Jodie Maita and Kimberly Maita-Smith, all of Sacramento; brother, Vincent Maita of Sacramento; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren
Services: 1 p.m. Saturday at Nicoletti, Culjis & Herberger Funeral Home, 5401 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento
Editor's note: This story was changed to correct son-in-law Bill McPoil's quote to "He always said he didn't have tenants -- he had neighbors."