Gary Peter Bitante
1939 - 2020
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Gary Peter Bitante 80, was born December 26, 1939 in Cleveland Ohio, and passed away on June 13, 2020 in Ashburn Virginia.

Preceding him in death his father, Peter Victor Bitante, mother Stefanie Bitante, sister Linda Reed and brother David Bitante.

Gary is survived by his loving wife Tookie of 53 years. His daughters Stephanie Tulk (Barry) and Kimberly Bitante along with his granddaughter Caressa Goodman (Ace), grandson Gary-Michael Vera and 2 great-grandchildren Liam Goodman and Kellyn Goodman along with treasured nieces and nephews.

Special relationships in Gary's life were his niece/daughter Bridget (Don) Poetzl, lifelong friends Bryan (Gabby) Gabbard, and Morgan Powell. Also, the Mack Brown family who shared care and many laughs.

After graduating Collinwood High School in Cleveland, Ohio, beginning in 1963 Gary attended Fort Lewis College on a Football scholarship in Durango, CO. There he met his future wife "Tookie" at Basin Bowl, a story he enjoyed sharing.

Sports was his life since he could remember, often using his "Jock Mentality" to take on challenges that came his way. He won awards in football, baseball, basketball, and track, along with bowling and golf. He told of playing, in one day 54 holes of golf at Hillcrest Golf Course. Gary was also instrumental in creating the first fastpitch league in Durango, winning championships for Velma's Supper Club and COD Laundry.

His amazing zeal for life was an inspiration to all he met. His ability to find the positive through his own health challenges and uplifted those around him will help us all cope with his loss.

His wish for everyone was to SMILE NO MATTER WHAT!

If any have a fond memory to share with the family please send to:

Tookie Bitante
24109 Statesboro Pl
Ashburn, VA 20148

A private family celebration of life will be held at a later date.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Durango Herald on Jun. 18, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
June 29, 2020
Thank you to everyone for your kind words and memories . The family truly appreciates it ! We love reading them.
June 28, 2020
Dan Antolik
June 27, 2020
We were neighbors with the Bitantes' on St Clair and 123rd in 1948-1956- shared a front porch in a Terrace (row house). We thought Gary looked like "Satch" from the "Dead End Kids" movies. We sat on the front porch and counted truck colors on St. Clair. Our family joke was when we were asked "who did something" would blame Mr. Bitante. I remenber listening to Bill Haleys Rock Around the Clock with Gary on his 45 player- also Chuck Berrys Mabeline. Great memories of a very nice family.

Jim Kent
Jim Kent
June 22, 2020
A lifetime is a short time...seems it was only yesterday that Gary was a college student in our collective minds...though it has been a lifetime ago, we will still miss knowing he shared this earthly journey with so many. Thoughts and prayers Tookie, for you and for your family during this most dufficult of times...
Phil and Patty Quink
June 20, 2020
Tookie and family, I am so sorry for your loss. May he Rest In Peace.
Kathy Mansfield
June 19, 2020
Gary and Tookie Took me under there wing in 1980 when I went to Barber school they both did a lot for me. Even if I have not seen Gary in a long time he will be missed. Love you Gary!
Pamela Moreland
June 19, 2020
Tookie & Family: I am so saddened for your loss!! Wishing you comfort in the amazing life Gary led. Please know, you are in our thoughts and prayers! God Bless!!
Carol O'Donnal
June 19, 2020
I wish everyone could have a grandfather like this, to know the unconditional love that he gave! He gifted me his time & attention. Whether it was teaching me to play cribbage or just listening to me talk. He did the same with my kids. He spent time with them, playing Bocce ball, or talking about dolls & Barbies. That kind of love really is a gift. I will miss him every day! He inspires me to look for the positive. He loved his family fiercely and knew just how much we loved him in return!
Caressa Goodman
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