Anthony Dominick Zellitti, age 89, of Durango, CO took his journey to heaven on Aug 14, 2020. He was born on Dec. 7, 1930 on the family homestead in Durango, to Luigi and Florence Zellitti. They lived on the Florida Mesa where it became known as Little Italy and referred to as "Spaghetti Mesa" because of the large number of Italian families in that area. He was the youngest of three children.
Anthony graduated from Durango High School in 1948. He entered the Army and was stationed in Chicago, Il, where he met and wed the love of his life, Marilyn Foukas. Upon leaving the military, he and Marilyn returned to the family farm in 1954 to grow the dairy business his father had started.
They raised their three sons, Gary, Barry and Terry on the last operating dairy in the Four Corners. They separated cream from the milk, filling cream cans to haul into town to sell until they were able to get enough cows to start selling milk to the AMPI association. Milk was trucked to the plant in Albuquerque, NM. The Zellitti Diary was in operation for more than 45 years supplying milk to Creamland Dairies. The family dairy was closed in 1998 due to the extremely high costs of shipping milk to Albuquerque.
They had many ups and downs on the farm, including having to rebuild after two fires. It was always a family affair with his sons, grandkids and great-grandchildren lending a helping hand. Anthony was no stranger to hard work. Growing up he learned that hard work makes a man a success and your word is better than a contract. As the dairy continued to grow, he raised all the feed, hay and silage for the cows as well. He loved feeding livestock and you would never find a skinny cow on his place. He loved sale barns and began buying skinny bulls to feed and resell. He opened the Zellitti gravel pit to supply gravel needs in the area.
He served on ditch boards over the years, as well as a member of AMPI, the Elks club, the LaPlata Cattleman's Association and the Italian Lodge. In 1994, he received the Western Heritage Service Award. He was honored as the 2015 Grand Marshal for the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Anthony loved to dance! He also found a passion for raising race horses and running them all over New Mexico. He loved going to the horse races and would study the racing form intensely. He also loved playing poker. His joy of poker led him to win a tournament in 1976 in Las Vegas, NV, after he came home and bought himself a new pickup. In his later years, he enjoyed going to the casino regularly, not only for the cards and slots, but for the dear friends he made there. Anthony spent the last year living at the "Beehive" home in Cortez. The staff with loving care, became part of his extended family.
He is proceeded in death by his parents Luigi and Florence Zellitti; brother Louie Zellitti; sister Petronella DeLisa; and wife of 61 years Marilyn.
He is survived by sons Gary (Rhonda), Barry (Martha) and Terry (Mariah) all of Durango; grand kids: Kristi (Cody) Burt, Chad (Amanda) Zellitti, Tracy (Cody) Willbanks, Misty (Tim) Smith, Lindsey (Brad) Mills, Travis (Jessica) Zellitti, Tarra Stevens, Tanner Zellitti, Vicki Cantrall, Athena Wilks, and Janiah Wilks; 19 great grands kids who adored him, as well as many nieces and nephews.
He will be missed but never forgotten. Rest in Peace now Anthony. Services will be held at a later date.
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Published by The Durango Herald on Aug. 25, 2020.