Anthony Vincent Bellotti, 87, was peacefully called to eternal rest, surrounded by his loving family, on January 13, 2023; 368 days after the loss of his beloved wife of 61 years, Phyllis, and 4 days prior to his 88th birthday.
Tough as nails but with a soft touch, Tony defied all odds after surviving a nearly fatal medical emergency in July of 2021 and went on to make the most of the final 18 months of his life in the company of family and friends, and bravely enduring life without Phyllis for the past year.
Born and raised in West Springfield, Anthony was the son of the late Joseph and Agostina (Fassio) Bellotti. As a graduate of West Springfield High School’s class of 1953, he went on to American International College, from where, in 1957, Tony earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree, with high honors. As the child of Italian immigrants, Tony was the first in his family to graduate from college and worked full-time at First National Stores, Inc. to pay for his college education.
Tony always remembered how fortunate he was to have completed his compulsory service in the Army Reserves during peacetime; as a Sharpshooter and Sargent, he was honorably discharged. Soon thereafter, he and Phyllis started their family with the birth of their son, Anthony F. Bellotti.
Tony then embarked on his decades-long career in finance within the paper industry, starting with Brown Paper Company in Holyoke. He then spent over 30 years with C.H. Dexter & Sons, Inc., where he climbed the ranks to become the Division Financial Controller.
It was during Tony’s career at Dexter that he and Phyllis were again blessed with the births of their son, Andrew Bellotti, and daughter, Laura Bellotti, now Cardillo, who, after Tony proudly walked her down the aisle to marry Vincent Cardillo, gave them their cherished grandson, Nicolas Cardillo.
After many long workdays and evening commutes, Tony would come home to a dark and quiet house to find Phyllis and their children hiding in a closet, giggling with anticipation; never disappointed by Dad’s, albeit false, look of shock, immediately followed by one of pure delight when he opened that closet door.
Along with his work at Dexter, Tony spent many a Saturday working with his friends and business partners, serving as Treasurer, at R&C Floral, Inc. Tony loved to discuss all aspects of the business, as well as politics and life, while sipping Wild Turkey whiskey from a coffee mug, with his dear friend Roger Dumas.
For 40 years, Wednesday evenings were bowling night with his buddies at Wilbraham 10 Pin, where Tony served as his league’s longtime Treasurer. Tony was an avid card player as well, and enjoyed playing Cribbage, Bridge, and Poker with friends in a Saturday evening league, and Blackjack at the casino.
After retiring from Dexter, Tony pursued his love of driving; he happily spent the next decade as a school bus driver in Ludlow. It was during those years Tony and Phyllis enjoyed long afternoon walks with the family dog, Pepe. Tony’s love of dogs extended to the pups on his bus routes; after bounding up onto his bus to say “hello” and get a scratch on their ears, he would indulge them with treats.
Tony relished being a grandfather; he enjoyed picking up Nicolas from school, ice cream treats on the first and last days of school, and attending the annual school event, Grandfriends’ Day.
Along with his wife, Phyllis (Orlando) Bellotti, Tony was predeceased by his sisters, Madeline Bellotti, sadly taken to Heaven only months into her life, and Madeline Louise (Bellotti) DeGray and her husband, Gerald M. DeGray.
In addition to his immediate family, Tony is survived by his niece and chosen fourth child, Diane (DeGray) Wilson, along with other extended family and friends, who he would always entertain with a joke…or two…or three…
Tony’s family would like to extend their most sincere appreciation to the staff at Ludlow Dialysis, who took care of Tony 3 days a week, and the incredible doctors, nurses, and care teams at Baystate Medical Center, who gave Tony his life back in 2021, and then tried their best to give him a second miracle while treating him with care, compassion, and dignity as he completed life’s journey on this earth.
Tony’s wake is Thursday, January 19, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Tazzini Funeral Home located at 22 Locust Street in Springfield. Tony’s funeral will begin Friday, January 20, 8:30 a.m. at Tazzini Funeral Home, proceeding to his 10:00 a.m. Liturgy of Christian Burial at St. Patrick’s Church in Springfield. Burial will follow at St. Thomas the Apostle Cemetery in West Springfield.
In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made in celebration of Tony’s life to Baystate Health Foundation at www.BaystateHealth.org or Guiding Eyes for the Blind at www.GuidingEyes.org.
Please visit www.TazziniFuneralHome.com for condolences.