Community Mourns Passing of Tony Bellissimo

Former Village Trustee, Fire Department Captain Dies at 79

By Joe Rizza

The Village of Mineola lost one of its most well-known and beloved citizens when Tony Bellissimo of Wellington Road died on Thursday, June 1, 2006 at the age of 79.

Bellissimo is known for his community service. Among the organizations he was a member of included the Italian-Americans in Government, County Seat Kiwanis, the Italian-American Civic Association and the John S. DaVanzo Mineola Republican Club. Bellissimo was also proud of his service to the Mineola Fire Department, where he was a 49-year member and an ex-captain of Company #2.

In service to his community, Bellissimo also became involved in village government, He served on the village's planning board, zoning board and the Village Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1983.

Besides being active in the community, family was very important to Bellissimo. He met the love of his life, Marion Dybus, at a concert. The two got married on May 22, 1949. The couple moved to Mineola in January of 1950 and remained in the community they called home, raising three sons - Anthony M. Jr. (Mary Ellen), John M. (Patricia) and James D. (Mary) - and daughter Barbara Mattina (Charles), who is a longtime village employee.

Bellissimo's best friend was current village trustee John DaVanzo, who served with Bellissimo in the fire department and County Seat Kiwanis. On a warm summer day each year, the two could be seen in Wilson Park cooking hot dogs for the children of the summer recreation program. The two also served as chairmen of the Mineola Diamond Jubilee from September 13 to 20, 1981.

"We knew each other for many years. We were together on many projects like the pool and Youth Day. He manufactured the [time] capsule for the Diamond Jubilee. He was always ready, willing and able to do anything and everything that was best for the community. He was loved by everybody. We're going to sorely miss him. He was a great friend," said DaVanzo.

Bellissimo was also survived by his grandchildren Christopher, Katie, Johanna, Philip and Dominic. He was the dear brother of Mary Alois, Angelo, Vincent and the late Angelina Castardi.

Visiting was at Cassidy Funeral Home on Willis Avenue in Mineola on Saturday and Sunday with a funeral Mass on Monday at the Corpus Christi Church. Memorials to the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association would be appreciated.

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