Obituary of Jack Zito
Jack Benjamin Zito, Ph.D., a dear friend and true Renaissance man, passed away July 29, 2018 after a heroic struggle with heart disease. He is survived by two sons, Tom Zito of CA and Jack (Jackie) Zito of RI, and the love of his life, Jayne Sadlon Guchone, of Cooperstown, who was by his side in his final moments.
Jack was a 1962 graduate of Mohawk Central School, and was known as "Crusher' during his wrestling years. He was an outstanding athlete and was the only one who earned 5 letters in sports. Jack considered Scottie Anderson the "Brother" he never had and loved dearly. Jack will always remember Gail, Kathy and Janice for their kindness. His father owned the Mohawk Meat Market where he spent countless hours butchering for his dad.
Jack entered the lives of many friends here in Cooperstown and fellow musicians only a year ago. He quickly became one of the boys, taking center stage with his beloved trombone. He added a new sound and a wonderful spirit to the music, creating transcendent memories for the band and audiences with his Dixieland and jazz style.
Cooperstown met Jack through music but came to know him as an intellect and a sports aficionado. There was not a thing he seemingly couldn't master: football, mathematics, teaching and coaching, creative writing, carpentry and architecture to name a few.
Known as "Dr. Z" in many circles, Jack played Division 1 college football for the Hurricanes of Miami University where he received not one, but 2 Doctorate degrees. He was awarded teacher of the year at three different schools where he coached football, basketball and track, winning several state and national championships. After retirement, Jack wrote a fictional novel, "The Sicilian Experience of Mr. Benny." A walk through Jack and Jayne's new home would reveal carpentry skills and exquisite taste. Jack was also a former member of the Cooperstown Lions Club and was awaiting induction to the Rotary Club as well. He attended Annapolis and was awarded a gift from President Clinton for his achievements in education. Jack was a master at craps and Vegas remembers him well.
Jack had a brilliant mind and many talents, but his greatest gift was his warmth and grace, which he extended to all who met him. He was a rascal with a wry sense of humor and he loved to make others laugh. He was a gentle giant, a large man who referred to his pickup truck as "the Beast."
Jack will forever be remembered by his friends and loved ones. He will be missed.
At Jack's request, he is being cremated and his ashes scattered over his favorite place as a child. There are no public services. To honor his memory, embrace a friend in need, mentor a young person, foster goodwill.
To send an online condolence please go to www.whiter-hendrix.com.
Arrangements are with the Whiter-Hendrix Funeral Home Inc. 100 Otsego St. in Ilion, NY.
The Whiter Funeral Company was started in 1893 by H.A. Whiter and was originally located in Forestport, NY. Following a fire in Forestport our family relocated in Ilion, and reopened the funeral home, in the early 1900's.
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Ilion, NY 13357
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