How do you even begin to write a tribute to Anthony Dato? A life well lived for over 99 years from June 1, 1922 to January 26, 2022, he was the center of the universe to so many.
Anthony Thomas… The first U.S.-born son of Italian immigrants John & Eleanora (D'urgolo) Dato in Hoboken, NJ.
Tony… The brother of Terry Cerruti, Mary D'Onofrio and John Dato.
Sergeant Dato… A proud veteran of World War II where he served in the Army Medical Corps.
Dad… The father of Susan Rutkowski, John Dato, Michele Brigham and her husband John, and Daniel Dato.
Grandpa… The grandfather to Scott Rutkowski, Jessica Valter and her husband Michael, Stephanie Pacchiano and her husband Nick, John Robert Brigham and his wife Lauren, Sara O'Leary and her husband Michael, and Thomas Brigham.
G2… The great grandfather to Ryleigh & Harper Valter, Jay Brigham, Benjamin O'Leary, and Anthony Pacchiano.
Uncle Tony, Cuz & TD… He was the patriarch of the family.
But most importantly, he was Sweetheart… the loving husband to Marie Napolitano Dato for 71 joy-filled years.
His was a life filled with faith, family, and friends... A life of service to others… A life of love for all.
As a young man growing up in Hoboken, he listened to Frank Sinatra singing on the street corners. The connection to Frank lasted his entire life… and you couldn't play a Sinatra tune without him enthusiastically singing along.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army to do his duty for his country during World War II, but also to do his duty for his family… so his younger brother John could stay home and go to Stevens Tech.
He volunteered for his church, both at Ascension in New Milford and Our Lady of Consolation in Wayne, helping whenever help was needed… and especially at bingo nights!
He was a successful businessman, providing a wonderful life for his family. But it wasn't what he did, but rather, how he did it that exemplifies his character… BNTA-SS-SC… Be Nice To All, Speak Softly, Stay Calm.
He was one of the "cousins" that we all remember so fondly. Sonny & Laura, Lou & Ann, Emil & Helen, Bert & Cookie, Tony & Lee, and Tony & Marie. The fun times they shared together, whether on trips to Italy or just in the backyard around the barbeque, is still a shining light for us today as our new families grow.
He was a dear friend to so many both in NJ and FL… Tailgating at West Point, bingo at the clubhouse, or gin and tonics around the umbrella table, Tony loved a gathering.
And nothing was more important to him than family. Whether it was his kids, grandkids, or great grandkids… they were the joy of his life, and he was the light of our lives.
But none of that was possible without his sweetheart Marie from Jersey City. He courted her on a beach in Keansburg in 1947, they were married in 1950, and started their newlywed family in Union City in 1953. Forever the cutest couple in the room… hand in hand always. If they were apart for even a few minutes, soon you'd hear him say "where is my sweetheart?"
Today we say goodbye to him… Anthony Dato… but never to be forgotten, as his love will always light our way, our family's way, for all time.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Our Lady of Consolation Church through their website at https://olcparish.org (either the Online Giving or Memorials section).