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04/14/2023 11:02 AM

Anthony Lazzari

On April 5, Anthony Frank Lazzari, 80, of Madison, died suddenly at his home, a place affectionately known to all as “Serenity.”

Anthony, or “Tony” to all his friends and loved ones, was born on May 4, 1942, to the late Victor A. Lazzari and Mary (Cianciolo) Lazzari in New Haven. He was married to the love of his life, Diane (Piller) Lazzari, for 53 years, and they shared three children, Mary Anne Fann (Patrick Fann) of Menlo Park, California; Suzanne Long (Richard Long) of San Anselmo, California; and Stephen Lazzari (Ashley Lazzari) of Sherrill’s Ford, North Carolina. He was a big-hearted and playful Grandpa to his grandchildren: Justin and Gabriella Fann, Brady and Hayden Long, and Ellie, Adley, and Nash Lazzari. He is also survived by his dear sister Carolyn Benni, of Branford, and Naples, Florida.

Tony grew up in Stony Creek. His childhood stories (and college and military, for that matter!) should be sold to Hollywood. He graduated from Branford High School in June 1960 and the University of Arizona in May 1965. He attended Aviation Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Pensacola, Florida, where he graduated first in his Class in 1966. Tony proudly served his country for three combat tours in Vietnam as a U.S. Naval Officer. His time aboard the USS Mauna Kea was particularly meaningful to him throughout his life. Tony left the Navy in December 1969 as a Lieutenant and married his sweetheart, Diane, on June 27, 1970. The two settled in Madison, the “Showplace on the Shoreline,” where they raised their three children and coaxed a house tucked in the woods into a quiet sanctuary of stone paths, green lawns and gardens, a babbling brook, and a skating pond. Tony was devoted to that yard!

Tony worked for Chesebrough-Ponds, Inc./Unilever for 30 years. Many of his colleagues became his lifelong friends. Tony retired as Director of Logistics in 2000 and traveled around the world several times over with his wife Diane and other wonderful travel buddies. Tony was active in the Lions Club of Madison and Madison American Legion Post 79. If he wasn’t on an airplane, he was enjoying time with his seven grandchildren, green-thumbing it in the yard, eating steak or ice cream, yelling at his beloved New York Yankees on the television, and bragging about all things Connecticut. He loved sports, history, his country, his cat Morris, falling asleep on the couch, sharing meals with family and friends (especially sausage pizza and Pepsi or Foxon Park orange soda), watching the whales off Napili Point, doing endless favors, talking to folks around town and taking care of every person in his life. Tony always made sure to tell you how proud he was of you and how much he loved you.

In August 2013, Tony was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. His fight against cancer was inspiring to us all: Tony never complained; he just woke up every day with great determination and the will to face whatever was thrown at him. Tony truly lived every minute of his life to the fullest and will be loved and remembered for his huge smile and how much he treasured all of us. Celebrate him with happiness; he would want you to get out there and be kind to everyone you meet — even Red Sox fans.

Tony’s life will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 20, at St. Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church, 24 Academy Street, Madison. Burial services will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Anthony “Tony” Lazzari to support cancer research and patient care at: Dana Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via Arrangements in care of the Guilford Funeral Home, 115 Church Street, Guilford. To share a memory or leave condolences, visit