Among other things, Dante Zacavish was an educator, administrator, restaurateur, entrepreneur, private pilot, husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend to many. He passed away peacefully in Wesley Chapel, Florida on June 15, 2023 at the age of 88. He was a longtime resident of Weston, Connecticut, where he and his late wife Barbara raised their two daughters. Son of Anthony Zacavish and Edith Costello, Dante was born and raised in Brownton, West Virginia amidst a large family.
He earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from Western Connecticut State University, where he met his wife Barbara, and later went on to earn a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Connecticut. He had a long career in education serving as a math teacher at Hurlbutt Elementary School, the Principal of both Edgewood Elementary School and Comstock Elementary School, Assistant Superintendent of Wilton Schools, and Senior Vice President for the Direct Marketing Education Foundation.
Never one to miss out on a business endeavor, he seized the opportunity to purchase a business in the Weston Center in 1976. He and wife were the original owners of The Lunch Box, which they ran together as a side business for 37 years. Through decades of restaurant ownership, he formed strong relationships with his employees and Weston residents.
Dante was an active community volunteer as seen in his contributions as president of the Weston Field Club, longtime board member at Aspetuck Valley Country Club, Weston Board of Education, Morning Star School of Tampa and as a founding member of the Weston Racquet Club.
Dante was a lover of the game of golf and won many tournaments at Aspetuck Valley Country Club, including the President Cup. Three days after his 80th birthday, Dante scored his first and only hole in one at Saddle Brook Golf Club, where he and Barbie lived in their retirement.
In more ways than one, he considered himself a lucky man. He won a convertible Corvette in a raffle which subsequently sprouted his pizza business, many blackjack and poker games, and matched all five numbers in the Florida Fantasy Five. If asked, he would say his greatest stroke of luck was his love of his family and many dear friends.
He is predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Barbara and is survived by his daughters Ellen Molter (Paul), Carrie Shea (Tom) and his three grandchildren Paul Molter and Lilly and Gib Shea, all of whom he was very proud. He is also survived by his sister FaDana Mudge and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Dante and Barbara Zacavish Education Fund at Weston High School, with the Zacavish Family Scholarship Fund written in the memo. This fund will benefit the future education of a graduating student. Contributions can be mailed to the attention of Monica Rogers at Weston High School, 115 School Road, Weston, CT 06883.