Democrat and Chronicle

Costanza, Vito A.

Penfield/Dansville: After a courageous battle with lung cancer, Vito Costanza passed away on Saturday, July 4, 2015 at the age of 89. Vito is predeceased by his wife Ann (Organ) of 40 years. He is also predeceased by two brothers and one sister. Survivors include his wife Lois; his children, Joan Tobbagi (Habib) of California, Jay Costanza (Marie), Vito Costanza Jr. of Pennsylvania and Judy Zornow (Duffy); 8 grandchildren, Amy Sorrell (Ty), Andrew Tobbagi, Monique Tobbagi, Justin Costanza, Chad Costanza, Eva Costanza, Patrick Zornow and Kailee Zornow; 1 brother Richard Costanza of Nevada; 3 sisters Virginia Gruttadauria of Nevada, Terry DiPalermo and Madeline Guarrera; as well as many nieces, nephews, step grandchildren and step great grandchildren.

Vito served in the US Navy in the South Pacific for two years during World War Two. In 1950, he graduated from Brockport State University, where he played soccer, baseball and basketball. A charter member of the university's Hall of Fame, he played professional baseball for a minor league team in the New York Yankees organization.

Vito spent the majority of his 35-year teaching and coaching career at Edison Technical High School in Rochester, where he taught physical education and health. He coached basketball, football, baseball and golf. He was named Section V Coach of the Year in 1972, receiving the first and only Mayor's Trophy and had a day named in his honor.

Vito was the assistant basketball coach at Nazareth College of Rochester for five years, responsible for scouting and recruiting. In collaboration with his former Edison Tech Assistant Coach, Joe Gigliotti, they began the Men's Basketball Program at Nazareth. He was also a basketball referee for 25 years.

After retiring from teaching and coaching in 1985, he was inducted into the Section V Basketball Hall of Fame and the Frontier Field Walk of Fame. Additionally, Vito enjoyed family gatherings, golfing and watching his favorite baseball team, the Yankees.

No prior calling hours. Funeral services for Vito will be at St. Joseph's Church, located at 43 Gebhardt Road in Penfield on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 10:30 am. Interment will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Palliative Care at Rochester General Health System (1425 Portland Avenue; Rochester, NY 14621) or Roswell Park Alliance Foundation (Elm & Carlton Streets; Buffalo, NY 14262).

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the caregivers at Roswell Park Cancer Center, Rochester General Hospital Palliative Care Center, the Leo Center for Caring, and St. John's Nursing Home.

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Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on July 8, 2015