Dominick P. Zito

Dominick P. Zito

Former Southold resident Dominick P. Zito, 80, of Charleston, S.C., passed away peacefully with his family by his side on April 3, 2010. He bravely battled a one-year fight with cancer.

He was born in Brooklyn, on June 5, 1929, to Emilia (Venia) Zito and Nicolo Zito. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Doris (Martucci) Zito. He was the beloved father of four daughters, Nancy Orientale (Gerard) of Southold; Alice Leto and Joan Decker (Brett), both of Charleston, S.C.; and Dawn Zito of Palm Coast, Fla. He was the adoring grandfather of nine grandchildren, Danielle, Nicole and Karley Leto; Kaela Lakowitz and Nicolas Orientale; Alexis Zito and Zander Posner; and Aiden and Genna Decker; and great-grandfather of Colten, Gavin and Hayden. Dominick is also survived by his sister, Jennie Pascarelli of Port Richey, Fla., and brother, Joseph Zito of the Bronx, and several nephews and nieces.

Dominick served in the U.S. Army and fought in the Korean War. In 1951 he was honorably discharged and went on to pursue an education in business administration at Fordham University. After graduation he became a manager for several import/export companies. In 1964 he purchased two billiard halls in Queens. By this time his family was rapidly growing and his dream was to raise his daughters away from the city, in a safe, healthy, environment. So he found a business to purchase on the East End of Long Island. Dom purchased The Southold Inn in 1968 from John and Helen Napolitano and learned quickly how to make pizza and run a thriving bar/restaurant/inn.

In 1976, Dominick and Doris gave up the restaurant business and leased the premises to Robert and Claudia Hascoat and the business became known as La Gazelle. Dominick went on to pursue a new career. He started with a degree in criminal justice, and began his work with the Suffolk County Department of Social Services. He continued his education at SUNY/Stony Brook, receiving master’s degrees in social work, psychology and public administration. Throughout the years he changed departments within Suffolk County, working for Child Protection Services and finally the Suffolk County Department of Mental Health. In the late 1980s he developed his own psychotherapy practice, Alpha Achievement and Counseling Center.

Dom was fluent in Sicilian, Italian and Spanish and spoke a little Portuguese. He worked heavily with the Spanish-speaking population while employed by the county Department of Social Services and within his own practice, developing bilingual therapy groups. As a psychologist, he finally fulfilled his lifelong dream of guiding and helping others towards meeting their goals.

In 1996, Dom was ready for retirement and, together with Doris, chose Charleston, S.C. Dom and Doris became very active within the communities in Charleston. Dom became a member of the Charleston Coast Guard. He and Doris also volunteered at Roper St. Francis Hospital, where he worked in the recovery room. Dom also pursued many hobbies and interests in his retirement. He was a member of the Koi Club and served as president of the Wexford Sound Homeowners Association.

Dominick was laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery on James Island, S.C. Memorial messages and thoughts of condolence may be left for the family by visiting

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