Dante R. Chicatell, born in Stamford, CT on November 24, 1913, passed away peacefully at the age of 104 with his family at his side on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. He was the son of the late Mariano and Antoinette Chicatell.
He was predeceased by his loving wife Madeline, “The Big M”, three brothers Frank, Joe and Carmine; and his sisters Yolanda and Josephine. He is survived by his daughters Sandra Chicatell DeLeo and Joseph of Stamford; and Patricia Chicatell Wade and Michael of New Jersey.
Dante has six grandchildren, Jennifer Kimbel, Tom Wade and wife Sheri, J.D. DeLeo and wife Sara, Brian Wade, Michael DeLeo and Kelley DeLeo. He also has six great grandchildren, Alex Kimbel 14, Zakary DeLeo 14, Arianna DeLeo 11, Sydney Bea Wade 7, Ava Grace Wade 7 and “little” Dante Wade 4.
Dante grew up in Stamford and was educated in the Stamford Schools and was a resident of Darien for the past 63 years. He enjoyed going to casino’s and playing the horses and could be seen going to Atlantic City.
At Stamford High, Dante was an “overall” student. He excelled on the varsity basketball, football and baseball teams. He received Allstate Honors as a pass catching end in 1931 and was so respected by his football opponents, he was named to the “All Opponent All Star Team”. He was very popular in school and was elected president of his Junior Class and vice president of his Senior Class.
After his high school graduation, he attended Saint Viator College in Illinois on an Athletic Scholarship. He left college to go to work to assist his family. He played semi-pro football with the Golden Bears and Fairfield Tigers, and was a key player on the very strong Sterlings and Questions Marks basketball teams.
He worked for the Board of Recreation as a gym instructor and referee. He worked on the day shift for Pitney Bowes. During World War II and at night, he supervised a secret project for the government making computer chips for bombs.
Dante and his brother Joe owned a gas station and oil company, “Chic’s Oil” for 47 years. At the age of 86, he decided to go back to work and started another career working at the “New Canaan YMCA” working at “104.” They so loved and admired him that they honored “Chic” by naming a newly constructed café “Dante’s Café.” Everyone at the “Y” looked forward to the “home made hats” Chic wore for each of the major holidays. He was also honored for being the oldest living YMCA employee in the United States.
Dante was honored by the Stamford Old Timers in 1979. He was a past president and Charter Member of the Darien Piedmont Club. He was honored by the Stamford Historical Society for being the “Oldest Living Stamford High School Football Graduate”. He was a member in Good Standing at Saint John Church in Darien for over 60 years. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus rising to the Rank of Fourth Degree Knight.
Dante was a man of principle, great dedication, and love to his family and friends. They threw the mold away after he was made. There will never be another “Dante Chicatell”. He will be greatly missed.
This is Dante’s life in a nut shell and as “Spock” said in Star Trek, “live long and prosper” and Dante has done this very, very well!
The family will receive friends at the Edward Lawrence Funeral Home, 2119 Post Road, Darien on Monday, March 5, 2018 from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Monday, March 5, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at St. John R. C. Church, 1986 Post Road, Darien. There will be a private family interment at Spring Grove Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Piedmont Club, 152 Hecker Avenue, Darien, CT 06820 or the New Canaan YMCA, 564 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT 06840.
[This obituary appeared on Legacy.com.]