Anthony “Tony” L. Aceto, 88, of St. Charles, passed away on June 21, 2019 at Delnor Community Hospital in Geneva.  He was born in Boston, MA on August 17, 1930 to his loving parents, Antonio and Emma Aceto (Santilli).

As a young child, Tony was very ill, so much so, that he didn’t leave the hospital until he was of walking age. This is where his compassion for life started.  He ran the streets of the North End of Boston with his five brothers, enjoyed playing ball at the “Gassy” park, and “running the numbers” from Pepe’s to the “Dog House,” he relished in the sweet memories of “Mary the Baker,” enjoyed the cost of living in the North End, sneaking out the back door of school, and hitchhiking across America with Jimmy the Greek (his best mate).

Life as he knew it came to an end when he met a sweet lady in Chicago, and the rest is history. . .

Tony married Betty 68 years ago, and loved her deeply.  He adopted her three teenage daughters and loved each one as his own. Betty loved him so much, that she promised to raise the children they created as Catholics. Can you imagine, an Italian Catholic Republican of the North End, marring a Democrat Russian Jewish Divorced Mother of three, from the Gold Coast?

Tony insisted they were going to live on his earnings, not her father’s, so that meant their first table was dual purpose; it was also the ironing board. As a family they had some great debates, however the one thing they would agree on, is how much they loved and supported all their children.

Tony was a self-made man, learning life skills by example, and trial and error.  He mastered many skills, from carpentry to accounting.

Yet what he mastered best was being a loyal friend.  Loyalty meant everything to him. He worked for many years as taxi driver, truck driver, then warehouse foremen for Fernstrom Van Lines (Betty did not care for him being away from the dinner table at night, so he made the right choice-she did not tell anyone anything twice).

After Tony took an early retirement, he stayed home and finished raising his only son, Anthony and Amy, “the baby.” They both loved having him to cook for all their friends, be their chauffeur, walk them to work, and teach them to cook.

Tony supported Betty’s decision to return to college to earn a degree and later open her first preschool and daycare center.  Not only was he the builder, but he was the accountant, and he drove the children to and from schools. He even took on the role of summer camp director for a summer or two.  He truly loved being with the children and those families.

Tony took “family first” to the highest level – there was not a family member, extended to the last branch, that would not be able to call him for advice, or a favor.  He was a great uncle and will be dearly missed by so many nieces and nephews who cherished his love. He was the uncle they would call when their dads said no!

At the last family reunion, a count was made for Tony, tallying up 18 nephews, 16 nieces, 38 great nieces and nephews, and 28 great-great nieces and nephews.  He also relished being on Grandpa duty, and will be remembered as the grandpa you could always talk to, by his eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and nine great-great-grandchildren. Whew…. Then there were those special people, whom consider him an Uncle or a Grandpa: the Licht children, Krista Sanoshy, Kyle Robert Larson, and the many families of Betty’s Day Care.

Tony was strict, proper, and classy; one of the few real men left from the greatest generation. He will be remembered as a very laid-back and kind man who somehow always put up with the “knuckleheads’ (Tony’s son and his friends)  shenanigans”. He was a great bowler who achieved several 300 games, a master at the pool hall (aka “hustler”), enjoyed a game of tennis or two, and some good times at the gun range. But what he enjoyed the most was playing cards with friends and family. We called it the Tony effect, as once you started a game, you were sucked into it, like the twilight zone, and you just had to play to win because he was mesmerizing.

Tony will be missed by so many, so let us honor him by living our best lives, and as his nephew Bernie would say, “Great Balls of Fire.”

Tony was preceded in death by his dear wife, Betty Aceto (Chubin); Daughters Evon Ott (Aceto), Marilyn Turner (Aceto), Antoniette Aceto; son Son Anthony Aceto; and grandchildren Rene Tatarow and John Turner.

Tony is survived by his daughters Scherrie Hobart (Aceto) and Amy (Joshua Harris) Hitchinson (Aceto); Grandchildren Evette Nadine Tatarow,  Sandra Gonzalez, Joseph Turner, Terry Ann Hobart, Jamie Hobart, and Ivy Grace Feinglass; many great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; and many dear friends.

The family will receive friends Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at Tony’s home, 36w182 River View Ct., St. Charles, IL 60175, 1:00p.m. until time of funeral service at 7:00p.m., Father Antonio Narduianni officiating.  Interment will be private.

Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin IL 60120. For more information call 847-741-1128 or www.symondsmadisonfuneralhome.com.

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