Dennis James Zitello, Jr., age 42, of North Lima, OH, died early Saturday morning, June 20, 2020 at St. Elizabeth Hospital downtown. He was born December 4, 1977 at North Side Hospital.
Dennis attended Byzantine Catholic Central School in his early years. He then attended Boardman High School. Dennis worked for J&S Heating/Mahoning Valley Heating in his late teens/early twenties. He was a top notch designer and fabricator for new construction homes in Mahoning County. Many homes in Canfield and Poland were done by Dennis. After a back injury from a fall at work, he could no longer do the job, and his career ended. This was the beginning of a 20 year long battle, which began with pain killers.
Dennis was a multi-talented man. He was only six and a half years old when his mom put her drum set in the living room because he liked the drums. Within a short period of time, he showed his talent. The neighbors on the south side didn’t mind because he was so good. Mom was proud saying, “you could be the next Buddy Rich.”
As he got older he liked baseball. We started him in a baseball league and coaches were amazed at how good he was at twelve years of age and just starting out. Dennis started out as third baseman only to become one of the best catchers in the area. Everyone wanted Dennis on their team. Scouts had their eye on him and Dennis dreamed of playing major league ball. He played football at Boardman High School as well. People would say, “watch out for Big D, he’ll mow you down. Dennis was a die hard Oakland Raiders fan and looked forward to seeing them in Las Vegas.
While in high school, Dennis saved a mans life in Boardman by lifting a car off him. News made the Vindicator and called him a hero.
Dennis also had talent as an artist. He began at a young age drawing cartoon figures. As an art student at Boardman, he won an award for his Paula Abdul paintings which they asked to keep for display. As his disability took him over, Dennis began to write. He loved poetry and wrote it well. He wrote dark and light which depicted all the things he experienced through his life. He was proud to say, as we all were, that he was a author. He published his book, “IN THESE STREETS" in print and on audio disc. Dennis’ goal was to help others with their addiction problems. He was planning a second and third book. These are just of few things Dennis did to try and make this world a better place.
Dennis is survived by his mother, Mary Kathleen Baird (Barry) Zitello Moore; brother, Kenneth Baird (Pamela nee Phelan) Zitello; nephew, Spencer James Zitello, and his father, Dennis James Zitello, Sr.
Private services are being held for immediate family.
In memory of Dennis, say a prayer, light a candle, and do something kind for a stranger, for that’s the person he was.
Arrangements by Cremation & Funeral Service by Gary S Silvat, Inc. Share memories or send condolences by visiting: www.cremateohio.com.
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