Obituary: Charles Anthony Guzzetti (1935-2021)

Charles Anthony Guzzetti

After a prolonged battle with heart and lung disease, Charles Anthony Guzzetti, 86, passed peacefully, surrounded by family on October 4, 2021 at his home in Martinez, CA.

The former realtor worked in Santa Cruz, owned offices in Carmel and Concord, and was a Manager for GTE Sylvania in Mt. View, and served in the United States Air Force.

Charles was born March 20, 1935, in Brooklyn, NY.  All of his grandparents were Italian immigrants (legal). His family moved to Long Island when he was in junior high school, but he commuted back to Brooklyn to graduate from Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School. Then he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Denver, CO. Since he had some acquaintance with electronics, after training, he taught radar and other defense electronics.  Although he later studied Accounting at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA, he credits his Christian Brothers education for his remarkable math and memory skills, and his work ethic.

He was the top salesman for Merit McBride (700 agents) in 1978 and beyond. Before going into real estate, he worked for IBM, Texas Instruments, and GTE Sylvania, rising to a managerial position responsible for defense electronics production. He had a security clearance

While still in school, Tony started work in his father’s TV and record store, developing a lifelong love of music and tech/electronics. Frank Sinatra, Big Bands, Rock’n Roll, and opera were among his favorites. Charles knew all of the words to any song one could name from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, and many from years later.In a frail voice, he sang a Cole Porter song along with the recording of Nat King Cole’s version, just a few hours before he died.

He enjoyed classic films and was a lifelong baseball fan; first rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers, then the Yankees and finally the Oakland A’s. Although not athletic in appearance, at age 60, he won Best in Class at a Diablo Valley College tennis class. He was a family man and a patriot. His father (stage name Charlie Vale) had a band, played sax and violin, and sang with the band that played the Waldorf when Charles was a boy. Marie, his mother, made his father quit the business when her two boys came along. He was an Elvis fan, to the consternation of his father.

He told how, as an Italian Catholic, he could earn spare change in his mostly Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood by turning on the lights on Jewish holy days. He was comfortable with all cultures, and recalled going to Five Points (an African American neighborhood in Denver) with black friends to hear Louis Prima and Fats Domino. He fit in anywhere, putting people at ease.

Chuck always had a quick sense of humor, filling his life with good company. He was generous and enjoyed dining out and dancing, and family holidays and vacations, – especially Christmas. His children recall trips to Disneyland, Lake Tahoe and digging clams at the beach. When needed, he took over as the Team Manager for Carla’s league volleyball team, organizing trips and coordinating things.Tony’s last wish was to go home from the hospital, sit in his chair, have a family dinner gathering, and watch TV.

He attended Catholic schools, thus he was Anthony, per his Baptism Certificate, (Italian tradition then required the first son to be named after the grandfather.) His mother named him after his father, Charles.) Only when he entered the Air Force did he discover his real name was Charles (Chuck), not Tony. So, family and early friends continued to call him Tony, and adult life friends, clients and relatives called him Chuck. I called him Charles.

There will be a memorial mass for Charles Anthony Guzzetti on Nov. 12, 2021 11:00 a.m. at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church at 2390 Grant Street, Concord, CA , followed by a reception at Luna Restaurante at 2118 Willow Pass Road # 100B (across from Todos Santos Park). Call Dana Guzzetti at 925-202-9292 for more information

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