Anthony J. Vitkus, 100, passed away in St. Josephs Home for the Aged on Friday, January 24, 2014.
He was born in Kenosha on May 9, 1913, the son of the late John A. and Anna (Blazis) Vitkus. Tony served his country in the Civilian Conservation Corps planting many trees in Northern Wisconsin; and later with the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific during World War II. He participated in the battles for Guadacanal, Iwo Jima and Okinawa as a rear gunner in a SBD Dauntless dive bomber, and on the aircraft carrier USS Bennington as a plane captain for an F4U Corsair Fighter.
On November 28, 1946, in St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, he was united in marriage to the former Theresa MacKnight, who preceded him in death on November 11, 2005.
Tony had been employed at American Brass as a crane operator, and then for 27 years as a milkman by Borden’s Dairyland Dairy and Landgren’s Dairy, while working part time managing the bowling alley and bartending at the Elks Club and various other establishments in Kenosha. He was the first custodian of the Seideman Natatorium at Carthage College where he worked for eight years at the end of his working career. He was a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, where he served on the Parish Council and ushered for many years, the Knights of Columbus St. Robert Newman Council #973, the 4th Degree Archbishop Messmer Assembly #1201, Teamsters Local #43 Retirees, the Marine Corps League and the V.F.W. Post 1865. He had been a Kenosha Alderman of the Second Ward from 1958 until 1962 and was a member of the Water Commission. He acted with the Kenosha Little Theatre from 1938 until 1960, and performed with the Senior Variety Fairentertainers doing comedy routines and Jimmy Durante impressions. Tony was an avid swimmer and swam nearly every day at the KYF, Carthage College, or the RecPlex until he was 96 years old.
Surviving are his children, Donna (Bruce) Buzzell of Kenosha, Kathy (Louie) Carrillo of Umatilla, Fla., John (Margaret) Vitkus of Kenosha, Mark (Peggy) Vitkus of Germantown, James Vitkus of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Joseph (Ilene) Vitkus of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; grandchildren, James (Alena) Aarino, Darin (Dawn) Aarino, Jason (Tracy) Buzzell, Anthony Buzzell, Karen Hannon, Jaclyne (Brent) Osentowski, Vanessa (Dru) Fuller, Jessica Carrillo, and Crystal (Johnny) Dunn, Aaron (Jill) Vitkus, Kyle (Christina) Vitkus, Kevin (Katie) Vitkus, and Jon (Angela) Vitkus, Luke Vitkus and Lauren (Derek) Dundon, Courtney Vitkus, Joshua and Rebecca Vitkus; great grandchildren, Nicholas, Lindsey and Terah Aarino, Max Huzau, Jason, Rachel, and Alyssa Buzzell, Jacob and Justin Buzzell, Gracie Osentowski, Abigail Dunn, Alexander Fuller, Katelyn, Madelyn and Matthew Vitkus, Anthony Vitkus, Brianna Vitkus, Donovan and Avery Dundon, and five more great grandchildren on the way. Tony is further survived by his nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
In addition to his parents and beloved wife, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Joseph and Frank “Lefty” Vitkus and sisters, Ann LaDousa and Dorothy Wertz.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church on January 29, 2014 with Rev. Sean Granger officiating.