STAMFORD, Conn. – Antonio "Tony" Nino Califano, a Stamford restaurant owner, died Jan. 5 with family by his side. He was 63.
Born May 19, 1949, in Ponza, Italy, he was the son of Maria Pacifico and Giovanni Califano. The family immigrated to the United States in 1966 and settled in the Bronx, N.Y.
He worked at many restaurants before coming to Stamford in 1972, when he and his wife and brother, Benny, opened Stamford Restaurant and Pizza.
The restaurant recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. In 1994, he and his brother, along with their wives, opened Belltown Pizza. Both families still operate the restaurants.
Califano's family said he was generous to other communities, as well as his own. His passions included hunting with his brother, Benny, cooking for his family and friends and yearly vacations to Rhode Island.
He also enjoyed his Argentina hunting trip with his brother and friends, trips to Ponza with his family and spending time with his dog, Rusty.
Califano is survived by his wife, Mimma (D’Arco) Califano; two children, Maria Califano and John Califano, both of Stamford; his father; two brothers, Biaggio “Benny” (Maria) Califano and Silverio Califano; and two nephews. He was predeceased by his mother.
Visitation was Monday at Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home and Crematory in Stamford. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Tuesday at St. Benedict Our Lady of Montserrat Church in Stamford.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 825 Brook St., I-91 Tech Center, Rocky Hill, CT 06067.