SARASOTA, FL – Dominick Violi passed away at his home in Sarasota, Florida, under hospice care, after a lengthy illness. He was the firstborn son of Rosario and Maria Miceli Violi and was followed by three brothers; Frank (Bonnie) of Carlsbad, CA, Ross (Kathie) of Massena, and Joseph of Monterey, CA. He was predeceased by his parents and beloved sister-in-law Ramona Violi.
Dominick attended Massena Schools, where he excelled in football, wrestling, and track. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for both football and wrestling. While wrestling, Dominick was considered more than a talent; he was a showman who had the unique ability to win with flair. It was once said that he “was a heavyweight but had the grace of a lightweight. He could make wrestling look like dancing….”
Dominick was also gifted with a beautiful singing voice and performed in many musical productions during his high school years. He continued to share his beautiful voice by singing at the weddings of various friends. He was passionate about his love of music.
Dominick loved everything Italian and spent his life sharing his love with others. In 1947, his parents opened the first Violi’s on Willow Street in Massena and later moved the business to Center Street. Dom and his brother Ross operated the vastly popular establishment from 1960 until 2014. Dom traveled extensively in Italy and would return home to introduce his patrons to exciting new dishes. He also shared his love of the old country by hosting culinary tours. He organized many tours and provided wonderful experiences for many friends who were lucky enough to enjoy these excursions.
Dominick enjoyed a huge circle of friends with whom he shared his vast knowledge and passions. Food was paramount in Dominick’s life. On the rare night off, Dominick would host cooking classes at his home, divulging culinary secrets to those who attended. The Violi parties at his beloved Wilson Hill home were infamous. The hand-built pizza oven, a focal point in the Violi backyard, was an integral component of the many personal parties and fundraisers that Dominick and Susan hosted. It was not uncommon to have 200 friends gather at their Wilson Hill property for a benefit.
Philanthropy was important to Dominick, and he truly enjoyed giving back. Dominick was involved in the Seaway Valley Business Association, The Kiwanis Club, The Knights of Columbus, and The Italian American Club; at one time, he was the president of all of the clubs concurrently.
Dominick married Susan Weston on June 5th, 1971, and enjoyed 52 years of wonderful adventures. He has two children, Maria (Mia) Violi and her companion Zachary Taylor, and Dominick (D II) and his wife, Patty. He adored several nephews, nieces, and extended family. To Dominick, his family was everything. Whether near or far, he held them close to his heart, and he always made it a point to tell them how much they meant to him.
Services will be held this summer at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 US-11, Potsdam, NY 13676.
Family and friends are encouraged to share condolence and memories, and photos, by visiting www.PhillipsMemorial.com