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Anthony Stratta

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Anthony John Stratta


Anthony John Stratta, 82, of Santa Maria, originally of San Francisco, California, passed away on Good Friday, March 29, 2013.

Tony was born on May 24, 1930 in San Francisco, CA to Laura Nadine (Vezzani) and Dominic Anthony Stratta. He was a graduate of Daniel Webster Elementary School, Lowell High School Class of '47, and attended CCSF and USF.

Tony is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Mary of Southbridge, Massachusetts, and three children that adored him, Valerie Stratta Trenev, of Santa Maria, David Anthony Stratta and James Dominic Stratta both of San Francisco; loving grandchildren, Anthony Ryan and Laura Marie Trenev; sister, Beatrice Cull and uncle Arnold Vezzani; nieces, Adrianne Trinei, Susan and Ellie Mitchell, nephew Steve Mitchell.

Tony was preceded in death by his parents, Dominic and Laura Stratta; aunts Amelia Rossi, Helen Signorio (age 107; Tony said she was only 105); and cousin Richard Rossi.

Tony was a veteran - serving four years in the U.S. Navy, 1950 to 1954. He served in submarine repair and on theUSS Nereus.

Our wonderful Tony was a joy to us. He was very knowledgeable about sports statistics and significant dates. He remembered birthdays and loved to reminisce about the old time tennis players and runners. Numerous facts and figures were on the tip of his tongue. He was a very avid athlete, competitive in long distance running and tennis for the better part of 60 years. He played tennis at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, for three decades, and counted among his good friends, Rosie Casals, a world class tennis champion. He was very involved in the Bay Area Tennis League and brought his team to victory countless times. His collection of trophies, medals and T-shirts is overflowing.

His running career included 59 Dipsea Races, 174 marathons (over 50 of those 50 milers, and the S.F. Marathon 18 times) and he first ran the Cross City Race, later to become the Bay to Breakers at the age of 16 in 1946. He entered the Western States 100 miler three times with his best finish 86 miles. He ran around Lake Tahoe twice in the Pepsi 72 miler. He ran the Bay to Breakers over 60 times and was a member of the San Francisco DSE Running Club, Pamakids Running Club and the Northern California Veteran Boxers Association. He was instrumental in having the field at Jackson Park in the Potrero district of S.F. named for Tony Lazzeri, an Italian American baseball legend. He also worked tirelessly to have another S.F. baseball legend Lefty O'Doul, honored in Cooperstown. He loved to run around Lake Merced in San Francisco, in his later years, with our neighbor's dog, Gable. His last five years were spent in Santa Maria, living with his daughter, Valerie. He enjoyed countless outings and was always volunteering to "go for a ride". He was a loving husband, a devoted father, a caring grandfather and always, always optimistic and pleasant. We'd like to thank Dr. William Oklerblom and staff for their care and support. Also, thank you to the staff of Central Coast Medical Oncology. We had five extra years with Tony thanks to Dr. Brian DiCarlo, back in 2008.

Of all the races, he loved the Dipsea Race held in Marin County, the most. This race is 7.5 miles long and is considered the toughest cross country race in the nation and the oldest. Back in the day it had 671 steps (now there are 676). Tony and his father won the father-son cup five times back in the late 40's and early 50's. They say "Old runners never die, they just reach the 672nd step{!W2QUOT Daughter Valerie, son James, grandchildren Laura and Anthony Ryan will run the Dipsea on June 9th of this year. We love you dad. You will always be with us.

Services will begin in Santa Maria on Wednesday, with Visitation from 5:00-7:00 P.M. and Recitation of the Holy Rosary from 7:00-7:30 P.M. at St. Louis DeMontfort Church. uneral Mass will be held Thursday at 11:00 A.M. in the same location. From there, Tony will be brought home to San Francisco and interred at the Italian Cemetery in Colma on Friday April 5th at 11:00 A.M. This ceremony will be private. There will be a Celebration of Tony's Life in San Francisco, June 8th, 2013 at the Elks Club of South San Francisco (920 Stonegate Drive) from 12:00-4:00 P.M. Contributions can be made to the HeathWell Foundation 9801 Washington Blvd., 9th fl., Gaithersburg, MD, 20878 or The Dipsea Kidz, c/o Dipsea Foundation, P.O. Box 10, Mill Valley, CA 94942.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Apr. 3, 2013
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