Victor "Vic" Zodda passed away on Sunday, January 31, 2021 and is now reunited with his parents, Elvira Russo and Joseph Zodda; and siblings, Marcella Z. Gesner, Lucille Z. Meyn, Joseph Zodda, Dr. Francis Zodda, Rudy Zodda and Elvira Z. Chiccarelli.
Vic was the proud son of Italian immigrants and a member of the Greatest Generation. He was raised to love God, country and family. After graduating from Spring Valley NY High School, he traveled south to attend Elon College on a baseball scholarship. His studies were interrupted by WWII. Vic enlisted in the Marines but soon transferred to the Navy and attended Naval Officers Training at Northwestern University where he was commissioned an Ensign.
After serving in the Pacific, Vic was honorably discharged and immediately went to the office of the Brooklyn Dodgers where he was assigned to join a Dodger minor league team for spring training.
Since advancement to the Majors was not to be, Vic accepted the Dodgers offer to be a general manager for one of the Dodger minor league teams. He was given the opportunity to complete his college education at Franklin and Marshall first and upon completion of his schooling Vic was assigned to Valdosta, GA to begin his GM duties for the Dodgers. In January 1950 he was transferred to the Dodger minor league team located in Newport News, VA acting as President and GM for the team. A position he held until 1953 when he decided to become a restauranteur. Vic's successful tenure in the restaurant business lasted for many years and in 1965 he was named Outstanding Restaurateur in the State of Virginia.
Vic's association with the restaurant at the Holiday Inn in Hampton opened the door for a new venture and in 1975-Vic established Victor Management Company, a hotel management company. By 1985 VMC was managing over 34 hotels. The company was listed as the 15th largest management company in the United States.
During his professional career Vic was involved in serving his community as a Board Member for Mary Immaculate Hospital, Virginia Restaurant Association, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Peninsula Economic Development Council, First Peninsula Bank and Dominion Bank. He was an active member of CIAO (Colonial Italian American Organization), and was a founding member of Peninsula Sales and Marketing Club and President of Peninsula Sports Club. Of all his accomplishments, Vic was most humbled to receive the Citizen Award from The National Conference of Christians and Jews.
Vic is survived by his wife, Mary Naylor Zodda; his children Cynthia Zodda, Victoria Z. Laine (Allen), Robert Zodda, Therese M. Zodda and Steven Naylor (Lin); grandchildren, Jennifer R. Frank(Jason), Ryan Zodda, Courtney Zodda, Madeline G. Klajnbart (Jared), Galen G. Stewart (Taylor), Andrew P. Naylor (Renee) and Daniel Naylor; great grandchildren, Sydney and Carson Frank, Champ and Brady Crummett, Nolan and Mason Klajnbart, Hudson P. Naylor and Sybil June Stewart.
The family wishes to thank the staff and residents of Windsor Meade, his Hospice angel, Christy, and most importantly, Father Joe, pastor at St. Bede Catholic Church who gave Vic the Last Rites of his Catholic faith and who whispered "It's ok to go Vic." Vic drew his last breath peacefully.
A private internment was held on February 6, 2021 and the family hopes to do a Mass and celebration of Vic's life when it's safe.
Donations may be made to Food Bank of the Peninsula, 2401 Aluminum Ave, Hampton, VA 23661 or to the House of Mercy of St. Bede Catholic Church at www.bedeva.org/donate
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