Remembering Tony Giunta

Flags are flying at half-staff in Westport in honor of Tony Giunta.

The Westport native, Staples High School graduate, longtime Police Department officer and detective, civic volunteer and all-around great guy, died Saturday. He was 77. His family says:

Anthony P. Giunta, Jr., son of Anthony P. Giunta Sr. and Maria Rose Giunta, was born March 2, 1945.

Tony was a life-long resident of Westport. He graduated from Staples High School in 1964. He graduated from New England College in 1969, with a BA in English. In 1975 he earned a masters of science degree in law enforcement from the University of New Haven.

Tony lived a life dedicated to his family and to the service of others.  Tony loved God, his family and his country.

In the US Army, he reached the rank of E-5. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion.

Tony Giunta

Tony joined the Westport Police Department as a patrolman in 1971. and retired as a sergeant in 2006. He served as Policemen’s Benevolent Association president for 2 years, and community outreach program chair for 8 years.

In 1982 he joined the Kiwanis Club of Westport, and became president 2 years later. Tony started the Staples High School Kiwanis Key Club in 1985, and served as its advisor through 2021.

Tony joined Boy Scouts of America in 1989 as an adult leader in Troop 39. His many leadership roles included scoutmaster and Eagle Scout coordinator. He received numerous awards, including Silver Beaver Award from the Connecticut Yankee Council and, through Masonic Scouters, the Daniel Carter Beard Award.

Tony served on committees of the American Red Cross and the Westport Weston Family YMCA.

In 1996 he was selected as an Olympic torch relay runner in Westport, recognition of being a Westport Community Hero.

He was a member of Temple Lodge #65 in Westport, and became Worshipful Master in 2014.

As a kidney transplant recipient in 2011, Tony understood the gift of life. He became a supporter of Donate Life, which encourages organ donation. He cared deeply about the program.

Besides his wife Frances, to whom he was married for 49 years, Tony is survived by his daughter Kirsten (Devin Middleditch), her husband, Devon Middleditch, son David and his partner Elizabeth; granddaughter Maria; sister Carol (Michael) Axley of California, and many other relatives.

Calling hours are Friday, July 22 (4 to 8 p.m., Harding Funeral Home). A funeral mass is set for Saturday, July 23 (10 a.m., St. Luke Church). Interment will follow at Willowbrook Cemetery.  Click here to leave condolences for the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the National Kidney Foundation, American Heart Association or Donate Life America.

10 responses to “Remembering Tony Giunta

  1. I grew up with Tony’s kids. A wonderful family, and a wonderful guy. He will be missed.

  2. Chip Stephens SHS 73

    Tony was a great policeman, a community leader, loving family man and a great human being. Our days and the crazy world situations we encounter would not be if there were more politicians, leaders and just normal folks that emulated Tonys efforts and love for all.

  3. Gloria Gouveia

    It was an honor to know Tony Giunta and to count him as my friend. He was a man who never committed to anything with less than 100% of his best and finest effort.

    He was at once intelligent, kind, and ever devoted to his duty, obligations, community, faith, friends and most of all to his family. His services to others through a lengthy list of beneficiaries —the US Army, the Westport Police Department, the Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis, the Masons, the Red Cross, Staples High School, the YMCA, the Olympics, Donate Life and more and the accolades he earned never detracted from his modesty.

    It was more than Tony’s accomplishments that made him larger than life despite his humility. His broad shoulders, ear-to-ear smile and handlebar mustache which like his thick mane of hair turned from black to silver to snow white through the years and his aura of goodness and strength made him as easily recognized as he was universally loved and respected.

    His loss leaves a hole in the world and a hole in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing and loving him.

    Rest in peace my very dear Friend, and may Angels guide you to your well-deserved repose in Heaven.

    Profound sympathy to your family and the legions of the people whose lives were enriched by your presence. May we find comfort in the belief that you watch over us still.

  4. Jay Walshon

    Tony’s passing has left a tear in the fabric of Westport’s community. As stated above by others, he was a wonderful and meaningful human being. Tony and the perpetual smile beneath that iconic mustache will be forever missed by those fortunate to have known him.

    Dr J

  5. It’s funny how things work out. As a teenager in the early 70’s I did all I could to avoid “Officer Giunta”. A few years later I was working with Off. Giunta and several years after that we shared an office in the Detective Bureau of the WPD.

    In the early 80’s Tony and I were fishing in the “WICC Bluefish Tournament”. We had been out all night snd shortly after daybreak a lone fisherman about 100 yards away from us had fish hit both of his poles that he had out. One pole was taken right over the side by the fish. About 30 minutes later Tony hooked up. When we got his fish on board we saw that it had a hook still in its jaw and there was still line attached to it. we gathered everything in and sure enough the guy’s pole was still attached. He was a very happy cat when returned his entire rig to him.

    One of Tony’s specialties in the DB was “gypsy activities”. Yes it was/is a thing and Tony became our resident Gypsy specialist. For several years he was known as “Norco, King of the Gypsies”. You had to have really really thick skin to work with the dozen or so guys in the DB.

    Thanks for being there Tony and keeping an eye on me. May you rest in peace.

  6. K. F. Spearen

    Sad news indeed .. I’ve known Tony sense my early teens .. He was just one of those Rare Good Guys , who alway took time to go out of his way to say Hi , and ask how things are going etc .. The last time I was his was about 3 years ago , and he looked great .. The town of Westport lost a Wonderful caring Man .. Rest Easy Old Friend ..

  7. Morgan Patrick

    Tony Giunta was a wonderful advisor for the Staples Key Club. He inspired many of us to volunteer. Rest In Peace Tony.

  8. So very sorry to hear of Tony’s passing. Tony was true to Westport because he cared so much about his home town and the people of Westport. Tony stood for all the good in Westport. Joining him on the Westport Police Dept in the the late 70’s was an honor. He was a mentor, a leader, a friend, a colleague in Blue!! I send my thoughts, prayers and my deepest sympathies to the Giunta Family and to everyone that had the pleasure to know Tony and to know what he meant to Westport.
    God Bless my friend!!

  9. John Gerstle

    I don’t know how to put into words a lifetime of friendship except to say the world has lost a beacon of light and I a good friend. Thank you for being in our lives.

  10. Brad Muscott

    I went to Staples with Tony in the ’60s. Didn’t know him very well then, but got to know him a little better later in life when I repaired an old clock for him.

    Sometimes you get the sense of a man very quickly when you meet him. Such was the case with Tony.

    My father used to say that the highest compliment you could give a man is that he is a gentleman. Tony Giunta was a gentleman and a good man. His legacy will be timeless.