Ignatius J. “Nat” Zito, 82, a longtime resident of Auburn, passed away Monday, August 30th, 2021, with loved ones gathered at his side after a period of declining health.

Born and raised in Passaic, New Jersey, Nat was a son of Joseph P. and Phyllis (Cuccia) Zito. Always an accomplished chef, Nat held many cooking positions until moving to Auburn in 1985, when he accepted a position as a chef with the Worcester State Hospital where he worked many years before retiring.

Nat is survived by his wife Donna C. (Miller) Zito; his devoted three children, Tammy Gardell with whom they lived, Vincent Zito and his wife Karen of Boxboro, Matthew Zito, and his wife Michelle of Clearwater Florida; three grandchildren, Zachary , Gina and Darryl Zito, Jr.; eight great grandchildren; A sister, Angela Zito of San Diego; nieces, nephews, and extended family members. In addition to his parents, a son Darryl Zito Sr. and brother, Steven Zito, all predeceased him.

Over the years Nat and his family had many pets, both dogs and cats, and Nat loved them all dearly as they were also his children. He loved to cook at home, even after a long day doing the same at work, puzzles, and traveling on cruises with Donna. Nat had an exceptional athletic ability in baseball. He played semi professional ball in Garfield, NJ for the New Jersey ‘Baningos” and was an avid New York Yankees fan. He was a member of the New Jersey Moose Lodge.

A period of calling hours will be held Friday, September 10, 2021, from 9:30 am to 11 am in the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation Street follow by his funeral service at 11:00 am. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances in his name can be made to the Second Chance Animal Shelter, 111 Young Rd, East Brookfield, MA.