Don Vizzini was born on November 23, 1946 and died on February 27, 2023 after a long struggle with supra nuclear palsy. Don liked to say that he was an "Italian boy who grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in the Bronx." He was a complex character to say the least. He was also one of themost dedicated and loyal friends that one could have.
Don was a Vietnam Veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart for his service. He served 2 Tours of Duty in the Eleventh Armored Calvary as a Corporal E5. His commanding officer was Colonel Patton, son of General George Patton.
After returning from Vietnam, Don moved to Puerto Rico and later to Moab. Don could do most anything that he set his mind to. Don trained dogs and worked for veterinarians on the East Coast. He learned to train mules and he camped out with them for 100 days at a time. He built a beautiful wagon and most of his mule tack and paniers. He was an excellent marksman, which for him was almost a type of meditation. Don ran heavy equipment involved in building the Lasal Loop Road. He bought and sold property. He opened a coffee shop in Fruita. He worked as a security guard for a number of films produced in Moab, including Thelma and Louise. Don made a mean marinara sauce and delighted in teaching others. Don was extremely proud of the training that he provided for multiple Police Corps Academy Classes with Commander Steve Rapich and the UHP trooper training with Sergeant Darrel Meacham.
In years back, Don’s jeep was famous in Moab, as it looked like it had crawled out of a rock. Don left Moab when it became too crowded for his lifestyle, but maintained friendships with many who still live here. He will be deeply missed by those who were privileged to be in his inner circle. It always seems odd to post a decades old photo in an obituary, but the posted photo epitomizes who he was.
Special thanks to Dawn Johns, Steve Rapich and Assisteo Hospice of Prescott, AZ for helping Don.
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