Photography

       


Victor J. Taranto

February 16, 2019

Victor J Taranto passed away on February 16th, 2019 at the UVM Medical Center, he was 91 years old. 

A Resident of the McKenzie House, Victor was predeceased by his parents Louise {Conello} and Nicholas Taranto.

 

Victor had three sisters Mary and Lucille deceased and Sister Roxanne Zarebski who resides in New Hampshire with her husband Edward. Victor also had four brothers, Angelo, Rocco, John and Nicholas also deceased.

 

 

Victor is also pre-deceased by his life time best friend and partner Arthur Nelson.

Victor had several nieces and nephews who are all deceased except for Nephew John Ferrara and wife Jeanne who currently reside in Florida. Victor also had his “Adopted Niece” and longtime good friend Bobbi O’Connor of South Burlington, Vt.

 

In 1947 at the young age of 20 Victor enlisted in the Army and traveled to Europe on the General’s ship where he was stationed in France. While in Europe, Victor met and fell in love with Anea Simone, third in line to the French throne. Unfortunately the marriage was not meant to be as she wouldn’t relocate to the United States.  

 

After surviving the war and writing many articles for the U.S. and the French underground Victor returned to the United States in 1950.  Because of his anti-communist writing, Victor was banned from all Communist Countries for more than 30 years and was one of the many subjects of the McCarthy hearings of which he was exonerated.

 

Victor was very proficient in his writings covering numerous topics including food, wine and not to mention travel. His writing afforded him the opportunity to meet many famous people, one of them being famed artist Salvador Dali who at his request summoned Victor to his Manhattan penthouse for drinks and an exclusive article.

 

Victor graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Journalism. In 1953 he secured a position with the State Department in Washington, DC as an information assistant. At this time Victor met Esther Barrier; fiancée #2. Sadly this relationship was just not meant to be.

 

Nearly all women he met would become smitten with Victor and his playboy demeanor along with his good looks, wit and charms. Yoshi, a beautiful Japanese woman would be no different. She soon became fiancée #3 and had it not been for her parent’s strict cultural beliefs, Victor may have actually made it down the aisle.  

 

After the separation and with him focused on his career, Victor later went on to work for a United Nations company, Waye Inc. A position secured as he told it, “Over a bottle of Glenlivet Scotch.” His career lasted 2 years until the company was sold. Using his experience with all of his Travel writing, Victor decided to take a job in the Travel industry. He was offered the job of VP for Holiday Travel. Little did he know at the time, this change would open the door to the life and career he was born to have.

 

Victor had built such a loyal clientele of travelers, that when they urged him to open his own Agency, they all came with him and that was the birth of 100 Monument Travel of Baltimore Maryland.

 

Baltimore is not only where he called home for most of his life, but also where he would meet his best friend and partner Arthur. Arti as he was known to many would eventually help Victor with the business. Victor’s exclusive clientele included a list of high net worth individuals, Top Executives and not to mention his very good friend, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. 

 

Victor became a Global Jetsetter and not only was on the initial flight of the concord from Washington DC to London England, he actually became a frequent flyer. He was also a regular with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and had over 400 crossings on Holland American Cruise Lines.

 

 

 

 

 

It didn’t take long before he was well known in countries all around the world. He attended cocktail parties and dinners with the rich and famous including Royalty as well as world leaders.

 

Victor and his tours were always sought after not only because of whom he knew, but what he knew. Whether on a cruise, or at a restaurant, it was his charisma and charm that had both women and men vying for his attention or a coveted space next to him at dinner.

 

Victor’s ability to make good friends and a lasting impression wherever he went was a gift.  That gift is most likely why he was given a key to Room 209 of the Richeleau Hotel in New Orleans, (Always referred to as Victor’s room) and a key to the city of Miami, a key that was presented to him by the Mayor himself.

  

Because of his extensive travels and the connections he made, Victor was also presented with a membership to the IBF club (International Bar Fly’s). The IBF, was a global society with locations in countries around the world and headquartered in Paris. A very exclusive club, the IBF was one of the hardest clubs to become a member of. Individual membership was through recommendation and sponsorship only. Victor was not only a member, but was personally sponsored by the founder himself, Harry McIlhone. 

 

 

In 2005 with his health declining and the loss of his business partner and best friend Arthur, Victor moved to VT to be near some of his family. Victor became a fixture in downtown Burlington and could be seen daily walking Church Street or in City Market before heading to Simon’s to buy his tickets!! Grandpa as the counter staff used to call him loved to gamble. He was always convinced he was one ticket away from the big winner.  

 

Victor was a lover of many things. The beach being one, he often referred to himself as a beach boy and his favorite place to go to the beach was the French Riviera. Although he was very fond of Puerto Rico and the beaches of Greece, he didn’t feel the champagne was as good.

 

As a lover of animals, Victor had rescued and cared for many of them over the years. His favorite was a Great Dane who actually was a champion show dog.

 

Victor was a loyal friend and confidante to all. He was full of wisdom, history and was a brilliant storyteller and he never lacked an audience. Victor was a very kind person and was fortunate to live the life he did, a life some people could only dream of.

 

Even in his final days Victor was able to bring a smile and make a positive impact on those who helped care for him. He appreciated all his friends he made at the McKenzie house over the years, and all his family members in VT who looked after him, and took care of him during the last chapter of his life.

 

Victor will forever be missed by many; but certainly never forgotten.

 

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