Murdered Luchese Associate Was Beloved Father And Grandfather

Sylvester (Sally Daz) Zottola, 71, was fatally shot five times while waiting on a cup of coffee at a McDonald’s drive thru in the Bronx on Thursday, October 4.

Sally Daz, photo from his daughter (source)

He was allegedly killed for a Joker Poker business. Five men have been nabbed to date for the murder, though the Albanian gangsters who are reputedly the true driving force behind the shooting have yet to be identified.

The alleged Luchese associate was laid to rest at St. Theresa Catholic Church in  the week after the shooting. Reportedly nearly 300 people attended his funeral.

A police source told the Daily News that Zottola was “a real old-fashioned mobster” reputedly  involved in gambling and loansharking.

Zottola's daughter, Debbie Zottola, shortly after her father's funeral, gave a heartfelt interview in which she said that she'd like to see her father remembrered in a "good and proper light."

In an effort to provide a more balanced view of the man, we want to share some of the sentiments she expressed.

“He was a good man, not a goodfella, and he was a wise man, not a wiseguy,” she said.

Sally Daz was known for his spectacular 4th of July block parties, which he threw annually for years in the Bronx. Jukeboxes (from his DAZ Entertainment company) would play the familiar tunes of golden-oldie classics amid the fireworks.

He enjoyed throwing these holiday events for his neighbors. “My father always wanted to give back to the community,” Debbie said. “He loved us and he loved Pelham Bay,” she said.

He was highly revered in the community for how he treated others, she added.

He eventually relocated the party to his Locust Point property, which he and his son built in the tiny waterfront Bronx neighborhood, specifically at the corner of Tierney Place and Longstreet Avenue. (Zottola also constructed homes on Hobart and Gillespie avenues in the 1990s.)

“He was a genuine article of what a true man, father and grandfather should be,” Debbie said. “I am forever grateful for what he taught us. He never once left us alone,” referring to the fact that he was a single dad for a good portion of their adolescent years.

Debbie discussed her father's fondness for her late mother, Maria. “He spoke of her every day since she passed 32 years ago,” she said.

“He found the good in everyone and he always smiled, even when times were difficult he was always smiling,” Debbie said.

Sally Daz 's funeral last October.

He helped support the church throughout his life, she said.

“I am forever grateful for St. Theresa’s parish along with all of the support my family has received from Pelham Bay,” Debbie said.

“He’s at peace now, at home with my mom.”