Columbus, OH — Thomas Zanetos, who with his father Anthony founded the Anthony-Thomas Candy Co., died on October 24 at age 93.
He is survived by his sisters Beulah and Frankie; sons Anthony, Joe, Greg and Tim; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His wife of 68 years, Agnes, died in 2010.
Zanetos learned to make chocolates at his father’s co-op dairy as a child, venturing out on his own as a meat salesman during his teens. He attended The Ohio State University to study animal husbandry.
After serving in the army in World War II, Zanetos and his father opened Anthony’s Confectionery, then the Crystal Fountain lunch counter, which sold their candy. The success of the candy business led to formation of Anthony-Thomas Candy Co. in 1952, which expanded to a 152,000 square-foot factory with a contract manufacturing division and 13 retail locations: one of the largest family-owned and -operated candy companies in the Midwest, according to the company.
Zanetos was a board member of Retail Confectioners International. He was named Small Businessman of the Year for the State of Ohio, and he and his late wife received the Christopher Columbus Educational Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for their longtime support of scholarships. He was a founder of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Columbus, the Franklinton Commission, the Franklinton Board of Trade, the Columbus Countywide Development Corp. and Kiwanis.