Belmonte “Monte” Zavatta passed away on January 23, 2022, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born on April 13, 1951 in Rochester, Indiana. He joins his soul mate of 46 years, Nancy, who passed away in 2018. He lived in Apache Junction on their beloved 2-acre ranch where they raised their 4 daughters and lived in the house he built.
Monte was son of immigrant parents that came to the United States with the circus in the 1930s. He was born into the unique circus life, and by the age of 10 he could balance on a suspended ladder and perform acrobatics. He also trained dogs and chimpanzees, which later landed him a job at the Phoenix Zoo. But Monte’s real love was making Southwestern art, and in 1989 he decided to become a full-time blacksmith with a focus on hand-forged knives. For over 25 years, he traveled the Southwest with his wife and 4 daughters selling their handmade art.
Monte is survived by his four daughters: Athena (Anthony) Peterson, Sasha (Tanner) Aliberti, Anya (Grey) Alford, Sancia (Jacob) Pflugfelder and his two adored grandsons Taten Peterson and Silver Alford. Monte is also survived by his younger brother, Gino Zavatta, and sister-in-law Cindy Zavatta.