Obituary: LEO ANTHONY “TONY” GIACOMETTO
May 14, 1962 – August 8, 2022
Leo Anthony “Tony” Giacometto passed away in the Kingdom of Bahrain on August 8th, 2022 – a fitting location for this sheepherder from Alzada turned international entrepreneur.
Leo was born in Belle Fourche, South Dakota on May 14th, 1962 to Leo Eugene Giacometto and Sondra Floyd. He was raised on the six-generation family ranch outside of Alzada, Montana where he developed a strong work ethic and a deep appreciation for family, land and livestock, eventually purchasing the ranch and extending the Giacometto legacy in Southeastern Montana to the seventh-generation.
Leo began his life of military service at the age of 17 when he enlisted in the United States Army. His first deployment took him to Panama as a military police officer. It was in Panama that he met his first wife, Mildred “Chomba” Echeverria. As with everything in his life, Leo’s military career was characterized by hard work and an adventurous spirit. He was a graduate of the United States Army Military Police Academy, Airborne School, Jungle Warfare School, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College – to name a few – and an honor graduate of the Montana Military Academy. He served his country honorably for 23 years, spending the last eight years as a U.S. Army Reservist assigned to the US State Department’s Counterterrorism Taskforce, a post which would see him deployed around the world, and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.
After Leo’s initial enlistment in the U.S. Army was complete, he purchased the family ranch and became a full-time rancher. While on the ranch, he served as the Carter County Magistrate which was his first foray into politics. From then, Leo’s passion for the ranch and people further expanded his political interest and began a career that took him from Carter County, to the legislative chambers of the Montana State Capitol, and eventually the halls of the U.S. Capitol.
After serving as the Carter County Magistrate, he was twice elected and served two terms as Montana State Representative (1987-1990). In 1990, he was nominated by President George H. W. Bush and confirmed by the US Senate to serve as the U.S. Marshal for District of Montana, one of the youngest U.S. Marshals in the history of the Marshal Service. Leo went on to hold Cabinet level positions for two Montana Governors serving as the Director of Agriculture for Gov. Marc Racicot and as a member of the Northwest Power Planning Council for Gov. Judy Martz. In 1995, Leo relocated to Washington, D.C. to serve as Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Conrad Burns of Montana, a man he deeply respected and admired.
Following his career in politics, Leo took all he had learned from his military and public service and applied it to assist both domestic and international companies navigate the political and bureaucratic red tape that is Washington, DC. Serving as an advisor for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to tech startups, Leo never saw a challenge that he did not believe could be overcome. He was known for his creative approach to problem solving. As he expanded his consulting business, Leo began to focus on international business development, a decision that would again take him to the far reaches of the globe. From Africa to the Middle East and Eurasia to Mongolia and Bahrain and Azerbaijan, Leo found himself involved in everything from telecommunications and oil and gas exploration to aviation and block-chain management. He traveled to over 100 countries in his life. He was as comfortable in any foreign country as he was at home on the ranch in Alzada. He made friends all along the way of his journeys and was always the life of the party.
After a 10-year courtship, he married Aurelia Skipwith in New Orleans on September 25th, 2021. The final chapter, and all too short, between them really began when they first met in 2003. Sharing Leo’s zest for life and adventure, Aurelia brought out the best in Leo, and Leo in turn brought out the best in Aurelia.
Leo was truly larger than life. He worked hard, played hard, and loved deeply. He will be missed by everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him.
Leo is survived by his wife, Aurelia Skipwith Giacometto; two children, Leo Cassidy Giacometto and Tasha Giacometto; his parents, Leo Eugene Giacometto and Sondra Courtney; his sister, Sabrina Schroeder; his two brothers, Joseph Floyd Giacometto and John Giacometto; his two grandchildren who he adored, Caitlin and Vincenzo, and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 10 am till the time of services Saturday at the Belle Fourche Rec Center Auditorium.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 27 at 11:00 am at the Belle Fourche Rec Center Auditorium. Following there will be fellowship at the Branding Iron Steakhouse and Social Club.
Interment will take place Sunday, August 28 at the Giacometto Ranch near Alzada, MT. Those that want to attend the burial will meet at Kline Funeral Chapel at 12:00 pm, Sunday.
The Funeral will be published for viewing at klinefuneralchapel.com live streaming site following the funeral.
An online guest book and video tribute is available at klinefuneralchapel.com