Antonio Adelfio, travel agency owner

March 28, 2013

Antonio Adelfio, 83, who founded Bethesda Travel Center, a business that specialized in travel to his native Italy, died Feb. 27 at the Brighton Gardens assisted-living center in Chevy Chase.

The cause was Parkinson’s disease, his son Marco Adelfio said.

Mr. Adelfio, known as Tony, was a pilot in the Italian air force, an aviation lawyer and a sales manager with Air France in Washington before starting Bethesda Travel Center in 1961.

The company soon began a long advertising partnership with WMAL (630 AM) radio’s popular morning team of “Harden and Weaver,” which brought Mr. Adelfio name recognition. Bethesda Travel Center created travel packages that featured appearances by the radio hosts. Mr. Adelfio’s son Guido took over the business during the past decade.

Antonio Adelfio was born in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. In 1957, he received a degree in aviation law from McGill University in Montreal and then briefly worked at the firm of Covington and Burling in Washington.

He was a Chevy Chase resident, and his memberships included the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club and the Chevy Chase Club.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Margaret Farquhar Adelfio of Chevy Chase; four children, Guido Adelfio of Rockville, Marco Adelfio and Giulia Adelfio, both of Chevy Chase, and Luisa Adelfio Neil of Easton, Md.; and 10 grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein