He couldn’t wear a tie for more than 3 minutes, and usually when he left for a wedding or special occasion, his tie was loosened enough to look like he worked all night. When you took him into a church, you never wanted to sit next to him, because he got restless, spread his legs out and shifted his eyes to the movements of the parishioners, being a few seconds behind every one else. He was Tony.
But God forbid, you needed help, anything, he was there. Many a time he would recruit me and off we’d go to do some chore for an older person or a widow who couldn’t afford to get something done, Tony did it out of the goodness of his heart.
Pay Tony with a cup of coffee and he was paid, no money needed, and he already had his satisfaction of doing something for someone.
A family man? There was no greater family man than Dad, gathering up his kids and family and anyone who needed a family holiday, and on Christmas Eve, his favorite holiday, he was in Heaven, and surrounded by all that meant the most to him. There was not one grandchild that didn’t love Grandpa, and he loved tham all the same, especially his first-born grandchild. Every month for a year we had to have a cake and sing Happy Birthday to her.
Tony was well organized, he ran a shipping department with his innovations that got his company shipping out on schedule, organized the stock room and supervised a crew of both full and part time workers. They all loved him, and he loved them back. But that was to say: Today is Sunday, so today is Sunday. Just a simple man, not too complicated, he loved life too much to bother with drama.
He lived and died for his Mets, always a rooter of the underdogs, no matter how much of a dog the underdog was. He loved his sister Angie, and she loved him too, calling when she was living in Florida and he was on his death-bed, they talked and I knew then he could now let go.
His mother died just six months after, attended his funeral and his wife died 22 years later one day to the exact date. Mom passed on June 11, and Dad on June 12.
But Tony was also a teacher. I was his only student and usually the most important lesson was to be happy, work harder than anyone else and be charitable. That was Tony, and that is his legacy.
Peace Dad. I hope that where you are there is no pain, no sorrow and joyous sunlight to warm your loving heart and compliment your disposition, because although you are gone for many years now, that it all still lives on.
Love: your only son.