Anthony "Tony" C. Ippolito
January 29, 1921 – April 7, 2018
Anthony ‘’Tony” Ippolito passed away on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at Alaris Health in Cedar Grove at the age of 97.
The visitation will be held at the LaMonica Memorial Home 145 E. Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Livingston on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 3-7 pm. The family will gather at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Belleville on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 am. Cremation will be private.
He was born in Belleville in 1921 to Lena Passannanti Ippolito and Gaetano (Daniel) Ippolito. The oldest of six, Tony began working at age 8 to help support his siblings. He attended Belleville School #4, and Belleville High School for two years before graduating from Newark Vocational Technical School.
After graduation he joined the The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a work relief program where millions of young men found employment on environmental projects during the Great Depression. Tony was assigned to work in Iowa along with several neighborhood friends, and in addition to cutting trees to cull for fires, he volunteered to cook for the others and learned to man a large kitchen - a decision that would change his future.
Upon returning to NJ from the CCC, Tony found work at a local engineering company. Taking several courses in electrical work gained him a new position with GE, where he worked until the United States was drawn into World War II.
Tony’s gift of gab and his “reminding” the sergeant on his transport train from Fort Dix in NJ to Fort Rucker, Alabama about his CCC-acquired cooking skills earned him the coveted position of company cook, one he was well remembered for long after the war.
Tony proudly served the United States as a member of the 297th Combat Engineer Battalion through V J day in 1944.
The 297th Engineers, “the men in front of the men behind the gun,” landed on D-Day as part of Operation Overlord, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, the Rhineland, the Ardennes, and took part in the liberation of Nordhausen concentration camp.
Tony remained close to his 297th Engineer family for the remainder of his life and was very happy his daughter and the children and grandchildren of his comrades in arms not only consider each other family, but help keep the memories of their D-Day reunions alive. He was particularly honored when his daughter, Mari, was elected to chair and host the 2009 reunion in NJ.
After his discharge, Tony resumed his career in electronics and opened one of several businesses he owned throughout his life, Telefix TV Repair. He went on to be the baker and pastry chef at Francis Cake Specialties, chef at Parillo’s, owner of SanGwich City and lyricist on several songs co-written with Jack Carroll (Vincent “Jidge” Riccio), his brother-in-law and lifelong friend. All while simultaneously owning Plaza Laundromat.
Tony married Mary Riccio, administrative assistant to a colonel for the US War Department’s ODB, and chief admin to the engineers at Passaic Valley Sewage Department in 1950.
He embarked on what he called his “best job ever” in 1963 with the birth of his daughter, who he often referred to as “my heart.” An amazingly supportive dad, Tony encouraged his only child to “take a shot” at whatever she’d set her mind to and long before it was the norm, insisted, “don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something because you’re a girl.”
Tony worked into his 86th year, taking a mere 6 weeks off to recover from heart valve replacement when he was 84. He happily returned to his retirement jobs as a maintenance supervisor for Dowel Associates, and doing general maintenance for Tappins/Frederic Goodman Jewelers where he was quick to say he was always treated like family.
He enjoyed golf in his semi retired years and watching the YES network tuning into the Weather Channel like it was a prime time show. He and Mary took many trips to Atlantic City starting in the early days of their 67 year marriage until their late 80s.
Tony is survived by Mary, his wife of 67 years, his daughter, Mari Ippolito, granddog MacKenzie, sisters Livia (Ippolito) Pettinato and her husband, Frank, and Mella (Ippolito) Squitieri and his brother-in-law Michael Romaniello.
Nieces Donna (Squitieri) Gialanella and her husband Tommy, Toni Pettinato and her husband Chris Wodopuja, Jennifer (Pettinato) Carsillo and her husband Michael, Daniel Ippolito and his wife Doretta, Patricia (Ippolito) Vocaturo and her husband Nat, Michael Romaniello and his wife Judy, and Debbie Romaniello Krieg and her husband Allen, Patricia (Riccio) Sprague, Nicholas Guardabascio, Maryann Guardabascio, and Saundra Applegate and her husband Jack.
Great nieces and nephews, Jacqulyn, Michael, Marissa and Jessica Carsillo, Ian Wodopuja, Nicolette (Romaniello) Lupinacci and her husband Anthony, Daniel Ippolito, Jenna Ippolito, Daniel ‘DJ’ Romaniello, Michael Romaniello and his wife Jennifer, Patricia (Vocaturo) Loeslien and her husband Pete and Dominick Vocaturo and his wife Cindi Robinson, Richard Sprague and his wife Cathy, Melissa Sprague Bell and her husband Larry, Lisa Kirk Flanagan and her husband Leo and Richard Kirk and his wife Lisa.
Great-grandnieces and nephews: Adrian and Christian Lupinacci and Khloe and Alex Loeslien, Xander and Dimitri Romaniello, Noah and Ian Bell and Mary Jane Levann.
Tony’s “honorary grandchildren” include: Julie Parr Brady and her husband Darryl, Athena Kyriazis, Arzu Gedik, Diane Bifano, Analia Alonso and her husband John Martin, Melissa Arroyo Hernandez and her husband Derek and Becci Marin and her husband Chris. “Great-grands” include: Sean and Ryan Brady, Lucas Marin and Evan Mangan.
His surrogate daughters are Kelly Stagen and her husband John and Glenola Graf.
Tony was predeceased by his parents, Lena and Daniel Ippolito, sister, Katie (Ippolito) Romaniello, brothers Patsy and Joseph and nephews Daniel Romaniello, Anthony Riccio and Louis Guardabascio.
In lieu of flowers kindly consider a donation to help the family with outstanding medical expenses.
- Visitation Tuesday, April 10, 2018
- Funeral Mass Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Anthony "Tony" C. Ippolito
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April 10, 2018
I have too many memories of Tony to even begin mentioning here....
I am so sad to see him go...but he's in a WAY better place now, with all his friends and family.
Tony will always hold a special place in my heart...
Much love to his beautiful and loving daughter who was always there for him and everyone else she loves, and his lovely wife who is the sweetest person on earth.
Your Free Tony...:)
April 9, 2018
So sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. It was wonderful being a part of the 297th family with all of you! I know my girls are sad that another one of their 297th "grandpas" has passed. We are praying for comfort and peace for you, your mom and family during this difficult time.
Much love to you all, Steven, Julianna, Rachel & Katie Hodulick.