Anthony "Tony" Lawrence DiGeorge, Sr.

January 2, 1933November 13, 2020

Anthony “Tony” Lawrence DiGeorge was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He passed away quietly on November 13, 2020, after a long battle with lung cancer at the age of 87. He had a deep, abiding love for his family, a strong faith, steadfast dedication to community service, a knack for cooking gumbo, and a love for his square dance community.

Tony married the love of his life JoAnn Raineri in 1955. Everyday, he reminded those around him how much he loved his wife. Together, they raised their two children, Tony, Jr. and Terri. He spent most of his career working in transportation and public works in the city of New Orleans.

His passion was sharing joy through square dance, both as a caller and an instructor. He co-founded the Gold Dust Twirlers Club, which became a hub for dancers in the New Orleans Area. Renowned for his charismatic style, he traveled and performed as a caller at square dance clubs, festivals, and resorts throughout the United States. Despite losing the ability to walk in 2015, he continued calling, thanks to the help of his brother Rocco and his unofficial son Oscar Sill. He called his last dance in June 2019, more than 55 years after he first began. Tony’s faith and dedication to community service were hallmarks of his life. A devoted Catholic, he and JoAnn were faithful parishioners of St. Angela Merici, and Tony prayed daily, particularly in his final months. His dedication to volunteering and giving back to his community were fulfilled by being an active participant with the Dawn Busters Kiwanis Club for many years.

Tony is survived by his beloved wife, JoAnn DiGeorge; son Anthony, Jr., and wife Wendy Jamison; his daughter Terri, and her husband David Shea; his 6 grandchildren Grace DiGeorge, Abigail DiGeorge, Katherine Shea (and her husband Mike Dowling), Ben Shea, Tim Shea (and his wife Erika Weiberg), and Evan Shea; 3 great grandchildren, Frances, William, and John Dowling; and many nieces and nephews. Tony is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Nunzia DiGeorge, and his six siblings, Ignatius, Frank, Frances, Caroline, Jerome, and Rocco.

Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the Visitation on Monday, November 23, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at St. Angela of Merici Church, located at 901 Beverly Garden Drive in Metairie. A Catholic Mass of Burial will follow at noon and will be officiated by Fr. Beau Charbonnet. As mandated by the State of Louisiana and the Archdiocese of New Orleans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that everyone wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

Tony’s family wants to express deep gratitude to the Sisters Servants of St. Mary, Home Instead Senior Care, and Notre Dame Hospice for their care and devotion to him, especially in his final days. They also are grateful for the love and support from Pelican Squares, Tammany Twirlers, and Ozone Squares Square Dance Clubs. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Tony’s name to the Sisters Servants of St. Mary, 5001 Perlita Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70122.

Messages of memories and condolences may be left at

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  • Visitation

    Monday, November 23, 2020

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    Monday, November 23, 2020

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Anthony "Tony" Lawrence DiGeorge, Sr.

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sandra madere

November 28, 2020

We were so sorry we could not attend Tony's memorial service but he will always be in our hearts. We know he is calling in heaven to all our dear friends who have gone before us. Hope they are saving a place in a square for us and that Tony will call that special song he always called when we were in a square with him. He will be greatly missed by his entire family, both biological and square dance. Our hearts go out to JoAnn and Tony Jr and Terri. Sandy and Russ Madere

Anthony DiGeorge

November 28, 2020

Joann, We were so sad to hear about Tony’s passing. Judy and I have wonderful memories of our years square dancing while Tony called, and in more recent years seeing you two at a casino. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you go through this difficult time.
Henry and Judy Quick

Paul Treuting

November 23, 2020

Truly a gentleman, Mr. Tony would always greet us with his wonderful smile & firm handshake; always asked about how our family was & interested in what we had to say. The world would be so much better if more were like him - a servant to others.

I really enjoyed listening to Tony, Jr. speak about his Dad - especially the 3am call to pick him up on the street; that really describes Mr. Tony - just happy to see you! We will miss him, but the memories will always make me smile. We love you!

Juanita Bartlett

November 23, 2020

Charlie and I enjoyed dancing with Tony for many years, I will remember him in my prayers. And if I can help you, just let me know. Charlie and Petie Bartlett

Mary Kay Cowen

November 23, 2020

When Mr. Tony co-founded the Gold Dust Twirlers I was allowed to join. This was major for me as I wanted to join the teenage square dance club, The Southern Stompers, but was still too young. I remember Mr. Tony and Mrs. JoAnn with the fondest memories having been blessed to know them until I had to quit square dancing as a young adult. Joining again for a short time as an older adult, I was pleased to see them at some functions.

Thank you, Mr. Tony, for all you did for people like me. You had an impact on my life.


November 22, 2020

JoAnn just a little note to let you know how sorry I am for your loss. Tony gave so much of himself to teach and call Square Dancing giving so many of us the opportunity to form lasting friendships and hours of good clean fun. Know that God has to have a special place in heaven for Tony. Thank you for sharing him with us for all those years. May God bless and take care of you and all his family. I will keep you and Tony forever in my memory and my prayers.


November 20, 2020

Larry and I square danced with Tony and JoAnn for years .
It was wonderful to have such family fun and my children remembered the conventions and travel that we all enjoyed.

Thank you , JoAnn, and Tony for the great fun we all had.

Phyllis, Margo, and Leslie Duplantier

November 20, 2020

Our deepest condolences. We were reminiscing about the wonderful times we had over our years of Square Dancing. Mr. Tony was such a huge part of our lives. I appreciate the many years that Mr. Tony and Mrs. JoAnn dedicated to teaching the young and old and spreading their love of bringing people together in dance. I know that my dad (Jerry) and Mr. Tony are harmonizing with the Angels up in heaven! A big "yellow rock" hug to all.
Leslie Duplantier Schroth, Phyllis Duplantier, and Margo Duplantier Rhinehart.

Samuel Hillson

November 19, 2020

I would like to give my condolences to my former long time colleague Tony Digeorge Jr and his entire family. My all all of your sweet memories help you in your time of grief
Sam Hillson

Ruby Overmier

November 19, 2020

Dear JoAnn, you won’t remember me but your husband really changed our lives completely when we discovered dancing! My late husband Fred really got into dancing, and we joined the Merry Mixers and the Twirling Pairs. Your husband got us out of our easy chairs and brought us much happiness. He had a wonderful sense of humor! My condolences on your loss! Sincerely, Ruby Overmier


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