June 26, 1924 – March 14, 2019
Anthony Francis Verzi, Sr. passed away Thursday, March 14, 2019, just a few months shy of his 95th birthday. He died peacefully, surrounded by his beloved wife of over 6 decades, Lucille, and his four adoring children and their spouses Anthony Jr, (Karen), Ann (d. Bruce), Cynthia (Scotty), and Christine (Frank).
Tony and Lu were blessed with nine grandchildren, Alina, David, Casey, Danny, Carly, Emilie, Bailey, Matthew and Anthony, and nine great grandchildren, Kamille, Aliyah, Coltyn, Nora, Alex, Seamus, Anthony, Austin and Lemmy. In the final weeks of his admirable life, he was surrounded by his grandchildren and great grandchildren, neighbors, friends and family that visited from all over the country. When word spread that Tony was ill, people kept coming, because everyone that knew him wanted a final opportunity to say goodbye to one of the greatest men that ever lived.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, then Washington DC, his three siblings were Thomas, Mary, and Sylvia. He loved salami sandwiches in his school lunches, bucking against the trend of peanut butter. He loved music and dancing, often entering dance competitions with his sister Mary. Among his favorite artists were Tommy Dorsey, The Glen Miller Band, Peggy Lee, and later, Frank Sinatra. He met his lifelong friend Charles "Buddy" Schauss in grade school where only the good Lord knows how much actual trouble they got in together. The boys were eager and used their charm to lie about their age to be able to work at the VA in Washington DC at 17 years old. They later enlisted in the service, Tony becoming a proud and faithful member of the United States Marine Corp. Buddy joined the Navy, but we still loved him anyway.
As a proud Marine in the Corps 6th Marine Division, 29th Regiment, Tony served in WWII, surviving the Battle of Okinawa. He achieved the rank of Sergeant and served as a Radio Operator. He spent his time in the service training at Paris Island, Camp Lejeune, and on the Pacific front. His Division received a Presidential Unit Citation for their superior performance at Okinawa. He was humble about his time and service, simply doing the job he was sent to do.
At the conclusion of the war, Tony returned to the states and was hired at the Boston Naval Yard. It was during this time that he met the love of his life, Lucille Paul. Lucille was in nursing school, they were set up on a blind date, and the rest is history. So began the love affair of a lifetime, a love so great that it was evident to everyone they knew. (Seriously, sometimes it was too evident). Tony and Lu eventually moved to Florida where they raised their family and set down roots that no hurricane or time could uproot.
Tony worked at Eastern Airlines in the avionics division for 30 years at the Miami International Airport. He was the last surviving founding member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Knights of Columbus where he served over 50 years. During that time, he was elected Grand Knight, served as District Deputy and was Financial Secretary for the Council. He and his wife were long time members of their beloved church in Homestead and participated in many fundraisers. Tony's faith was strong and unflappable. As his wife Lucille has been quoted, the secret to happiness and long life was "Believe in God, be in love, and eat good."
No amount of words can express the loss our family is experiencing at this time. Tony, our father and Nano, was the foundation and center of our world. We are grateful for his life, his love, and the time we had with him. A better example of a man would be impossible to find. We wish to thank everyone for their outpouring of support, kind words, gifts of food, flowers and overall generosity to our family.
- The Family Will Receive Friends Sunday, March 17, 2019
- Funeral Mass Monday, March 18, 2019