It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear Dad, Grandfather (Pop), Great Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Friend and genuine good guy, Anthony J. (Tony) Angelella Sr. on Wednesday November 8th, 2023, at home surrounded by his family.
Tony was born 25 November 41, as he would always say, in Pittston to Carl and Louise (Mazzarella) Angelella growing up in the Cork Lane section of Pittston Township before moving across Oak Street and into the Browntown neighborhood where he would remain the rest of his life while raising his family. Tony was a 1959 graduate of Pittston Township high school and served two years in the Army reserves.
Shortly after high school Tony met the one and only love of his life, Donna Mae (Mack) Angelella with whom he shared fifty-five beautiful years before her passing on December 7th, 2014. Dad was completely heartbroken by Mom’s death and never fully recovered suffering through the pain each day.
Tony loved to work, had great mechanical and electrical skills and a photographic memory. His ability to build, fix and repair anything was truly remarkable. There are countless homes of friends and family with new electrical, heating, and plumbing systems because of his hard work and devotion to those that knew him. The amount of complete house renovations are too numerous to remember. From pouring concrete sidewalks and factory floors, being a bricklayer, a master gardener, a painter, Spackler, auto mechanic and so on, the list of things he could do and would accomplish in his lifetime at a high level, is something few see from someone in a lifetime.
All of this was done at night and on weekends. Taking a day off from the regular job was not an option, that realization sank in when he was finally asked to retire in 2012 and had acquired a years’ worth of sick leave and a couple of months of vacation time.
None of this, however, includes the 43 years he spent working at Schott Optical, (later Schott Glass Technologies), of Duryea. From working on the construction of the original plant in 1969 until his retirement in 2012 Schott became a major part of his life. Working thru each level from those early days to machinist eventually becoming the head of mechanical and facility maintenance, Tony spent the last twenty-five plus years taking care of everything from replacing and repairing glass making machines to making sure the parking lots got plowed and the leak in men’s bathroom was fixed.
Schott Glass made the lenses for the Hubbel Telescope and led in laser and high-end refined glass technology all over the world and Tony made it happen. Every piece of equipment, every construction contract that was awarded to expand the facility dozens of times, every repair, or office that had to be painted in those 43 years went through Tony. In 2015 just three short months after Donna’s death, and on their first wedding anniversary apart, Schott suffered a devasting fire, crippling the huge plant. Two days later Tony got the call asking if he would come back to help them rebuild. He could not say no and would spend the next 2 years consulting and directing the operations to put Schott back together. “It’s too coincidental to be a coincidence” (Hall of Famer Yogi Berra)
Last and definitely not least was the seventy-four or so years, (yeah from the time he was 7 or 8), that he spent with the Pittston Township Vol. Fire Dept. You could say this was his passion and hobby, but it was so much more than that, and yet he accomplished so many other things in his life with such ease, a case could be made that any one of them was a hobby or passion.
But nonetheless the fire department was the first, and starting at such an early age this probably leads all the others. As a young person in the 50’s running out of school to catch the “rig” as it came down the street, or talking about how he would help push the 1948 pumper down Bryden street to catch it in gear for it to start and then turn around to come back past the firehouse to go to the fire, if Tony was there and something needed to be done he did it.
Little did he know the fire department would become the family business. With his father Carl and Uncle Ray Mazzarella as the assistant Chief and Chief respectively they would pass those ranks on to him and his brother John Angelella. His son and grandson would follow in his footsteps for which he was especially proud to have been part of four generations of Angelellas in the fire service.
Tony did anything and everything he could to make the department a success. He was the proverbial Chief, Cook and bottle washer. As the master mechanic, building maintenance guru, cook at the annual carnival (which later turned into being part of the cracker jack set-up crew with Albert Capozucca), he could do, and did it all. Tony spent almost 20 years as an Assistant Chief and a full 40 years as Chief of the Department, succeeding the unfortunate and untimely Line of Duty Death of his Brother John Angelella who was Chief of Department at the time. Tony was a firefighters Chief, always ensuring the station, vehicles and personnel were priority one, maintained, up to date and ready. He oversaw countless improvements to the firehouse, many new fire vehicles, and even the construction of a few new fire stations.
With all there was to do, there was always time for family. Family always came first. Never missing a little league, basketball, football, or soccer game where his son and grandson were involved, or just popping in unexpectedly on his brother or niece or nephew because he remembered they had something going on that day, his memory and concern for others never let him down.
Throughout his life Tony was a mild mannered, humble, honest, and gentle soul who made friends easily and who every nurse or aide who cared for him just wanted to give him a big hug. He was ready, willing, and able to help anyone that needed it, and he will be deeply missed by his dear family and friends and this great country and great big world is less without him.
In addition to his parents Tony was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years Donna Angelella and older brother John Angelella. Surviving are his son Anthony Jr. and his wife Elizabeth Angelella; grandson Anthony Angelella III and fiancé Taylor Tilberry and great granddaughter Cienna Mae Angelella; brother Carl Angelella; Sister in-law Marilyn Price and husband Robert; niece Lena Angelella and fiancé Neil Murphy; nephew Ernie Angelella and wife Mary Louise and their children Grace and John Angelella; nephew Kevin Price and wife Nina and family; nephew Daniel Price and wife Kaitlyn and family; and many other cousins, dear friends and fellow emergency service personnel too numerous to mention.
The family will receive friends and relatives Sunday, November 12, 2023, from 2pm-6pm in Adonizio Funeral Home, LLC, 251 William Street, Pittston. Funeral services, with Fire Department Honors, will begin Monday, November 13, 2023, at 8:30am in Adonizio Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday at 9:30am in St. Joseph Marello Parish, 237 William Street, Pittston.