Anthony William “Tony” Cavallaro, 97, of Manasquan, NJ, passed away peacefully Tuesday October 30, 2012.
Born in the Ironbound section of Newark, Tony resided in Edison, NJ, for many years prior to retiring to Manasquan in 1988. He graduated from East Side High School in Newark and Ohio University, class of 1941, habitually called by Tony “dear old Ohio.” He later attended Columbia University and Rutgers University from which he received a teaching certificate in 1973.
He served in the Army Air Corps from 1942-46, attaining the rank of Captain, and commanded a signaling station in Fortaleza, Brazil, which provided radio navigation for American pilots crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe during World War II. Following the war, he was a chemist at American Cyanamid in Bound Brook, NJ and a product manager at Merck in Rahway, NJ, until retiring in 1972 to become a science teacher at Middlesex County Vocational and Technical High School in East Brunswick, NJ, from which he retired in 1983.
Tony was an active member of his community. He served as a Boy Scout leader for 20 years and while at Merck he led a chapter of Junior Achievement. After moving to Edison in 1951 he joined a drive to modernize the township with municipal sewers and later became a founding member of the Woodside Swim & Tennis Club. He was the president of Edison Valley Playhouse for five years. Upon moving to Manasquan he became active in the Civic Association and was on the board of trustees for the Manasquan Library. Tony was a regular attendee of Council meetings, Planning Board meetings and School Board meetings and at 90-years-old in 2005 he was recognized as Manasquan’s Citizen of the Year by VFW Post 1838. He was a communicant of St. Denis Catholic Church, Manasquan.
He donated to many charitable causes including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the American Indian College Fund, the Italian-American Society, the Ellis Island Foundation and PBS.
The son of Italian immigrants, Tony was tremendously proud of his heritage, and a passionate believer in American ideals. He hated garlic but loved blueberry pie, democracy and discussing controversial topics at family dinners. He had a great appreciation for words, and would never say with one syllable what he could express in six. He embarrassed at least two generations of offspring by singing in public and befriending every shopkeeper, ticket taker and medical professional he encountered.
Tony’s loving wife of nearly 70 years, Lillian Marjorie Whittaker Cavallaro, was with him when he passed away. He is predeceased by his parents, Anthony Carlo Cavallaro and Amelia Sabio, and his siblings: Alphonse Cavallaro, Viola Policastro Morrell, Josephine Buffardi, Anna Catina, Marie (Cynith) Cocuzza and Amelia (Mimi) DiBlasio. He is also pre-deceased by three children: Mary Catherine and William Anthony, both of whom died shortly after childbirth, and Lisa Marie, who passed away at 17 in 1968 from cystic fibrosis.
In addition to his wife Marjorie, he is survived by three sons: Christopher Jay and his wife Peggy of Wall, NJ, Carl Thomas and his wife Julie of Princeton, NJ, and Anthony William Jr. of Flemington, NJ. He was the proud grandfather of Michaela Maria and her husband Darren Cook and great-granddaughter Skylar; Erin Christine and her husband Peter Hill and great-granddaughter Maëlle; Daniel Thomas, Russell William and Charles Guard Cavallaro.
A memorial mass will be celebrated on Friday, November 16, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Denis Catholic Church, 90 Union Avenue, Manasquan.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at cff.org.