ANTONIO TASCA
1937 - 2022

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A REMEMBRANCE OF TONY TASCA

by John Rinaldi

 

Your shock and disbelief on Tony's passing is shared by so many of his colleagues and friends.  In reflecting on your email I thought that you should know how valuable your friendship with Tony really was and also provide a glimpse of what you missed in not joining him on a trip to Sicily. 

Last September and into October, Tony, Kern, Vic LoBue and I journeyed to Sicily together for a food tasting tour focused on the interior of Sicily with side trips to Bologna and Rome.  Vic and I had never met Kern previously but Tony assured us that including this non-Sicilian in our small group would be more of a benefit than a burden, and of course he was right.  The addition of Kern allowed us to learn more of the business background that was imbedded in Tony's travels as a consultant to enterprises in so many countries, but it was especially his interaction with the people of his birthplace and first homes in Sicily that left such a lasting impression of the true beauty of this man.  

In Tusa, where Tony was born and lived his earliest years, we walked and found many men who immediately recognized Tony and embraced him as a long lost friend, sitting and enjoying a coffee. One fellow came up and happily recalled how he and Tony had scuffled in the street when they were seven years old, an event that Tony later said he didn't recall but reflected the memories of those who had never left their little town.  Meeting the butcher in this tiny hilltop town in the Sicilian mountains overlooking the Tyrrenian Sea was especially touching as he still makes his sausage using the recipe given to him by Tony's father.  His smile on seeing Tony will be remembered forever.

Down from the mountain is a more modern town named Castle D'Tusa where Tony's family lived during his teenage years, and where Tony's condo overlooks the sea.  We met more friends and relatives of Tony there, enjoying several meals with them, and many coffees and cannoli at the Cafe Porto Fino  where Tony's special friend Pino would just beam at seeing Tony and immediately prepare his double decaf espresso and a cannolo.  I treasure the visit with Tony to the cemetery in Castel D'Tusa where I learned more about his many relatives resting there.

In May of 2018  there was yet another trip to Sicily arranged by Anthony and included Vic, myself and Dick Campisi.  It would be the last trip for Dick as he passed away a few months later.  A highlight of that visit was seeing Tony surprise a fellow standing outside of his shop in the town of Patti, where Tony and the shopkeeper were classmates at the Cathedral/seminary just down from that shop. A picture of the encounter was included in a photo book prepared after that trip and the forward, reads as follows:

  • Dick, Vic, John and I had visited Sicily, the home of our ancestors, last May for eight glorious days.

  • Our trip would turn out to be a memorable adventure, blessed with much laughter and camaraderie.

  • We managed to sample some of the best traditional food Sicily has to offer.

  • We visited mountain hideouts where time still moves slowly and traditions continue to rule.

  • We walked 2-4 miles each day stopping occasionally to savor interesting sites and venues.

  • We met many affable and welcoming locals who showered us with great hospitality.

  • To top it all, we came to know one another better and appreciate one others unique character, backgrounds, and qualities.

  • I will personally cherish for the rest of my life the privilige of having met Dick three years ago.

  • Dick's curiosity, supportiveness, affection, and sense of humor toughed me deeply.

  • Vic and John join me to say arrivederci to our dear friend Dick and wish him safe travels to the other side of the veil...

  • He shall be missed.  We shall meet again.

  • Tony Tasca, Ph.D.

And so now the time has come for us to recall those words written by our own dear friend and mentor.  Arrivederci dear friend Antonio, we wish you safe travels to the other side of the veil...

 

You are missed. We shall meet again.  

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A REMEMBRANCE OF TONY TASCA

by JP Miller

 

My one great story about Tony is when I first met him.  I was doing work for Colgate-Palmolive going around the world consulting for their various business units in one country or another.  After spending 2-3 days with Colgate-Palmolive Italia in Rome, their General Manager, who was an American named Bob Valleau, asked me to do the kind of consulting I was doing for Colgate worldwide for them in Italy.

 

I agreed, but within a day or so I realized that the people below the senior staff (whom I had been working with on my primary assignment) did not speak English well enough for me to do the work I needed to do.  And I did not speak any Italian.  I tried to beg-off.  But Bob insisted I “find another consultant who does work just like you who is bi-lingual.”  I told him that was likely impossible because my approach was not common and the chance there would be someone “like me” and bilingual English/ Italian was vanishingly small.  He insisted. I said I would try.

 

I rang my network of consultants and, sure enough, my colleague Steve Brogan said, “I worked with a guy who does your kind of consulting and who is native Italian but got his PhD in the US and speaks perfect English.”  I was elated.  I was living in Boston.  Tony was either doing work on the East Coast or flying to/ from Europe and so we arranged to meet in Boston at Logan Airport.  We had lunch and by the end of it I was convinced Tony was the right guy.

 

I let Bob know I had someone and he said, “Send him right over.”  I gave Tony a brief on the assignment and off he went to Rome.

 

In a few days I received a phone call from Bob, “Who the hell is this guy you sent me, anyway!?”  I was dumbstruck.  I didn’t know what to say.  I stammered, “Uh, geez, I’m not sure, what do you mean?”  Bob’s reply, “This guy can’t speak Italian!”  I was now shocked as well as dumbstruck.  “But he was born and grew up in Sicily….”  At which point I could hear Bob chuckling on the other end.  “Relax, he is Sicilian for sure and, maybe you don’t know it, but Sicilians speak a different Italian dialect.”  I’m not sure I felt relieved.  “Hey, look, the guys here made fun of his dialect for the first day or so, but Tony is speaking more now like a Roman and my guys appreciate Tony’s expertise and professionalism, so we’re good.”  The rest of the 3 week assignment when fabulously-well, as all consulting did when Tony was involved.

 

I love telling that story.

 

I will miss Tony and I can only hope what I learned from him can serve me well as I continue life’s journey.

 

I still feel in shock.

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AN EMAIL TO TONY FROM WALT TORNOW

From: Walt Tornow <walttornow@gmail.com>

Date: Thu, Mar 17, 2022 at 8:00 PM

Subject: I miss you!

To: Tasca Tony <ajtasca@yahoo.com>

Tony,

Every morning, when I opened my email, there was a message from you ... 

usually with a picture of a sumptuous meal ...

in either preparation or presentation.

 

I miss those emails.

And I miss you.

A lot!

 

Rest in peace, my friend,

Walt

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PHOTO MEMORIES

01 BirthHome 1937
01 BirthHome 1937

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02 ZiaRosaria--1941

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25Little boy praying

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01 BirthHome 1937
01 BirthHome 1937

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ANTONIO TASCA'S SICILY

 PRODUCED BY ANTONIO TASCA  /  A FILM BY JOHN ROMANO

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Tony Tasca, A Tribute!

Dilip G. Saraf

 

“How lucky we are to have someone in our lives for whom saying goodbye is so hard”—A.A. Milnes

 

I first met Tony in 1989, more than 30 years back, when everything was going wrong for me. I was head of engineering at a Fortune 100 company and the division where I worked decided to shut down. Most of the team members I worked with, scattered off looking for similar jobs. I was nearing 50 and decided to take stock of my career and realized that if I continued in engineering this could happen again and I wanted to change that and to take control of my own future. 

 

Not knowing what was next, someone I knew then asked me to visit SKOPOS, a consulting boutique, Tony and Cassandra were running in Los Altos, CA, and explore to see if there is something there for me. I first saw Tony for a short meeting and in the next few minutes, I realized that my then résumé had nothing to offer to Tony’s ongoing business. At times, I felt that we did not even speak the same language. 

 

Yet, despite that dissonance, Tony took a liking to me and I, him. As I visited his office every now and then, I soon realized that my life and career had been so linear and so narrow that I wanted to learn about his consulting practice and how that all worked in business. Until then my focus had been mostly on my own functional area: developing products using my engineering and management skills and getting the products out to market. Tony’s language—mirabile dictu—was steeped in organizations, business, markets, management practices, teams, relationships, and making organizations and people more effective and efficient. This exposure opened a whole new realm for me, and I decided to reshape my thinking to pursue a career path that would allow me to develop greater expertise in those areas. 

 

Soon, I was engaged with a major biotech company as I pitched to its president a way to get something—a desktop AIDS monitoring device—badly needed at that time, to market, much faster than they had planned. Learning some tricks from Tony and using the right language that I had learned from him I was able to get a three-year consulting gig with this biotech and it culminated in getting its product out in the market in half the time that they had originally planned. 

 

This is when I realized that reinvention is not that hard if you realize how to identify a problem someone is struggling with and finding a way to reach them with the right approach, language, and a story. My new success gave me a key to building my future career roadmap and a way to never be out of work again: Reinvent at each turn and keep ahead of the curve. Since then, I have reinvented multiple times and now in my fifth career as a career and life coach for the past two decades, I have a global coaching practice that has broad and varied clientele.

 

To many, whom Tony has touched over the years, their stories may not be that different from mine because that is who Tony was; always giving something to those around him to better their lives and to show them something that they themselves could not see!

 

During these intervening years Tony and I collaborated on many projects. He critiqued many of my blogs and articles. I was thrilled when a blog I posted that he Liked and even Commented on, especially when that was the first time, that he had seen it. He encouraged me to write books (I published five under his watch). I learned much from him and continued to do so until recently. The news of his sudden demise came as a rude shock, and it took me a while to swallow that deeply sad news. I shall miss him and miss his wisdom. However, I am a believer in eternal life, so even though Tony has left his earthly body I fully expect to meet with him in afterlife and stay his friend for eternity.  

 

Thank you, Tony, for coming into my life when I needed you the most and staying with me to show me the light! Also, for showing me that realizing the life’s supreme goal is to help others. So, here’s to you, Tony, straight from Lord Krishan’s lips: Those who have realized the supreme goal of life know that I am unmanifested and unchanging. Having come home to me, they are never separate again. Lord Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield in the Bhagwat Gita, Book 3, Chapter 8, Verse 21. 

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A Remembrance of Tony 

by Bashker Biswas

 

"Tony was my older brother. He was also my mentor and advisor. We were very close for many years. I am extremely saddened with intense grief to hear of his passing. 

 

I knew Tony for over 50 years. He was my boss on two occasions. We started working together in Control Data Corporation in 1970. I was about 26 years old then, and Tony was one of the seniors I looked up to for advice and guidance. In 1983 he asked me to join him in starting an HR Technology start-up in Silicon Valley. The company's name was Skopos. Then later on when he became the Chief Human Resource Officer for Zain in Kuwait, I am the first person he hired and he took me along with him to the Middle East. We were very close both personally and professionally. We lived in the same building in Kuwait. We traveled together to many places around the world. He guided me throughout my life's journey in more ways than one.

 

He proudly took me on a trip to his native Sicily. He drove me all around the island of Sicily.  He showed me all the places that were his favorite when he was growing up there. He cooked a lot of pasta for me. I met most of his family here in the US and in Sicily. On other occasions, he would cook pasta for my wife, Usha, and me. It was his grandmother's recipe. While in the Middle East Tony, my wife, and I would often have dinner together. 

 

Tony also wrote the Foreward for both my books.

 

In many ways, he was a real older brother. He took care of me in more ways than one. He was with me holding me up when my only son died prematurely. He attended my daughter's wedding. He was a guest speaker in many of my college classes.

 

Tony kept checking up on me asking me how my wife Usha and I were doing. He checked up on me, even as late as February 20, this year. I should have gone down to Palo Alto to see him when I received his last email.

 

I will miss him dearly. 

 

This beautiful person had a profound influence on my life."

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MIO FRATELLO ANOTONIO

By “Raimondo Burchelli”

 

Antonio: Renaissance Man

 

Organization Development pioneer; international consultant; teacher; mentor; executive coach; CEO; HR executive and expert; Italy and Sicily historian; self-appointed Sicily tour guide; novelist; journalist; blogger; poet; and GREAT ITALIAN COOK.

 

Husband; father; brother; uncle.

 

Antonio: My boss; mentor; business partner; travel guide for over 30 years.

 

ODA International; ORC; Skopos; Skopos Consulting; Louis Allen Worldwide; and Zain.

 

 

Antonio: A few of my wonderful Sicily memories with him:

  • My kissing the tarmac in Palermo when we arrived for my first visit and hearing his great laugh.

  • Seeing the Mafioso hitman (straight from the Godfather!) a few hours later in Santo Stefano.

  • Meeting his parents and many cousins on this first trip in Castel de Tusa.

  • Many meals with his brother, Angelo, and his family.

  • Watching Angelo give a campaign speech from a balcony of an centuries-old building.

  • Many road trips exploring his favorite haunts.

  • Seeing a wonderful sea vista high above from the Tasca farm.

  • Visiting Tusa, a centuries old town on top of a mountain, where he was born.

  • Getting a haircut and shave in Tusa.

  • Roaming around Cefalu and hearing his adventures as a young man there.

  • Buying his motor scooter in Cefalu and following him with his car back to Castel de Tusa.

  • Shopping for ceramics in Santo Stefano.

  • Taking the day train from Rome to Sicily; uncoupling the train at Messina and putting it on a ferry across the Strait and recoupling it in Sicily.

  • Staying in his apartment with a great close view of the sea.

  • Being part of two OD tours with clients and friends in Rome and Sicily.

  • Business meetings in Taormina.

  • (For my 60th birthday, Antonio flew down to my home in Irvine and cooked a dinner for 40!  He then anointed me as an honorary Sicilian and gave me the name, Raimondo Burchelli).

 

Antonio: A few of my international memories:

  • Sent me to Brazil on my first rookie assignment with little information which started poorly and ended successfully.

  • With devilish humor, he baited a fat man into running on the tarmac in Brasilia to be first on the plane.

  • Looking for the Tasca restaurant in Caracas.

  • Attending Tanri’s son’s wedding reception in Jakarta.

  • Singing on the bus with our OD partners in Spain.

  • Spending time with Pablo in Vigo, Spain.

  • Launching Extraordinary Leader in Kuwait.

  • Launching HR Academy in Bahrain.

  • Facilitating Zain Conference in Jordan.

  • Hosting Skopos partners in Paris and Cairo.

  • Celebrating Zain HR Academy grads in Rome.

 

Antonio: A few of my culinary memories (I can’t list or even remember the hundreds of places I enjoyed eating with him!):

  • Almost getting kicked out of a trattoria in Rome on my first trip with him because I wanted cheese on my clams and pasta.

  • Eating home-made amazing dishes with Angelo and Antonio in their parents’ small kitchen as his mother looked on. 

  • Finding Italian markets for supplies for our staff retreats (he cooked at every one in limited kitchen conditions).

  • Turkey dinner at one of these retreats with the best dressing ever.

  • Struggling through a 17-course seafood dinner outside Palermo.

  • Having his sister-in-law prepare his favorite dishes in Castel de Tusa.

  • Going every morning in Castel de Tusa to his favorite little coffee shop for his orange juice and roll.

  • Getting in the car in Castel de Tusa to visit yet another of his favorite food spots.

  • Cooking Osso Buco at Trapani’s home.

  • Eating polenta with a secret gorgonzola sauce at Al Dente’s in Santa Cruz.

  • My last meal with him was at Uditore-Passo di Rigano in Palermo with his niece before we flew home.

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FACEBOOK COMMENTS FROM TONY'S PAGE

Compiled by Kathy Doyle-Renaldi

Jean-Sébastien Masiala: In early 2007, as MTC Kuwait organized a merger of earlier acquired Celtel branches, my sister Yvette Ikolo sent me to represent what was the largest French-speaking branch of the Group... Then I met Dr. Antonio Tasca who took me directly under his wing. I still remember how we had to go to drink water in his office to not disturb the fasting of Muslim colleagues and with my ambitions of the time I told him in 5 minutes my whole life... We've stayed very close since then. My big brother Yves Ngandor , who was one of his deputies in charge of Africa, told me how one day a Talent Review meeting was blocked for almost an hour because Toni thought, unlike some opinions, that I had all the ability to be the DRH of the subsidiary (The facts are, I think, right)... That's when he didn't hesitate to come to Kinshasa and openly show your support when I was expelled from Brazzaville... I will never forget! I learned a lot with Toni and the HR Academy that he organized for us was an exceptional professional growth opportunity! Also, this allowed us to see the World (Bahrain, Rome, Nairobi... ) and meeting some amazing people... When I left Airtel in 2013 Toni made no effort to see me bounce back, recommending me left and right or writing letters of recommendation when needed. He was proud to know that I started my PhD in Antvers Pr. Hugo Marynissen and he would have been proud to have started this program again the way I did, with more determination to get there. I will make it and I will do it for you Tony Tasca ! Thanks to Toni, I have become, as I am called, an HR Professional with a particular "human" side... Yes, I owe him a lot! My family and I will never forget you. I hold back and make my own these words: « My New Motto When I retired I adopted the motto: One of these days for me is now. I did so to counteract our family habit of postponing life as if there is no end in sight. I have since changed my motto to: You only die once, you live every day. This is a reminder that living in the moment by far surpasses our fear of dying, an inevitable event for all of us. The say life is short so why waste it worrying about things we cannot control or suspending it while waiting for a better occasion? Have fun, enjoy yourself, love your family, be happy! » Rest In Peace "My Brother"!!! 

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Bridget Namilazi Muyay: There is a lot I would like to say but today I say rejoice with the angels.. You were a boss and half. I will miss your quarterly checking up on me. You inspired, influenced and changed my life. RIP Tony 

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Ayat-Ak-Rashdan: This is beautiful…he will be missed…such a great soul

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Hatem Sallam: RIP tony 

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Freddy Bukasa: May his soul rest in peace and may the Lord comfort your heart. The time you took to write all those lines shows that you've lost a loved one. 

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Mimmo Mastrandrea: Thank you for the beautiful words of love for our uncle Antonio. Heartfelt thanks from our whole family. 

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Jean- Sebastien Maisala: Your uncle had a great family across the world since he treated everyone like his own blood! We do share your pain indeed, since it’s also ours. Anthony Perrone I feel like a mess ! The news of the disappearance of my dear friend, countryman and intellectual and culinary "tutor" I still haven't digested, I just accepted it. May Iddio welcome him into his paradise and give him eternal rest. My deepest condolences to all of you and your family. Anthony Perrone Gail Aldrich So sad to learn the news of Tony’s passing. He was a wonderful thought leader and executive, a key mentor during key moments of my career, and a special friend to Bob and me. We will always cherish our memories of the trip we made to Sicily with him 20 years ago. Tony was one of the best! Rest In Peace, dear friend. Jack Moyer Tony was an advisor, friend and thought provoker. He will be missed, Rest In Peace Tony.

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Mijbil Alayob: Tony you will be missed my friend. Thank you very much for your insights and support and most importantly your kindness. I know you’re in heaven with all the greats. Rest Sam Deep Rest in peace our dear Tony … you will be dearly missed by everyone who knew you…Your zest for living life to the fullest and sharing your experiences is an inspiration to all of us who knew you. Until we meet again god bless. 

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Lara Marwan Abdul Malak: it was a pleasure having known you!! you were not only a man of great expertise but a man of integrity.. even after i left zain you always asked and stayed in contact.. the world has lost a great don.. may your soul rest in peace 

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Eve Memo Banda: My beautiful mentor and friend. You have fought a good fight of faith. You have finished the race. Rest in Power 

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Yves Ngandor: My mentor, my brother from another mother...Rest in Peace 

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The names below all expressed online statements of Sympathy and Condolences to both Cassandra and Thalia: 

  • Matteo Giordano 

  • Blaise Bangabutu 

  • Abe Khalil 

  • Julia Akinfieva 

  • Lilas Kongolo 

  • Christian Kulula 

  • Patrick Bunga 

  • Jan-Baptiste Luvangu 

  • Iman Louvain

  • Pascal Marsouin 

  • Andrea Kinda 

  • Claudiane Johnson 

  • Teresa Piscitello 

  • Malou Bnda 

  • Abe Khalil 

  • Joe Beta 

  • Andrea Dinoto 

  • Victoria Zabala 

  • Cetty Macaione 

  • Marianna Perrone 

  • Olivia L Nkidiaka

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 Messages Received in March 2022

From Friends of Tony and of the Tascas

 

I’m so sorry to hear that. My condolences to Cassandra.  - Alison Hyde

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I remember him bringing persimmons over to my house, and was always such an engaging person to speak with.  Sending prayers for Cassandra and Thalia. - Krys Corbett

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Sending our condolences 🙏🏻 - Genevieve See-Tho

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So sorry for the loss, sending my love to the family ❤️ - Clemencia Calk 

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Oh no. This is very sad news.  – James Wallace

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This is beyond comprehension.  I've been with him several times over the past couple of weeks and while he had his issues, this is shockingly sad.  He had his next trip to Sicily planned and was looking forward to our increased interaction with the older of us.He and I share a lot in common. Hank, if I can help Cassandra or Thalia in any way, please ask. - Don Nielson

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Our family is shocked to hear this news. I texted with Tony yesterday and planned to go out for lunch together next week, which won’t happen. Tony and I had a common passion for finding fresh seafood and regularly went to restaurants and grocery shopping together.  I also loved to listen to him talking about the history of Silicon Valley and his own story while driving. Rest in peace, Tony. - Shin Kodama 

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We too were shocked by this news. I saw Tony on his drive way not too long ago and looked good. Our sincere condolences to the Tasca family. - Xiaobing and Michelle Sun 

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We just heard the news of Tony’s passing.  Words are far beyond inadequate to express our sadness.  Tony had such a vibrant love of life, of travel and of good food.  I have many fond memories of him volunteering to be the cook for a large group, and he obviously enjoyed it. Holly and I think fondly of our dinner with your family at the Blue Boar restaurant in Midway. I only wish we had created more occasions like that. Tony and I first met back in the days when he worked for Control Data.  He stood out as a highly innovative HR executive.  And then our paths continued to cross with his involvement with SKOPOS and the Louis Allen Worldwide organization. The thoughts and love of many people are obviously flowing in your direction at this time.  Know that some of that comes from Holly and me.  We wish you peace at this difficult time.  Warmly, Jack and Holly Zenger

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I’ve been a friend and close colleague of Tony’s for almost 40 years.  We have been partners in business and have kept in close contact all along. I’m shocked he has died.  He was in good health (for anyone his age) and we exchanged pleasantries on a weekly basis. Please give my most heartfelt condolences to Cassandra and Talia.  I don’t know what to say.  He was a good and close friend…I will write to them.  If there is anything I can do please have them let me know.  They can call: 650-208-8981.  Would it be OK for me to call Cassandra?  I have her home phone number. - JP Miller

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'm a long time acquaintance of Tony having worked with him and Ray Burch. We shopped and cooked meals together. We travelled as a group to Italy and Sicily. In Rome we did a walking tour led by Tony who explained in great detail what we were seeing. In Sicily we travelled to his home city of Cefalu and to my namesake city of Trapani. Tony will truly be missed with all his pictures of different foods, recipes and articles he wrote. He was a gentleman, scholar and true friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tony and his family,  - John & Ginny Trapani

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I’m shocked and crushed. Jeannie and Tony were secretly planning a surprise for my 80th birthday (which is today) in a few weeks in Oregon.  I have worked for and with Tony since 1976.  Many, many memories.  He made me an honorary Sicilian, Raimondo Burchelli, on my 60th birthday exactly 20 years ago. Please give me any details for his service.  I’ll do anything to try and get there.  Ciao, Ray Burch 

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Ray and Tony were business partners and close friends since 1976.  They had taken many trips to Sicily together and Ray even had a meal in Tony’s parents’ home. I cannot tell you what a shock this has been to him, and to me.  I’m sending you this email because Tony was planning on flying to OR on April 9th to surprise Ray for his 80th birthday celebration.  He was going to cook a wonderful Sicilian meal for our family!  I realized that probably no one but our family would know this, and flight and hotel arrangements have been booked.  I have all of Tony’s itineraries, so I tried to cancel.  I successfully cancelled the flights, but of course, no refund because I don’t have his credit card information.  The hotel in McMinnville, OR would not even let me cancel because everything was booked through Expedia.  Of course, I don’t know Tony’s account information.  I’d like to help, so please let me know if there is anything I can do to get his money refunded.  I can send you all the itineraries if you like. Ray and I just cannot imagine the world without Tony Tasca!  Our hearts are breaking.  Thank you for doing what you can to honor Tony. – Jeannie Burch

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I’m in shock. Please give my condolences to my cousin Cassandra. If there is anything I can do for Cassandra or Thalia, I can be reached at 408-499-6000. I live in Kauai.  - Georgia Hilgeman-Hammond 

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I received a request from Tony’s niece in Sicily for some information, so if you can shed any additional light on what happened I would appreciate it.This is devastating news.  We were scheduled to have lunch this Wednesday in Los Gatos.  - Vic LoBue

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Tony's passing is very sad news. May he rest in peace. Any chance you can email me Tony's address, so I may send Cassandra my condolences as well.  - Walt Tornow

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Tony’s passing away is sad news. Tony was a remarkable man and my wife and I admired him and were very fond of him. Tony was working on an article for the April 2022 issue of the Italian American Heritage Foundation San Jose newsletter. He had been a contributor to the newsletter over the years, and recently he had an article in every issue for several months straight. His article's raised the bar for the newsletter in my opinion, and I know he will be missed by the readers and staff. And I will miss working with him on various Italian-American cultural projects. I would like to pay my respects to Cassandra and send her a card. Also, if there is going to be a wake or memorial service, I would like to pay my respects there, as well, if it's not private.  - John Romano

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I am deeply saddened by Tony’s passing. He was a friend and colleague for forty years. Please keep me informed of all events in Tony’s honor. 408-981-7829  Let me know if/how I can assist Cassandra and Thalia. - Lou Pambianco

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One of my ex-colleagues Dr. Walter Tornow just wrote to me about Tony's passing away. My name is Bashker Biswas. Casandra knows who I am. Tony was my older brother. He was also my mentor and advisor. We were very close for many years. I am extremely saddened with intense grief to hear of his passing. I knew Tony for over 50 years. He was my boss on two occasions. We started working together in Control Data Corporation in 1970. In 1983 he asked me to join him in starting an HR Technology start-up in the Silicon Valley. The company's name was Skopos. Then later on when he became the Chief Human Resource Officer for Zain in Kuwait, I am the first person he hired and he took me along with him to the Middle East. We were very close both personally and professionally. We lived in the same building in Kuwait. We traveled together to many places around the world. He proudly took me on a trip to his native Sicily. He drove me all around the island of Sicily.  He showed me all the places that were his favorite when he was growing up there. He cooked a lot of pasta for me and my wife. It was his grandmother's recipe. Tony also wrote the Acknowledgement for both my books. In many ways, he was a real older brother. He took care of me in more ways than one. He was with me holding me up when my only son died prematurely. He attended my daughter's wedding. He was a guest speaker in many of my college classes. I live in Sacramento but I plan to attend his funeral whenever it takes place. Please let me know the arrangements. My phone number is 916-477-1800.  I just cannot stop my tears. - Bashker Biswas

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This is Bashker Biswas again. It is just totally amazing how many people's lives Tony touched across the entire world. The categories of people who have a deep affection for him cover.

1. People whose lives he personally improved when he was Chief Human Resource Officer at Zain in the Middle East. I have been informing these people of Tony's passing. You will be totally surprised by the response via LinkedIn. I have received over 150 responses from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Australia, and far beyond.

2. People he knew him from his Control Data days. These are his longest-term friends and professional colleagues.

3. Then there are his contacts from the Training and Development community. 

Literally 100s. They all want to pay their respects. As such, I was thinking of a global remembrance virtual event. This can be organized on an Electronic platform like WebEx. A Global Dr. Tony Tasca event. 

My colleagues at my University can help me take care of the logistics. I will cover any costs that might be involved. I do not think there will be any. Cassandra is supportive of such an event and we would help her access it. This will bring closure to the many close relationships Tony built around the world. I will ask his Middle East boss Dr. Saad Barrak to be one of the key speakers. - Bashker Biswas

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This is Paolo Pontoniere, publisher of the Online Almanac of the History of the Italians of California, and a recent friend of Tony. It is disheartening that we should meet on this terrible occurrence. I have had the honor of meeting Tony a few times over the last couple of years and have had the pleasure to appreciate his sweet and thoughtful composure. He contributed astute and sometimes humorous observations and ideas to OAHIC, and we were fortunate to share some of our journey with him. I know that if there's a Paradise they are rejoicing for his arrival. You and your family are in my thoughts and my prayers, and I am sure I speak also for the other common friends at the OAIH. My most sincere condolences. - Paolo Pontoniere 

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إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون.

This morning, i learned of the passing of my dear friend and mentor Tony Tasca. İ was fortunate to get to know, work with, and learn from Tony during a decisive, rather eventful period of both of our careers and lives. Since the moment i walked into his office in San Jose for a job interview, and for over ten years since, İ was given the opportunity to see his courageous, ever young soul and wonderful brain upclose. Tony would never decline to coach or support people he considered close to him. Hence, had always had sort of an extended family around him. Years after we parted ways, he flew all the way from San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur to attend my son's wedding. A fine human being who will be missed dearly. My heart goes out to his family during these hard times. İ will always carry you in my heart my dear brother. البقاء لله. - Hussein ElKazzaz. Istanbul 

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May God bless your soul my dearest brother Tony .. I am going to miss you dearly .. our grief is insurmountable.. what a wonderful man you were and you will always be ..please Rest In Peace, SAAD Al-Barrak

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It is with great happiness and sadness that I read your tribute to Tony.  Even though I wasn’t present I could visualize each point and could chuckle along with you.  He was an amazing man—generous to a fault, hard- working, kind, beyond smart and knowledgeable in so many, many areas.  Tony and I had a long running debate about our thinking about consulting.  We ended up with my stating he built a business, and I built a practice. I loved sharing thoughts, recipes and photos of food and travel.  Of course, I could never keep up with him. I met Tony at the Oxford Program at the end of 2007 and worked with him in Bahrain.  It is impossible for me to believe there is a world without this amazing friend. I’ve never had his address, and I’d like to send a note to Cassandra and since she doesn’t use computers, I was hoping you will share their address. I am sending  notes to our Oxford class so they will be aware of this sad news. Many thanks for your help, and condolences on the loss of our wonderful friend. - Dawn Robertson

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I want to express my condolences.  I worked with Tony at the Italian American Heritage Foundation and The Italifornian.  We will be planning some sort of tribute to Tony and I would appreciate any bio info we could let our readers know… Tony wrote for the IAHF NEWS.  - Ken Borelli, IAHF 1st VP, and the Executive Editor of The Italifornian

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I’m Mahmoud Hashish. I worked with Tony in Zain Telecom. Please accept (and convey to Cassandra) our sincere condolences. Tony was a very dear friend. I learned a lot from his wisdom during his time in the Middle East. I used to call him Don Antonio hahaha .. we kept in contact and a few weeks ago, I received a nice email from him. RIP Don Antonio Tasca  -Mahmoud Hashish, Ex. CEO of Zain Middle East

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Rest in Peace good sir! Im so sorry I didn’t get a last chance to see you even though we talked several times recently about going to lunch.  Lesson learned - take advantage of every day and make time to see the people you care about because you never know when someone’s time will come to an end.  You changed the trajectory of my life to the positive and who knows where I’d be if you never called me in for an interview at SKOPOS!  I will always remember you and what you did for me in this world! Your friend, Joe Hensley

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My husband and Tony were very good friends and traveling buddies. i wrote him every day as he would send pics of his lunch or foods he was cooking. This comes as a complete shock to us both. 

I’m sure everyone is in shock as he was so active every day. I’m still can’t believe this. Our numbers are 650-279-8615 john Rinaldi and my number us 650-438-7764.  - Kathy Rinaldi

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I am devastated by the untimely demise of our friend and mentor Anthony.  Even in his passing away he continues to offer insight and pearls of wisdom, such as his offering of Ecclesiastes and the left and the right.  As a fellow Sicilian, Tony and I shared several trips to Sicily and our relationship was close enough that he considered himself to be the older brother that I never had, based upon the discovery that both our families were  composed of three boys, and both Tony and I were the eldest. That said, we respected our different political views and had numerous enjoyable, and always reasonable discussions, save when we traveled to Italy where it would be "No Politics!".  Since we are back in the USA, you should know that my own response to the passage referenced by Tony on March 9, was a verse from a Country/Western song that offers the following thought on the  Eagle, and America:   "Without a working right wing and a working left wing, the bird can't fly!”  Take care Joe Hensley, and thank you Fortunato Tony, for another opportunity to learn and share. 

- John Rinaldi

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My name is Pedro Drago and I want to give my condolences to Cassandra and ThaliaTasca, in this sad moment. A mutual friend of Tony and I, sent me sad news. I met Tony in 1986 in Caracas, Venezuela and it has been a very long friendship ever since. I went to Mountain View, Bay Area, California in 1988, for an internship in his company SKOPOS. I went several times to his home and we enjoyed very much picking prunes up (yellow ones) with Tony and eating them right on the spot. He hired me to work with him in Kuwait in 2007, which was a great experience. Best regards, Pedro Drago.  

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Thank you for informing me about the passing of Tony. I was in contact with him every day. - Gene Chiappetta  832-294-3432

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 I don't know if Cassandra has seen the many postings on Facebook, some of the postings are so poignant, especially the one I read this morning from John Sebastian Massiala.  Given the many years of his work overseas, away from his family, it may be an aid in understanding the extent that Tony's work enriched so many lives.  I wanted to let Cassandra know that up to the last day Tony would fret about and express his concern that Cassandra wouldn't have to worry. I mentioned this yesterday evening to Cassandra and she wanted to know more so I am including a thread from March 9:

  •  Me: Just noticed that the last couple of messages were to delivered. Since I just got home (from fishing on the upper Chetco river in Oregon) it should now be okay.

  • With your Sicily trip coming in June it's great to see the one upside to Ukraine war is the Euro down to $1.08!

  • Tony: Euro is $1.10...today.  Gold over $2,200 per once...we got about 1/2 mil at about $1500 per once a few years back.  Diversification...

  • Me:  Fortunato wins again!  (Tony's father referred to him as Fortunato, a nickname I enjoyed using as well because he was indeed so Fortunate)

  • Tony @ 8:31 pm:  I am going to shift my investment as soon as things improve to an index fund...I am tired of volatility

  • Me: Pop always maintained that the stock market will never cease to a attain a new high, but it will fluctuate

  • Tony:  Your pop was right, but I am too old to wait.  I want Cassandra to have a strong cashflow....and 0 debts

  • Me:  Well, that's exactly right because he also added that "it may take a while..."

  • The end of our last communication.  Thanks again for your help. 

 

- John Rinaldi

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Email After March 16, 2022

I sent Cassandra my condolence card along with how much Tony meant to us who worked with him at Control Data. All the best, Walt Tornow

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Thank you for taking on this role after Tony’s passing. I just tried calling Cassandra and left her a voicemail. I also sent a sympathy e-card to Tony’s address and an email response to the email you had kindly sent as the announcement of his passing. Please convey this to Cassandra and let her know that I’m deeply saddened by this news, especially since Tony was my mentor for the last 40 years, ever since I met him first in the early 1980s. Please also let her know that I am here if she needs anything that I can help with. In deep sadness!  - Dilip Saraf (LinkedIn’s Top Coach)

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I am devastated in the loss of my cousin Anthony, I always considered him as my older brother, I am crying now, as I miss him dearly.  Actually, the day before he died on 3/11/22, we had email each other and he said for me to keep him informed with my status with prostate cancer.  Hank, please let me know when there is a funeral or memorial for my cousin.  I want to give a tribute by testifying and a tribute to a legend, words are not enough to express my appreciation and gratitude for my cousin, but I also will give my best to give Cassandra strength and encouragement like Cousin Anthony did when his uncle Angelo died, my dad and was an inspiration and a person who did that for me and my mom when my dad died in 1968.  My telephone number is 951-445-1767.  Sincerely yours, Anthony Tasca, Anthony’s first cousin

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Would you be kind enough to convey my condolences for Tony Tasca to his wife, Cassandra, whom I know indirectly through my interaction and exchanges with Tony.

I know Tony as a hard working guy who held onto life as an immigrant and who made a place for himself in the US. He was lucky for he lived the good days of post war America. He has been in California at the very early days of Silicon Valley and he has participated in his own capacity to the growth of it.

I have known Tony in his late years of service in the Middle East, particularly during his tenure at Zain.

He was the CHRO of a young and ever changing organization whose leadership had big ambitions.

He left his mark on people he interacted. He inspired me as a hard working person who believed in achieving goals through hard work and ambition. May God bless him.  - Cem Yolcu

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yes, unfortunately I have already heard this terrible news. Could you please write my email address on a piece of paper and give it to aunt cassandra? tasca_e@yahoo.it  elenatasca@studiolegalecorsello.it. can you tell her I haven't felt very well since yesterday? I have a very strong migraine. I can also call her later or tomorrow as soon as I'm better. Please. I m very sorry . She is waiting my call since yesterday. I had texted my cousin angela to warn her but I don't know if she called. I'm still not feeling very well. Grazie!  - Elena Tasca

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What a shock! I have known Tony professionally and as a friend since our days at Control Data in the early 1960's. Please let me know if more details regarding his passing are known and if there is a memorial where one may send a contribution. Thank you for your help to Casandra at this difficult time. - Bob Bartizal rgbartizal@gmail.com

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Cassandra, You may not remember me but I was one of the founding consultants when Tony started Skopos. Later when I started my own consulting practice I brought Tony in to do his consulting magic many times. We’ve maintained communication over the years especially since we both retired. I am so sorry for his passing. In our last communication he was excited to go to Sicily to see his brother. He thought it would probably be the last time he would go home. I hope he was able to make it.

Tony was a very cordial man who was appreciated and loved by many people. I saw a huge change in Tony when he began to attend the Mormon church. It felt like something clicked in him and he was at peace in some fundamental way. I feel that Tony’s passing must be a huge loss for you and we (my wife Patt and I) send you prayers of support for you and your daughter. I am sure it was a shock to your daughter. Tony always talked about her with deep love and caring. He felt your support and his love for you was very evident. We hold Tony with great affection and esteem for what his life demonstrated both professionally and personally. Most of all I remember Tony as an enthusiastic cook and great traveler of the world. Our blessings to you as you go forward with your life. - David Kyle davidkyle.nc@gmail.com, davidkylenc.com, 530 263-5413

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My email has been down for 2 weeks and received the news of Tony’s passing on Facebook. I wrote a lengthy note on the Comments section, but just got your email today. I am shocked and devastated! I have known Tony for 49 years and for the last 5 years we communicated DAILY! I knew something was wrong when I received the last text from Tony on Thursday night at 9:45 PM. The evening before his passing. Thank you for letting us know. I miss him so very much. - Jenny Crowe-Innes, 10643 Whispering Oaks Lane, Nevada City, CA 95959

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Hello, I worked for Tony before he became rich and famous in his first venture at ODA International in Palo Alto.  We have stayed in contact over the years and I was quite surprised at hearing of his passing.  He call me last year and never mentioned any illness, and I was under the impression he was quite well.  I currently live in Idaho, and will be unable to attend services, and the internet up here in Podunk Idaho are terrible, so may not be able to view his services.  Could you tell me what Tony died of??  As I said I didn't know he had any illnesses. Please relay my condolences to Casandra. - Ted Sellitti

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I am still reeling from the news your mail carried - that Tony Tasca, my Padrone, is no more in this world. I had been away from Bangalore and was so tied up with work that I did not get to check my mail as much as I would like to. So coming back to home base and reading your tribute to Tony was the first I learnt that he had gone away forever. What can I say about Tony? For me he was a class act, with a heart of gold, a never-say-die spirit, a warmth towards all he met and a thirst to learn and share his knowledge. My connection with the Louis Allen fraternity is a direct consequence of his having all these qualities and deciding to give me a chance, against the many that he met, when he was in India deciding who to partner with.

I did not get to meet him as often as I would have liked to. My last connect with him was in Egypt, which was the last time we met as the Louis Allen brotherhood (It was also the last time I met with you). 

May his soul, now resident in heaven, continue to find the joy that he experienced in life in this world. And may he speak with our Heavenly Father and intercede for us as we make our way to join him, when it is our time. Please pass on my deepest sympathies to Tony's family. I shall pray for them to have the courage to go on with life and living, as he would like them to, knowing that he has gone to a better place and time. And, since you are a part of his family, you will also be in my prayers, with the same plea, for you, to the Father. Stay blessed, my brother. - Vivek M. Albuquerque

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Tony was a wonderful thought leader, consultant and coach who worked with me at three organizations and made a huge difference in each situation.  He was also a special friend to Bob and me.  We still talk about and will always cherish our memories of the trip we made to Sicily with him 20 years ago. But very personally what I would want to share is that he was an instrumental mentor to me at key moments in my career.  My last serious communication with him was a long email exchange we had around his birthday in 2019.  One of the topics I covered was my plans to retire from professional activities in 2020.  In that context, I said to him:

“In closing, I want to thank you for encouraging me in the mid-1980’s (when we first met and I participated in your organizational development program) to see my work as a “career and calling”.  Up until then, I thought I had a “job” and I needed to earn money.  You saw more in my professional ability than I did and nurtured it.  For that, I will always be grateful, my friend.” Tony responded almost immediately:  “Gail, you are blessed by some unique gifts.  I recognized some of them the moment I met you. I saw them as untapped potential.  Glad you recognized it and built a formidable and satisfying career.  Yes, it is time for you to hang it up and do things for which you previously did not have time.” This exchange is a real gift to me, both in letting Tony know how much he meant to me, and in receiving his insightful comments and blessing for my retirement plans.  He was a wonderful man — he has had an incredible impact on the lives of so many of us.  May God bless him and his family and may he Rest in Peace. - Gail Aldrich

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Let me thank you for the link to Tony's Memorial Service. It felt good to be able to listen to stories of Tony and all the joy he spread to all the people he connected with in his life, a life well-lived. I was one of the beneficiaries of his goodness and will eternally be grateful to him for choosing me to fly the flag of Louis Allen in India. It was my misfortune that I did not meet him more often than I was able to but I am thankful to the Almighty for the occasions that we did get together. I don't know what it was that finally called him away to our Father's home in Heaven but I am sure that he is happy at having got there. - Vivek M. Albuquerque / India

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Thank you for allowing me to be part of Tony’s memorial last night, Hank. It means a lot to me.

I’ll always remember Tony for the wonderful impact he had on my life. 

Please pass my condolences to his family 🌹🌹 - Hala Fayed

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Our deepest condolences for your loss.  I met you in 1958 at UConn when Tony was my first roommate and we remained in touch over the years.  Tony was living in New London, and knew my Dad who was giving accordion lessons in the same building as his barbershop.  I know Tony was depressed when his brother died but thought he was getting through the loss when he continued to send those wonderful photos of the meals he prepared and went out to consume. I don't have to list his many accomplishments in so many domains.  Others who met Tony through me only had praise for him. I loved his colorful letters and the times we spoke on the phone.  He lived a good life, with you and your daughter. I will miss him in so many ways. Please call if you would like to talk. Sincerely, John & Hwa Young Caruso, cell phone 516-510-4721

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The words I would use to describe Tony are: Empathy, Compassion. Integrity. Competence.

My fondest memories are Ton;s class on consulting, a guided tour of Sicily that included his home town and dinner with niece, nephew, brother, and sister-in-law, and nights we spent together in a hotel while consulting for Micropolis. He also showed insight by always paying consultants more than they asked for. There are many other stories as well. He was a good man who I will sorely miss. - Frank Martin

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Rest in Peace good sir! Im so sorry I didn’t get a last chance to see you even though we talked several times recently about going to lunch.  Lesson learned - take advantage of every day and make time to see the people you care about because you never know when someone’s time will come to an end.  You changed the trajectory of my life to the positive and who knows where I’d be if you never called me in for an interview at SKOPOS!  I will always remember you and what you did for me in this world!  - Joe Hensley

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Our daughter, Jessica, is Director of Women’s Ministry at Calvary Mac Church in McMinnville, Oregon.  She took this candid picture of Logan, her son (and our one-year-old grandson), at her church leadership staff meeting this week.  I would always share pictures of Logan with Tony, and he would send a cute reply.  I want to now imagine that Logan is saying good bye to Tony. - Ray Burch

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Many thanks for the recording. I couldn’t attend the memorial but I’m very happy to have the opportunity to go through it. - Frederic Patricelli,  Italy

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Tony will always be one of my favorite people.  He was always cheerful. I loved his laugh and smile.  I think everyone was his friend.  I consider it a privilege to have been one of his friends.

He was our faithful home teacher for several years. I can still see him pulling up to our house on his Vespa or in his Fiat convertible, coming to the door and handing us some homemade treat—pasta sauce, meatballs, gumbo (he knew I loved gumbo, and especially with oysters); he always gave us an Italian panettone for Christmas.  He was sincerely interested in all of us and our doings.  He never stayed too long.  He was always ready to give us rides to the airport when we needed them.  

Tony had friends everywhere in the world, and he treasured and admired people of all faiths, all walks of life.  He could go anywhere, move comfortably in any crowd.  How many languages did he speak?  He spoke kindly of everyone.

I remember hearing him tell his life story, his immigration from Sicily to the US, his time in the US military, and how he made a wonderful, successful life for himself in his adopted country.  He epitomized the American dream.  

Tony was patriotic.  He loved his native Sicily, but he also loved the United States and believed in the principles it was founded on.  He was outspoken about politicians and policies he thought could be harmful to the country.  He was fairly conservative, but I appreciated the fact that he did his best to back up any statement he made with facts to justify his position on a given issue.

I always enjoyed Tony’s blogs, whether about politics, economics, history, or any number of other subjects he followed.

Food was definitely Tony’s main passion, and we were all the beneficiaries of his knowledge of cuisine and restaurants and his ability in the kitchen.  A favorite memory was the cooking class he gave to the men in the ward on how to make pasta sauces—marinara, gorgonzola, and others.  It was nothing short of miraculous.

Tony loved to eat out.  It appeared from his e-mails that he ate out at least once a day, sometimes twice.  And often he would invite a friend to go with him—his treat!  I can’t count the number of lunches he took me to.  He had such eclectic tastes.  Favorites were Casa Lupe in Los Altos, the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco, Palermo Sicilian restaurant in San Jose, Maria Elena’s Mexican in Alviso, Jing Jing in Palo Alto, the Rustic Oyster Bar and Grill in Los Altos, Ristorante Buon Gusto (Italian) in South San Francisco, Teske’s Germania in San Jose—those are just some of the restaurants I remember going to with Tony.  And I know he took other friends many other times.  One day when we went to the Rustic Oyster Bar in Los Altos, we drove separately, meeting at the restaurant.  We both made the fatal mistake of making a U-turn on Main Street in Los Altos to pull into parking spaces.  The same cop nabbed us both.  That was an expensive lunch for each of us.  (I think the ticket was something like $175, no talking the cop out of it.)

Tony also took us men of the ward on a memorable walking tour of San Francisco’s North Beach, with lunch and visits to his favorite bakeries and butcher shops.  For a long time we had regular men’s breakfasts and lunches at Bill’s Café, Baji’s Café, Fambrini’s Café, Rossotti’s, and several others. These are just the ones I can remember!  Great conversation was always had on these excursions.  Tony also contributed to our very enjoyable Cheerio Chats where we also learned about his life.

Tony treated our family to several wonderful lunches and dinners at the University Club in Palo Alto, where he was a member.  His favorite meal there was a classic hot dog, but we remember having the seafood buffet and a few other great feasts there.

Tony created a beautiful home for himself and Cassandra.  He had planted figs, apricots, pomegranates, lemons, plums, and more, and always shared the bounty with us.  

Tony was a family man.  He took good care of his wife Cassandra, and especially of Thalia.  He remained close to his siblings, and it was hard for him when his younger brother Angelo in Santa Barbara died before he did.  

Years ago Tony called on me (and Peter?) to give him a blessing before he went in for prostate cancer treatment.  I was honored that he would invite me to help in that blessing, but more than that, I appreciated the faith he had in asking for a blessing.  I remember when Tony joined the Church.  I often thought about the faith that must have taken, for a life-long Catholic and a Sicilian to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with doctrines, history, and traditions quite different from his own.  I imagine it wasn’t always easy for him, but he was very faithful and respectful.  I give him a lot of credit for making that move in his life and staying with it to the end.

I’ll never forget Tony.  No one will!  Arrivederci!  - James Welch

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