In Olyphant, on January 1, 1926, the world was introduced to Anthony “Tony” Picchio. How very blessed we were that day. Tony was welcomed to this world by his father, Luciano, his mother, Rosa Parette and six siblings that preceded him, Annie, Marty, Pete, Victor, Angelo and Louie. He himself was then made a “Big” brother with the births of Caroline and Albert. They were a lively bunch of nine and Tony loved to tell the stories that went along with their childhood. Until his last days, his memory was sharp and he recalled every moment to near perfection with a twinkle in his eye and his famous giggle.
Tony served dutifully in the U.S. Army in World War II until he was honorably discharged to come home to take care of his family.
He then met and married the love of his life, Dorothy Shaute. They lived their years happily and humbly, always taking care of one another and loving each other unconditionally until Dorothy’s passing on November 24, 1998. Although they were never blessed with their own children, God gave unto them many nieces, nephews and cousins that loved them just as purely as any of their own children would have.
Tony loved his hometown. A graduate of Olyphant High School and Machinist Technical School, he was always an active member of the Olyphant community. He was a devout member of Holy Cross Parish at St. Patrick’s Church, formerly Holy Ghost Church and American Legion Raymond Henry Post 327. Many would remember his Gulf gas station on W. Lackawanna Avenue. It was the local hangout for the boys during the day. When nieces and nephews stopped by, there was plenty of Dum-Dum lollipops and Pals gum to be had in the back of the old mail truck. If you were extra good, Uncle Tony would use “the key” to open up the soda machine and give you a free Lipton Iced Tea or Pepsi. He knew how to make each child feel so very special.
Tony was then tax collector for his “Queen City” for many, many years. He loved that responsibility and loved being able to see the members of his beloved community on a regular basis. Again, he always had a treat available for the kids. This time: pretzel rods.
Tony was always up for a card night with the boys on “the hill” or for a jaunt to the track to bet on the horses. He had a gift at picking them. He was a lucky man in most areas of his life. But we were the luckiest of them all, because we got to share his life with him and know the love of him.
He is survived by his baby brother Albert and sister-in-law, Helen; many nieces, nephews and cousins including, Susan Smith, Mary Keegan and Michael Grayson; dear friend, Jacqueline Bendick; and his longtime companion, Rosemarie Coleman.
He was preceded in death by five brothers: Marty, Pete, Victor, Angelo and Louie and two sisters: Annie Martinelli and Caroline Kozuch.
While he will be missed by each of us immensely, we can rest easy knowing he lived a long, full life for most of his 92 years. How very lucky he was to have been so very happy and healthy until nearly the end. He died peacefully at Mid-Valley Health Care Center, Peckville on Friday night. In his honor, have a glass of homemade red wine and play a quick game of poker. He wouldn’t have it any other way. We love you forever and a day, Tony.
Mass will be at 9:30AM on Monday at Holy Cross Parish at St. Patrick’s Church, Delaware Avenue, Olyphant. Msgr. Michael J. Delaney, pastor will officiate. Interment will take place in Holy Ghost Cemetery, Blakely.
Friends may call on Sunday from 3 to 5PM at the Hudak-O’Shea Funeral Home, Inc., 115 Garfield Avenue, Olyphant.
Friends are asked to go directly to the church on Monday morning.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Cross Parish, 200 Delaware Avenue, Olyphant, PA, 18447.
For directions of online condolences, please visit www.hudak-osheafuneralhome.com.