No matter how complex the world has become, one person can still make a big difference. Tony Triglione, the founder of Mission of Deeds, did just that.
Born in 1925, Tony grew up very poor in Somerville as the eldest of four children. His father had passed away when Tony was ten, and throughout his young life Tony worked multiple jobs after school to help support his family.
When World War II arrived Tony decided to leave high school to join the Navy despite his mother’s misgivings. During the entire four years he served he dutifully sent his pay home to help with his family’s expenses.
Following the war, Tony returned to Somerville and worked as a mechanic. He dreamed of opening his own business but he did not have the money. Discouraged, Tony confided in his mother. She then took him to a bureau drawer, where to his amazement she presented him with all of his Navy pay. She had saved every last bit. She gave this money to Tony, and with it, he opened a gas station in Woburn.
The gas station thrived, but the days were long and Tony wanted to start a new business so he could spend more time with his growing family. He sold the gas station and in 1955 opened his first auto parts store. Other stores followed, and Tony became the largest retailer of NAPA auto parts in New England.
But Tony never forgot what it was like to be poor. Inspired by his religious faith and the work of My Brother’s Keeper, Tony founded Mission of Deeds in 1993 to provide beds, furniture and housewares to those in need. He was our first president and our principal supporter throughout his life.
Tony passed away in 2011 at the age of 85, active at Mission of Deeds right to the very end. Today, we celebrate his legacy with each and every family served, forever inspired by his kind heart and generous spirit.