Born in 1925, Tony grew up very poor in Somerville as the eldest of four children. His father passed away when Tony was ten. Throughout his young life, Tony worked multiple jobs after school to help support his family.
When World War II arrived, Tony left high school to join the Navy. During the four years he served, he dutifully sent home his pay 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. To his amazement, she presented him with all his Navy pay. She had saved every penny for when he would get married. 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. 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.
Based on his experience with childhood poverty and inspired by his religious faith, Tony founded Mission of Deeds in 1993 to provide beds, furniture, and housewares, without charge, to those in need. He was our first president and principal supporter throughout his life.
Tony passed away in 2011 at the age of 85. He was active at Mission of Deeds right to the end. Today, we celebrate his legacy with each and every family served, forever inspired by his kind heart and generous spirit.
“What a terrific bed! Sincere and hearty thank you for your generous gifts! It is such a comfort to have my own bed, sheets, and necessities thanks to your thoughtful organization.”
“Your organization is the most worthy of praise. You really do help the needy when they need it the most. I was a recipient of you once. I’ll never forget how happy you made me, and I’ve donated since I got back on my feet. Thank you all for your hard work.”
“Your care and generosity turned my apartment into a home. A simple thank you doesn’t seem enough.”