Obituary of Anthony E. Gallucci
Anthony Edward Gallucci passed away after a brief illness at age 69. He is predeceased by his beloved parents, Anthony (Tony) and Angeline (Julie) Gallucci and his beloved godparents Edward and Mary Puccini. Anthony is survived by sister, Arlene Cluff and brother-in-law Roy Cluff, brother Jim Gallucci, sister-in-law Kathy Gallucci, nephew Mario Gallucci, wife Kristen Gallucci, great nephews Milo and Luca Gallucci, niece Madeline Gallucci and several cousins.
Anthony was born August 17, 1952, 13 months after his big brother Jim. At age 2, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. This affected his left side leaving him with a limp, contracted arm and periodic seizures. His was a turbulent life dealing with his handicap. Many friends and family reached out to help him and my parents through those tumultuous times. The first vacation the family took in the late 50’s was to visit the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in Québec to pray for a healing miracle and to buy the blessed oil, which my Mom faithfully put on his arm every night. This was the first time we saw him in fearless action. He ran up the mountain to the basilica teetering very close to the embankment which fell several hundred feet. We all stood there stunned and hoped that he would not go over the edge. Of course, he didn’t, and he laughed all the way back down the mountain and for the rest of his life, he was fearless. He loved the fastest carnival rides and the high Jack Rabbit at Seabreeze. After we left Canada, we ventured down to New Jersey to visit his godparents. They always loved him and helped my parents manage him. He loved going to Atlantic City and to the beach with them. My parents took us on exciting trips every summer to the east coast. We all loved to see all the historical sites along the way and of course, to go to the beach.
School was always a challenge for Tony. However, he graduated from Hoover Drive Elementary School, Olympia High School, and after many years of struggle, he graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology. That was the biggest challenge of his life. He never gave up even though it took him several years to get his degree.
Anthony built and assembled an intricate model train station and platform with Jim and our Dad. He was also an avid coin collector throughout his life.
Throughout most of his life he struggled with his handicap. This was in the era of everyone not fully understanding how to care for handicapped children. At the Al Sigl Center there were fantastic teachers and counselors who tried to help my parents with what became an almost impossible situation. So many family and parents’ close friends tried to help. In the end we all had to let him decide to live the way he wanted.
In 1964 we took a family trip to California for our cousin Joseph Angilella’s ordination. It was a fantastic trip with Joe’s father taking us to see the sights. My aunt and uncle lived in the shadow of Magic Mountain at Disneyland. Anthony fell in love with California. He made up his mind that he was going back there, dreaming the dream of living the fantasy lifestyle of California. He went back twice. The last time he stayed for 25 years. He always took the train and to see all the sights along the way. He always loved to travel. The first time he went out to California to live, he ended up staying in the Watts neighborhood during the riots. His friends protected him. How many people can say they survived the Watts Riots!! When he moved there again, he lived in West Hollywood and eventually ended up in Glendale. His life out there was not easy. There were many colorful, and sometimes, dangerous lost souls that he met or lived with. In spite of it all, he survived. This was where he wanted to live, and he did just that on his terms.
In 2012 Tony attended Mario and Kristen’s wedding in Greensboro, NC. He was thrilled and very nervous about seeing the family. In the end he had a marvelous time and visit with all the family. Over the past several years his health deteriorated to the point where he couldn’t walk and was in a wheelchair most of the time. His strong Italian genes prevented him from catching COVID, even though many patients around him did.
He survived I believe because of those stubborn Italian genes. When he set his mind to do something he did it. He bought and drove his own car, lived on his own in several places, worked for a short time at Kodak and at factory that employed disabled people. He was a challenge to all of us who tried to help and understand him.
We are sorry we couldn’t be more a part of his life. This was how he wanted it. Rest at peace now dear brother. He’s in a better place, happy at last.
Contributions may be sent in his memory to:
United Cerebral Palsy Association, Al Sigl Center, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Suite 300, Rochester, NY 14620-3098
Funeral Service: White Haven Memorial Park-Creation Chapel, 210 Marsh Road, Pittsford, NY 14534, Saturday, July 9, 2022, at 11 AM in the chapel.
Condolences may be sent to:
Arlene Cluff – email@example.com
Jim Gallucci – firstname.lastname@example.org