YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Anthony “Tony” Lucarell passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough, Maine.
Tony was born on August 7, 1929, in Youngstown, Ohio, with his twin brother, Danny. He grew up in Brier Hill, surrounded by a large family and wonderful Italian food.
In 1947, at the age of 18, Tony joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and served during the Korean Conflict until 1951, when he was honorably discharged after receiving the Army of Occupation Medal (Japan Clasp) and the Good Conduct Medal. In 2019, Tony was honored through Maine Honor Flight with a trip to Washington, D.C., where he was able to first experience the Korean War Memorial.
After his military service, Tony returned home and worked at Youngstown Steel Door until he retired in 1989.
He met his wife, Rita, at a dance and they married in 1956. They built a life together, welcoming a daughter and son.
Tony was an active, long-term member of the Boardman Lions Club (serving as president) and the Saint Luke Roman Catholic Parish of Boardman, Ohio. He loved volunteering at the church’s summer festival, particularly at the sausage booth.
Family was very important to Tony. He cherished the family dinners and holidays, especially Christmas Eves, on Victoria Street. He and Rita traveled the U.S. to spend time with their children and grandchildren.
In 2005, Tony was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration. He traveled to Chicago to attend the Hines VA Blind Rehabilitation Center, receiving specialized training and skills to maintain his independence. Even though his eyesight deteriorated rapidly, his memory remained sharp.
They moved to The Inn at Atlantic Heights in Saco, Maine in 2016 to be closer to their daughter. Rita was Anthony’s eyes and he lovingly supported her throughout her Alzheimer’s progression. They were often seen walking together, holding hands. Together, they made a great team. Tony and Rita were married for 64 years before she passed away in May 2020 and Tony continued to make Atlantic Heights his home. He was a loved and valued member of his community, whether in Boardman, at The Inn, or most recently at the Maine Veterans’ Home. He was loved by all.
Tony always had a sense of humor and loved to joke with his friends and family. Until his death, he kept up with his six grandchildren, their significant others and one great-grandson across states and travels, somehow managing to keep track of everyone’s activities. He never failed to miss a birthday and always liked to call loved ones before their travels. He loved to visit with family and friends and was quick to share his wisdom from 64 years of marriage with Rita: “Marriage is a two-way street. You have to learn to push and tug together.”
Tony witnessed significant changes during his 94 years, from leaving his small Italian community in Ohio to traveling for the military and then eventually moving to Maine. Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles Tony overcame was the COVID pandemic. He quickly adapted to wearing his face mask, saying “well, it doesn’t hurt anyone to wear one.” During that time, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, underwent surgery, and later would proudly show his stitches to others. He possessed an unflapping, no-complaining spirit with his blindness and never said an unkind word about anyone. His resilience remains an enduring inspiration to his family.
Tony was preceded in death by his wife, Rita; parents, Carmel and Daniel Lucarell and his brothers, Dom, Sam and his twin, Danny.
He is survived by his brother, Gil; daughter, Linda (John) Howard of Cumberland, Maine and son, Daniel (Colleen) Lucarell of Lynn Haven, Florida. He had six grandchildren and two great-grandsons, Joscelyn Lucarell, Jennifer (Zachary) McKee, Justeen Lucarell, Daniel (Kaitlyn) Lucarell, Jessica (Mark) Olsen, Sarah Howard (fiancé, Gordon Peterson) and Liam and Ayson Lucarell. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff at The Inn at Atlantic Heights for welcoming Tony to his new home in Maine, and for the loving support and care they and the Maine Veterans’ Home provided during the final years and days of his life.
A Catholic Mass and a Celebration of Life honoring Anthony and Rita will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 25 at St. Luke Church, 5235 South Avenue, Youngstown. Visitation will be held at the church beginning at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Luke Church or Boardman Lions.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the professional care of the Rossi Brothers and Lellio Funeral Home, 4442 South Ave. in Boardman. Family and friends are encouraged to offer prayers for the family and support via phone call, text, email or may visit the Book of Memories at www.rossifunerals.com.
A television tribute will air Sunday, November 19 at the following approximate times: 6:27 p.m. on WYTV and 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.