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Anthony “Tony” Priano, Sr.

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April 18, 1930 – September 4, 2013

Anthony (Tony) Priano, Sr., of Whitehall

Died September 4, 2013, of natural causes.  He was 83.

Per his wishes, he passed peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.

He is survived by his loving wife Cathy (Catherine Auen), Daughter Karen, 4 Sons: Tony, Gerry (Mimi), Al (Cheryl), Jeff (Linda Walker, FI).  He was blessed with 11 grandchildren, 10 boys and 1 girl — and 10 great-grandchildren, 7 boys and 3 girls.  Also survived by brothers Guy (Francis) and Al (Lee).  Tony was born April 18, 1930, the son of Alfonso and Grazia Priano, both Sicilian immigrants, and grew up in Bloomfield and Carrick, PA.  He met the love of his life, Cathy, doing the Jitterbug at Sully’s, a dance hall in Brentwood.  They were married 62 years.  From his father, Tony learned the trades of bricklayer, decorative stone mason and concrete finisher — he put those skills to work building his own home in Whitehall, PA, where he moved in 1955.  He also had a career as a letter carrier with the US Postal Service and was a veteran of the United States Air Force and member of American Legion Nix-Vogel Post 935.  Throughout his life, Tony’s pride was his large, close family, one filled with laughter and song.  A hard-working, creative man, his brick, block and decorative stone work can be seen in commercial buildings and homes throughout the city.  He used to amaze his children by doing long division and calculating cubic yards of concrete in his head.  He played trumpet in the Air Force band.  Tony was very active at St. Elizabeth’s Church as an usher, involved in the Baptismal Program, and at the yearly Spring-a-Rama.  He and Cathy directed the tour program for the Senior Citizen’s for many years.  Friends will be received at the John F. Slater  Funeral Home, Inc., 412-881-4100,  4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood 15227 on Saturday and Sunday from  2-4 and 7-9 p.m.  Funeral prayer on Monday morning at 9:15.  Mass of Christian Burial in  St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, Pleasant Hills, PA at 10:00 a.m.  Burial with full military honors at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery following the funeral service.

7 Condolences

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  1. Bob & Donna Gregory

    To the adopted family we have come to love, our hearts go out to the entire Priano family in their time of sorrow.

    Bob, Donna, Shannon and Jonathan

  2. Linda P Eikey

    God Bless all.

  3. Karen

    You’re the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold,
    You’re daddy’s little girl to have and to hold.
    A precious gem is what you are,
    You’re mommy’s bright and shining star.
    You’re the spirit of Christmas, my star on the tree,
    You’re the Easter Bunny to mommy and me;
    You’re sugar, you’re spice, you’re everything nice,
    And you’re daddy’s little girl.

    It was such an honor to be your little girl Dad. I love you so much and will miss you with all my heart.
    I love you Dad, con tutto l’anima cuore.

  4. Al (Dad's son)

    How do I put this into words?

    As an 8 year old, my Dad was superman. He could hit a baseball higher than anyone I knew. Big, strong. He could put me up on his shoulders as a youngster like I was weightless. A lesson in strength. I wasn’t always the best of boys. I remember the time I threw a wrench through the back window. Even then my aim was bad. I was trying to hit Gerry. I thought “uh oh”. When Dad came home from work, he was so upset he said “Don’t ever talk to me about sports again”. That hurt worse than if he would have spanked me (which he didn’t). So he bought a new pane of glass and I stood there as he silently installed it. As he was putting the glaze in place to finish the job, he said “so what did the Buc’s do last night?” and I smiled. A lesson in forgiveness. My Dad taught me all kinds of things through life. He didn’t finish high school but he knew more than most college graduates that I know. A lesson in true knowledge and wisdom. He was a skilled craftsman. It was a joy watching him brick in windows on my house and creating my brick hearth. A lesson in skill and creativity. From paying for pizza at family functions to taking the entire family on a cruise, he taught me about generosity. The lessons in these things and countless others, the lessons in Love that he showered on me and my family will never be forgotten. And in the end, there was to be one more lesson to be learned.

    My Dad had a very difficult struggle for the last 5 years as his disease was stripping him of his strength. He showed true appreciation for the little things we would all do for him even as it saddened him that he could no longer do the things himself. We had a deep conversation recently where I expressed my gratitude for all he had done for me and if I could just be half the man that he is, I will be way ahead of the curve. He told me “Al, you are my precious son and I will never forget you.” I know he felt like that about all of us. But he said one thing that was even more important than that. Unprompted, he said “I am trusting Jesus as my Savior and I am looking forward to seeing Him in Heaven.” As the final two days went by, and we would sing a variety of songs, I remember him joining in on Joy To The World. I remember him reciting Psalm 23. And I remember him peacefully breathing his last breath. Yes, in the end, he taught me the proper way to die. My final lesson. As difficult as that was, I am joyful I didn’t miss it.

    So I am trusting Jesus as my Savior, too. And some day it will be my turn. I hope that along the way, I can pass some of these lessons on to my own children. And when that day comes for me to leave this earth and go on to be with my Savior, Jesus will greet me and wipe away my tears, just as he has done with Dad. What joy! And when I have spent my initial time with Jesus and He is ready to share me with others in Heaven, I know there will be many there. From Adam, to Noah, to Moses, Joseph and Mary, Peter, James and John, it will be great to have a time of rejoicing and conversation with all of them and so many more. But recently, someone has moved to the front of the line for me. On that day, I will see my Dad. Big and strong again. With his big smile and bigger heart.

    And so we grieve. Yet, as God’s Word says, we do not grieve as ones that have no hope. I am sad and joyful at the same time thanks to what God has done for my Dad. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Rest well, Dad.

    With Love,


  5. Joyce Mitchell

    Dear Priano Family: My thoughts and prayers are with you. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Friend of Cheryl – Cooking Club

  6. Bruce and Nancy Klimcheck

    Dear Gerry, Mimi and Priano family,

    Our deepest sympathy to you and your family at this difficult time. I had the pleasure of working with your Dad as a fellow letter carrier at the USC Post Office for several years. He was always a positive, pleasant man who had a great sense of humor and laughed a lot. He was kind to me as I started my career and helped show me the ropes. I have such fond memories of stopping for a quick breakfast at Sears at South Hills Village Mall on our way to our mail routes. He was a great guy and I know you all will feel his loss. But he is in heaven now and smiling down upon you all. May God bless your family.

  7. Warren Merritt

    I am deeply saddened by your loss. Please except my heartfelt condolences.

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