I have known my friend Tony for a couple of decades. We met through our wives and kids. We shared a similar sense of humor. We coached some baseball teams together. Went to dinner with our wives occasionally. We played euchre. We watched the Super Bowl at each other’s house. We celebrated many New Years together.
We haven’t seen him as much since we moved. They still lived down the street in the old neighborhood.
When we went on our second cruise back in 2015, Tony and his wife booked a cabin next to ours. It was going to be a blast. Two weeks before sailing he went for a routine heart scan. Red flags went up and he found himself in the hospital. Days later he had a quadruple bypass. No cruise for them.
Tony’s heart continued to deteriorate. The damage was done. Ultimately, he ended up on the transplant list, tied to a big battery pack powering the artificial valves on the left side of his heart. But he never lost his positive outlook or his humor.
Tony was my exact opposite politically. We never argued about politics. Tony was proof that people can amicably agree to disagree. And yes, I laughed when he sent me an “ Obama” birthday card.
Tony had to have emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix last week. Complications set in. He never recovered. Tony went to join God Tuesday evening.
He will be missed by his wife, his daughter, and step kids. He leaves a ton of friends behind. I consider myself one. I’m honored to be so.
I’m pretty sure he has some angels cornered , grinning while he tells a silly joke.