NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Anthony "Tony" Sakowich, 95, successful inventor, avid pilot, prodigious philanthropist and devoted husband died on Feb. 14th, 2014, fittingly St. Valentine's Day. with his beloved wife by his side.Born in Lawrence, Mass., Dec. 27, 1919, to Lithuanian immigrants John and Bronislawa (Ainorite) Sakowich, Tony grew up in Lawrence, working at his father's Park Street meat market. After serving in the military, Tony attended Tulane and Bentley University, then went on to become a successful entrepreneur and inventor, patenting a process to mold laminated countertops, manufacturing them in North Andover and selling to customers of the likes of Formica and Sears.In 1955, Tony married the love of his life, Gladys (Tidswell), and together they lived in Andover, Mass., sharing 58 years of unwavering devotion to one another. In the 1950s, Tony began flying his plane up to New Hampshire's Lakes Region to visit clients or with his wife, Gladys, to enjoy boating on his favorite, Lake Winnipesaukee, aboard their antique Chris Craft aptly named "Kismet" for their romance. He was a member of the Winter Harbor Yacht Club on Welch Island for more than 50 years, and they shared a vacation home on Governor's Island, the couple's "home away from home," where they made many lasting friendships.Although they had no children, Tony was dedicated to a philanthropic mission to improve the lives of children. As a longtime Kiwanis Club member, Tony gave generously to various causes benefiting children and education, recently donating a half a million dollars to Lakes Region charities, including a new home for the Boys & Girls Club in Laconia. Other beneficiaries of their generosity have included Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., for which the Anthony Sakowich Recreation Center is named in his honor, and the Boys & Girls Club in Lawrence. In 2012, the couple gave their 9-acre Andover homestead to the Andover Village Improvement Society so it could be used as recreational space open to and enjoyed by all.
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SERVICES: Friends are respectfully invited to visit on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Charles F. Dewhirst Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen, Mass. Funeral services will follow at 11 a.m. on Friday at the funeral home. Burial will be in West Parish Cemetery, Andover, Mass.In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Greater Lawrence Kiwanis Club Foundation, P.O. Box 3068, Andover MA 01810. To send an online condolence, please visit www.dewhirstfuneral.com or www.facebook.com/DewhirstFuneralHome.
Published in Union Leader on Feb. 19, 2014