"Papa Tony" passed July 22, 2014, at the age of 96.
He was Director of Virginia, Ill., bands for six years and Harvard High School bands for 28 years, building the instrumental music department which culminated in multiple state sweepstakes winners and runners-up. In 1973, the band participated in an international competition in Vienna, Austria, earning top honors. "Papa Tony" truly loved the students under his direction and was grateful for the abundance of community support and pride. He was one of the early founders and on-going contributors to Harvard Milk Days, and he was its Grand Marshall in 2004.
Born in Chicago, he was a World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. He later attained his graduate degree from Northwestern University.
"Papa Tony" was a bassoonist for the Chicago Symphonic Orchestra, the Longines Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Civic Opera Orchestra, Kryl's Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony, WGN Radio, Sonja Henie's Hollywood Orchestra and several other stage-show orchestras.
He also taught at Weselyn University. Papa Tony was inducted into the National Bandmasters Hall of Fame (Phi Beta Mu) in 1990. He was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose and the American Legion. In later years, Anton ran a small marketing specialties business called "Suz-A Pouch Company."
Anton was a proud father of four children: Dan, Tony (Pam), Maria Showalter and Ron (Beth); grandfather of eight grandchildren and great-grandfather of many.
He was predeceased by Margaret, his loving wife of 57 years, one brother Louis, and one son Dan.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Aug. 16 to Sept. 15, 2014