HUNTSVILLE - Anthony (Tony) J. Barone, 91, of Huntsville, passed away quietly Monday at his home. Tony was born in Leroy, NY, where he graduated from Ithaca Conservatory of Music with a B.S. in Music performance. He played with the big bands of the swing era, singing on radio, and playing the cello in the symphony orchestra. Tony was a businessman in Huntsville, owning two organ stores in Huntsville for 23 years, Tony Barone's Organ Center in Parkway City Mall and The Organ Center on North Memorial Parkway. He and his wife, Betty, hosted the Tony Barone Show on Channel 48 in Huntsville for 18 years. Tony played for governors, Miss USA, and sang in clubs in Miami and Miami Beach, Florida. He played the saxophone, cello, and clarinet in addition to the organ he learned to play at age 50. Tony and his wife traveled throughout the world, including Sicily to see the home of Tony's parents, Russia, France, Finland, Switzerland, and the Italian Riviera. While retired to the shores of Logan Martin Lake in Pell City for 21 years, he entertained audiences there and throughout the Birmingham area at retirement homes, parties, clubs, malls and church socials with his keyboarding and singing. He returned to Huntsville in 2007 to be closer to family. He was a longtime member of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Pell City and was an Eucharistic minister for the church for 14 years. He and his wife were church greeters and started an outreach ministry for those who were ill. He was a private pilot for 55 years and flew his own plane. At age 82, he made a parachute jump at the Pell City Airport. After reading of his sky diving jump in the Associated Press, former President George H. Bush wrote Tony a letter stating "you are an inspiration to me." Tony was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Anthony and Joanna Maloni Barone and five sisters. Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Betty Barone; and children, John Barone of Rockledge, Florida, Marietta Patchin of Rockledge, Florida, Toni Ann Barone of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; stepchildren, Robert Rainey of Dothan, Terry Rainey of Huntsville, Dorathea Lowe of Fayetteville, Tennessee, Sunny Clowdus of Birmingham; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Pell City with Father Michael Sexton officiating. There will be a reception following the service. Laughlin Service Funeral Home is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 4609 Martin Street South, Pell City, Alabama 35054.
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Laughlin Service - Huntsville
2320 Bob Wallace Ave SW
Huntsville, AL 35805
Published in The Daily Home on June 30, 2009