New London - Anthony J. Cash, a service station operator and car dealer in New London for some 50 years, died Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at Kindred Crossings West in New London. |
Mr. Cash, together with his brother, the late Francis J. Cash, operated a station on Ocean Avenue that their father, Murray Cash, started in 1929, just south of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. Both brothers marveled at the fact that the business had survived during tough economic times through the hard work of the family. It was a lesson Tony Cash never forgot.
Mr. Cash was known for his indefatigueable work ethic. To him, life and work were inseparable. He might occasionally sneak in a game of tennis or golf, but a full day off from work was unthinkable. The garage and station were open seven days a week and that meant that one of the two brothers, usually both men, had to be there.
The service station was more than a place to have a car repaired or filled up with gas. It was a town hall meeting place for city officials, politicians, and half of the south end of New London. Part of the attraction was the predictable verbal jousts back and forth between the two Cash brothers. Visitors went there expecting the brothers to bait one another or to hear friendly arguments, and they were seldom disappointed.
The station's clientele included a bevy of local characters - doctors, lawyers and the like, but it also included the famous. Katharine Hepburn, a part-time Old Saybrook resident, stopped there for gas while en route to visit the Monte Cristo Cottage, boyhood summer home of Eugene O'Neill. Tony Cash reminisced in a newspaper column in The Day many years ago that Ms. Hepburn was hardly a glamorous actress when she arrived at his station dressed in old clothes and wearing a big, floppy hat. In all likelihood, she was traveling incognito. The celebrated New York critic, Judith Crist, also was a customer when visiting the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford.
Together with his brother, Mr. Cash was the first Saab dealer in southeastern Connecticut and also sold automobiles. But it was their dependable repair shop that drew customers back faithfully. The Cash brothers were first-rate mechanics who expected the same excellence from their crew of mechanics, who included off-duty firemen moonlighting as auto repairmen.
Mr. Cash was a mechanic, through and through. His former home on Lloyd Road in Waterford contained an ambitious woodworking shop, welding equipment, and a multitude of tools. He was a mechanic and craftsman in every sense of the words.
Mr. Cash served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, achieving the rank of chief petty officer. His brother Fran served in the U.S. Navy.
Born Sept. 24,1914, in New London, Anthony Cash was the son of Murray and Jennie (Mugavero) Cash.
He is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Richard and his wife, Sheila, of Waterford, and William and his wife, Susan, of Florida; and a daughter, Joann Cash, of Victoria Island, British Columbia. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, including Murray Renshaw of East Lyme, who Mr. Cash considered to be especially close to him.
Mr. Cash was predeceased by his wife, Dorothy Cash; by his sisters, Alice Renshaw and Tillie Coffey; and by his brother, Francis Cash.
Funeral services are private, and there are no calling hours.
Kindly omit flowers.
Condolence messages may be left at Mr. Cash's memorial page at www.neilanfuneralhome.com
Published in The Day on Aug. 2, 2012