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Anthony Reno ROSSINI

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Anthony Reno ROSSINI Obituary
Beloved Husband, Father, Brother, and Uncle - Age 58 Anthony Reno Rossini was born on December 1, 1955, to Reno and Rose Rossini, the fifth of their eight children. He attended Maternity of Mary Elementary School, Cretin High School, and the University of Minnesota, where he majored in Chemistry. A few years later, he went to William Mitchell School of Law, graduating in 1984. After graduation, Tony joined his brother Ray - himself an attorney - and the two formed "Rossini and Rossini," a law firm based in Minneapolis. In 1990, Tony married Diane Herzig, his sweetheart from International Falls. The couple had three sons: Nicholas, born in 1995, and a pair of twins, Joseph and Thomas, born in 1999. After a battle with a rare autoimmune disease, little Joe passed away in May of 2001. A couple of months later, Tony's brother and law partner Ray passed away, and Tony took over the firm. In his years of practice, he became known as a generous and compassionate attorney, going beyond the demands of his profession to help his clients through difficult junctures in their lives. In February of 2009, Tony was diagnosed with a variant of early-onset Alzheimer's. The disease claimed his life on February 15, 2014. As a child, Tony was a charmer with cherub-round face, dark brown curls, and a ready grin. Neighbors remember him going from one house to another, ringing the doorbell and saying to whomever answered, "Hello, want to talk?" That sociable side was always part of Tony. He loved to share jokes, expound on the books he was reading, show the latest dime he'd found for his coin collection, or - the best! -recount a story about one of his sons. But Tony was also an adventurer. Friends remember his vowing that he would spend a whole day in a local tree (a vow he kept), going dumpster-diving for treasures, "grubbing" for golf balls in the pond on Como Park's golf course (a typical "take" was 400 balls). A few years later, Tony and two of his brothers assembled a '67 Buick Electra out of parts scavenged at the U-Pull-It junkyard. Fine examples of trim, dashboard parts, and special options were added to make the car "fully loaded," and the car was given a coat of deep maroon. With the radio on and Tony at the wheel, the guys would cruise the streets of St. Paul, marveling at the luxury of their "wheels." One memorable summer, the Electra made it all the way to Tijuana, Mexico. Early on, Tony developed a love of sports. He played hockey, football, and baseball, and could skate a winter's evening away at North Dale playground. For the pleasure of his buddies, Tony constructed a 9-hole golf course around the family home on Kent Street; his parents became aware of Tony's latest venture when they heard the sound of windows breaking. Oops! As the kicker on Cretin's football team, "Tony the Toe" served up the game-winning point more than once and dreamed of a career in the NFL. But his triumphs were to be more local. Tony was a star centerfielder on the Rossini cousins' softball team and, even after his diagnosis, continued playing handball and racquetball. His coaches often remarked that Tony was one of their best players, not only for his physical prowess, but his team spirit. Tony excelled in more esoteric "sports," too. He was a card shark and a Cue Master at the pool table. His foosball skills were a point of pride - "The guy doesn't lose," his friends said. While attending the U of M, Tony held crowds enthralled in Coffman Union with his legendary pinball skills. Daily, he would best another player's record, collecting on a few bets afterward. It was rumored that the U's pinball machines underwrote a good portion of Tony's university tuition - that, and perhaps a few especially profitable poker games. An adventurer and an athlete - that was Tony. But ever and always, home was where his heart was. A devoted son, Tony whiled away countless weekend hours, talking to his mom and playing cribbage with his dad. At his Eldridge Street address, Tony loved nothing better than to crank up the barbeque with his love, Diane, cooking up a party for family or friends. His sons were his great joys. They remember how Tony played for hours on the floor with them, and later, how he helped coach their sports teams. Tony took his boys fishing, played catch as they waited for the school bus, helped with schoolwork, listened to their worries and dreams. He was the consummate Dad, and near the end, when illness destroyed his ability to speak, Tony simply gave his Nick, Thomas, and Diane rapturous hugs. Tony lived life large, yes, and the largest part of him was his heart. A devoted son and brother, a loving husband and father, a man who cherished his friends - as one longtime friend has said, he was nothing less than a "gentle prince." We'll be telling "Tony stories" for years to come. Tony was preceded in death by his son, Joseph; parents, Reno and Rosemary; brother, Raymond; and mother-in-law, Betty Herzig. He is survived by his wife, Diane; sons, Nicholas and Thomas; siblings, Steve, Martha (Gary Olson), Clare (Joe Byrne), Jeanne (Tom Weir), Mary (Bill Anderson), and Andy (Liz); father-in-law, Manny Herzig; sisters-and brothers-in-law, Lori (Jim) Priegnitz, Gregg (Brenda) Herzig, Linda (Gary) Jones, Tom (Jill) Herzig, and Sue Salmela (Paul Burnett); and many other family and friends. Funeral leaving from MUELLER-BIES FUNERAL HOME-ROSEVILLE, 2130 N Dale St at County Rd B, on Friday, February 21 at 9:30 AM. Mass of Christian Burial at MATERNITY OF MARY CATHOLIC CHURCH, 1414 N Dale St, St. Paul at 10 AM Friday. Interment Roselawn Cemetery. Visitation at the funeral home from 4-8 PM Thursday. The family is indebted to the employees of Rossini and Rossini, especially Joan, Lou, and Jonathan; to the staff at the Ecumen Center; to Frank Rondoni of Chestnut Cambronne Attorneys at Law; and to Tony's ever-faithful friends. Donations will go to the education fund for Tony's children. MUELLER-BIES 651-487-2550
Published in Pioneer Press from Feb. 16 to Feb. 18, 2014
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