Anthony J. "Tony" Gilardi, Sr.

  • Born: February 6, 1936
  • Died: February 22, 2021
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Robinson Funeral Home

809 Main Street
Melrose, MA 02176

mail@robinsonfuneralhome.com
Tel. (781) 665-1900

Tribute & Message From The Family


Anthony J. "Tony" Gilardi, Sr., a longtime resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center on Monday, February 22, 2021, at age 85, with two of his children by his side.

Tony was born on February 6, 1936 in Boston, one of four children of the late Francis J. Gilardi and Adeline (Lanno) Gilardi. He was raised in East Boston and graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in the North End. On September 4, 1961 he was married to Kathleen Walsh and they settled in Melrose to raise a family of five children.

In 1967, Tony began working at Air General, Inc. a small company offering air cargo services at Logan Airport. As the "right hand man" to the founder, Tony played an instrumental role in the growth of the company from 6 people to over 1,000 in locations across the country. He was uniquely skilled, loyal, and trustworthy while serving in nearly every role at Air General from sales to operations and accounting. As a family business, Tony loved being a part of the company, helped build the company from the ground up, mentored the next generation, and even continued "working" after his retirement.

Loyalty was a consistent theme in Tony's life. For 32 years, Tony served as a member of the Army National Guard. Every Wednesday for many years, he enjoyed getting together for a game of cards with his friends. He was a member of the Melrose Sons of Italy, and was a longtime devout parishioner at St. Mary's Church in Melrose. More recently, Tony was a well-loved fixture in the Mayor's Office in Melrose where he enjoyed working as volunteer.

In his free time, Tony loved trying to beat the house at the casinos locally and found delight in vacations to Las Vegas. He was also an enthusiastic Boston Bruins fan, and season ticket holder for many years. In his later years, he often could be found making connections with fellow residents while holding court at the Residence at Melrose Station. Although strong willed and independent, Tony was sincerely loving and gentle on the inside. He cherished his family, especially his grandchildren, and was often found with a baby in his arms.

With a glint in his eye and friendly banter, Tony endeared himself to nearly everyone he met, and left a positive, smiling impression wherever he was. Tony will be deeply and sorely missed, but his good humor, engaging smile, and sincere love for family will be his legacy.

Tony was the beloved husband of the late Kathleen F. (Walsh) "Kay" Gilardi with whom he shared 40 years of marriage. Devoted father of Catherine Kelter and her late husband Ed of Salem, Laura Hamadeh and her partner Al O'Connor of Melrose, Nancy Hamel of Cumberland, RI, Christina Schwab and her husband William of Boulder, CO, and Anthony J. Gilardi, Jr. and his wife Jennifer of Chanhassen, MN. Former father-in-law of Steven Hamel of RI. Dear brother of Josephine "Lorraine" Gilardi of Melrose, Gerald Gilardi of FL, the late Madeline Gilardi, and brother-in-law of the late Margaret O'Brien and her husband James. Cherished grandfather of Elias Kelter, Rosana Lavender and her husband Tom, Kyra Hamel, Luke Hamel, Kathleen "Katy" Schwab, Mia Schwab, Anna Gilardi, and Joseph Gilardi. Proud great-grandfather of Iona Lavender. Also survived by several loving nieces and nephews, and dear friend Barbara Shore of Melrose.

Relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours at Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Friday, Feb. 26 from 4-8pm. All attendees are required to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and pay their respects and exit the Funeral Home promptly to allow other guests to enter. A limited number of guests will be allowed in the building at one time. Tony's Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary's Church, Herbert St., Melrose on Saturday at 10:30am. Interment will be private. If you wish, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, 125 S. Huntington Ave., Boston MA 02130. More info: RobinsonFuneralHome.com


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

Chrissy, I am sorry to hear about your father. I know we have not seen each other in ages, but you always held a special place in my heart. I wish you and your family my deepest sympathy.

Posted by Michael Wolfson - Melrose, MA - Family Friend   February 28, 2021

Tony- what a great guy- I often would think of you and smile - we had some good conversations and many laughs when I worked at The Residence in Melrose - and we came to know the same people - what a small world - he was a wonderful, caring guy. Our condolences to his family -

Posted by Elena and Sean Donovan - Stoneham, MA   February 27, 2021

Tony An old friend of mine & my husband Freddy Sena from East Boston, brought back memories of the Wardsworth Social Club across the street from our home. He also was a pal of my brother Ralph, who passed away last April. Parades for kids, ice cream treats, block parties, Santa Claus and presents. A wonderful man, devoted to his wife, family, children, and former mayor Rob Dolan. As well as his many friends. St. Mary usher for many years. I used to enjoy his conversations with me, when I went to the mayor's office. Prayers to the family from the Sena's and Bruzzese's family. Fred and Rose Sena

Posted by Rose and Fred Sena - Melrose, MA - Family Friend   February 26, 2021

Gitty, i have so many great memories of you from the National Guard 114th Medical Battalion and playing cards & telling jokes. so many great times. i will miss hearing from you. This picture was taken in 2005 at a Hanscom National Guard Cookout. From left to right: Peter Connolly, me ( George Amichetti), and you. You will be greatly missed by all!
George Amichetti

Posted by George Amichetti - Lexington, MA - Friend   February 26, 2021

"Tony, you will be missed by all. I was blessed to have known you for nearly 30 years. You always made me laugh with your wisecracks. I will always cherish the memories we had at the manager meetings. You were a good friend and mentor to myself and everyone in the Air General family. Rest in Peace my good friend."

Posted by Brad Bryson - Rhome, TX - Coworker   February 26, 2021

Tony I've got so many memories of your quick wit and humor. I cant think about you without a big smile on my face! Thank you for being you!!! James Corso Stoneham MA

Posted by James Corso - Stoneham, MA - Friend   February 26, 2021

I'll miss you Tony, we all will. You were an important part of the lives of so many people, including my own, those in my family and those we worked with. Years ago in 2005 when we were working side by side in Peabody you were signing a little tune, as you often did, and I wrote it down. It went like this 'Oh, the moon shines bright on Tony G..eee..eee' It's shining bright for you now Tony, full moon this week. Rest in Peace my friend.

Posted by Patrick Maloney - Atkinson, NH - Coworker   February 25, 2021

My dear Tony, Thank you for welcoming me to the Air General Family when I joined, for guiding me throughout and for your kindess and dedication always. Godspeed.

Posted by Donna Blanchard - Pittstown, NJ - Coworker   February 25, 2021

Rest easy my brother, you were a mentor along n with being a true friend. Remember many times at 114th Medical Battalion. Many good times at Ft Drum .
Will miss you brother at our DISCOM Reunion but will always be remembered.

Posted by Tom Ardita CSM (RET) - Served in Military together   February 25, 2021

Aiello cousins from Gloucester send our condolences on the Anthony's passing. He leaves memory of a life well led and a heart of gold.

Posted by Aiello Cousins - Family   February 24, 2021

Gilardi kids, I am so sorry for your loss. In the years since my parents passed, "Giddy" became my connection to my Dad and important to me as the last of the East Boston guy gang my Dad dearly loved. Younger than the others, Giddy was "The Kid" and my Dad always made sure he was included. Loyalty was a big theme in that group and Giddy personified devotion to friends and family. He was so personable and the Salamanca kids were fortunate to grow up with his laughter and good nature always around us. I will miss him very much. God bless you all.

Posted by Maria Salamanca Reid - GROVELAND, MA - Family   February 24, 2021

We send our deepest condolences to you all. Wishing you peace as you grieve.

Posted by Marvin Mendelssohn & Ellen Shore - Melrose - Neighbor   February 24, 2021

I would like to express my sincere condolences to Tony's family and loved ones. Our prayers and loving thoughts are with you all. Tony has a special place in my heart and I consider myself very fortunate to have known him for the many years he was working alongside me in the Air General family. He was not only a friend and mentor, but he inspired so many of us to be better at what we do. He taught me much, and not least to enjoy Christmas music in September.....Tony was sharp as a tack, and as loving and devoted as anyone could have been. His advice and guidance was solid, his humor undeniably clever, and his passion was constant.
Rest in Peace my dear friend, and thank you for the wonderful impact you have made in my own life and those of so many others.

Posted by Paul Siebols - Kanab, UT - Coworker   February 24, 2021

Cath, Laura, Nance, Chrissy and Anthony we'll keep you in our hearts while you come together to support each other and say goodbye to your great Dad.
Laurie

Posted by LAURIE FRANK - Melrose, MA - Family Friend   February 24, 2021

Tony will be missed by so very many people and I am one of them. He was a stand-up guy in every way. My heart and prayers go out to his family. This incredible man never stopped. God must have needed another good man with him in Heaven, so He called him home. God speed Tony!

Posted by Steve McCombs - Dallas, TX - Coworker   February 24, 2021

Rest in peace Tony. I will always be thankful for our talks and banter especially when I would visit the Home Office. It was fun to compare notes of our days in the service. Miss you pal!

Posted by Jeff Lyter - Belle Plaine, MN - Coworker   February 24, 2021

How blessed I am to have known Tony G for the past few years. His faith in God, family, country and community should be a call to us all. I will miss you, but know that you are at peace in heaven. Until we meet again, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Hatem Meehan - Friend   February 23, 2021

Cathy, Laura, Nancy , Christina and Anthony so sorry of your dads passing thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time .. god bless Kathy Graham

Posted by KATHY GRAHAM - Melrose, MA - Family Friend   February 23, 2021

Tony at a work meeting in March 2016.

Posted by Frank Keller - MARBLEHEAD, MA - Coworker   February 23, 2021

I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Tony's family and I grieve with you, all his friends, his co-workers, and those that were privileged to know him. I was one of the lucky ones who got to work with Tony for over 20 years and it was an honor to work with one of the legends of Air General. Tony was kind, generous, funny, always there for anyone, dedicated to his family and his work family, and a good friend. Tony will be missed and he leaves an emptiness in our hearts. I will miss the countless stories he would tell us about his life at the airport. Tony is now together again with his beloved Kay and God has another Angel. May we cherish his memory and be there for one another in our sorrow.

Posted by Frank Keller - Marblehead, MA - Coworker   February 23, 2021

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Tony will be remembered forever in the hearts of us that worked with him. My condolences to his family as well as his extended Air General family. Charles A White

Posted by Charles White - Charlotte, NC - Coworker   February 23, 2021

Rest in peace my dear friend and right hand for over 20 years in city hall and in much of life.You brought wisdom always and a laugh when it was needed. Your contributions to Melrose and influence when decisions were made were often behind the scenes and without fanfare...but your influence can be seen from border to border and will last for generations...Tony Gilardi made an incredible difference in our community.
I thank his family for sharing him with all of us, and offer my deepest condolences.

Posted by Rob Dolan - melrose, MA - Friend   February 23, 2021


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Community Photos

Tony at a work meeting in March 2016.
I would like to express my sincere condolences to Tony's family and loved ones. Our prayers and loving thoughts are with you all. Tony has a special place in my heart and I consider myself very fortunate to have known him for the many years he was working alongside me in the Air General family. He was not only a friend and mentor, but he inspired so many of us to be better at what we do. He taught me much, and not least to enjoy Christmas music in September.....Tony was sharp as a tack, and as loving and devoted as anyone could have been. His advice and guidance was solid, his humor undeniably clever, and his passion was constant. Rest in Peace my dear friend, and thank you for the wonderful impact you have made in my own life and those of so many others.
Gitty, i have so many great memories of you from the National Guard 114th Medical Battalion and playing cards & telling jokes. so many great times. i will miss hearing from you. This picture was taken in 2005 at a Hanscom National Guard Cookout. From left to right: Peter Connolly, me ( George Amichetti), and you. You will be greatly missed by all! George Amichetti