Tony DiSalvo: A life lived to benefit of our community

The son of immigrants, Tony DiSalvo was given one overriding lesson of patriotism when attending parades with his father: Respect for the country he was living in, the United States of America.

He was told to always stand when the flag went by.

Not only did he never forget the lesson, he passed it on to the entire community.

Under DiSalvo’s stewardship, a God, Country and Community Flag March was founded more than three decades ago and grew to heights no one could have foreseen.

Organizers are considering renaming the march for DiSalvo, who died last week at age 89. That would be most appropriate, although the humble DiSalvo probably would put up a protest if he could.

Equipped with a big voice and a perpetually positive approach, Mr. DiSalvo left behind a legacy of community service that included, besides the Flag March, incredible involvement in the Boy Scouts.

He attended every Scout jamboree after 1936, served in almost every capacity of the organization and was honored with almost every award it gives out.

He also was a key facilitator in the community’s unique Brotherhood Alliance.

Incapable of saying “no” to anyone or any cause, Mr. DiSalvo also left a significant mark on the Red Cross, St. Anthony’s Center and his church, the former Mater Dolorosa Church.

Our community is blessed with many people who give of themselves to a variety of causes and influence all of them.

But we have few who have given with the longevity and involvement of Tony DiSalvo.

His was truly a life well lived to the benefit of his community.