Anthony C. Marchese
September 15, 1925-August 13, 2011
Suddenly, the word numb takes on a whole new meaning.
He missed his wife, he was ready to go be with her. Plus, he was a stubborn man and once he made up his mind, he got things done. So the fact that he lasted less than two weeks after she died isn't even a surprise. He was determined. But it really hurts.
I feel like I have so much to say about Uncle Anthony, but I'm not sure where to start. Of all the memorial blog posts I've written in the last few months, I think this one is the hardest.
He was in the Navy during WWII and his aircraft carrier was sunk. He was one of the few survivors. Then he worked at Bell Aircraft (it's Bell Areospace now) and was involved in developing the Rascal Missile and the Rocket Belt. Interestingly, his older brother, Anello, who died in 2006, was the lead engineer at Bell and worked on the X-1, the first supersonic aircraft. So at least I was related to smart people.
Uncle Anthony then went on to work at Moog Music as Director of Engineering and developed a bunch of different musical devices, many of which were used by popular groups at the time. If you don't know about Moog, their synthesizers were a huge part of the musical scene, starting in the late 60's, and had a major influence on disco and rock. One of the first rock groups to use a Moog were the Doors in 1967 on their album, "Strange Days."
My uncle created the Moog Liberation, used by all sorts of people and groups, like Santana, Devo and Herbie Hancock. This isn't a great pic, since I took a pic of a picture with my cell phone at the funeral, but here's my uncle - back in the 70's - pretending to play it. He thinks he's tall here.
In 2008, Uncle Anthony was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. The best part was my Aunt Annie calling everyone she knew, all excited, and tell them, "Anthony has just been indicted!" People weren't sure if they should be happy or worried.
According to our pastor, my uncle was a humble man. While delivering the funeral service, pastor made mention that even though he had known my uncle for over 30 years, he didn't know many of the things that Uncle Anthony had accomplished, but read them in the obit (which you can read here).
Our family had a different take on Uncle Anthony. He loved kids, especially his kids, grand kids and great grand kids, and when we were all little, he had us call him Uncle Beep-beep, cause we'd press on his rather sizable nose and he'd make a beep-beep sound, like a car horn. But he was also a cranky, stubborn old man who didn't like people. I get that from him. Alright, maybe he liked some people, but you know what I mean.
He was incredibly picky; his food couldn't touch on a plate. Seriously, the man had to eat every meal on those divided plates and wouldn't eat any kind of casserole or mixed dish. He loved to travel and to "get out of the house." He dragged my aunt on long drives through the country, stopping at garage sales and drug stores, buying so much stuff they didn't need. Their house was just loaded, their cellar had stacks and stacks of...well, I guess the word is, again, stuff. They also went on tours with Ramblin' Lou. Maybe that's a Buffalo thing, but he was some sort of country music DJ and performer. Maybe he still is, I'm not sure. Anyway, he and his wife do these tours, all over the place, like cruises or trips to Atlantic City, and they went on so many that Ramblin' Lou knew them and came to the funeral.
It's still so hard to believe they are both gone.
But I won't forget Aunt Annie, Uncle Anthony, and I won't forget you.