Anthony F. Calagna

anthony calagna

Anthony F. Calagna (Tony), beloved husband, father, and grandfather, died peacefully on June 4, 2020.  He was 84.

Tony was born on November 28, 1935, in midtown Manhattan and spent his childhood in Elmhurst and Jackson Heights In Queens, getting into all kinds of mischief with his lifelong friends, Eddie Wilson, Roger Vaughn, and Bruce Gregory. He spent his high school years at Brooklyn Tech, where he met his dear friend, Bob Ebner, who introduced him to his future wife, Cathy. Tony went on to Georgia Tech where he graduated with honors in 1958 with a degree in civil engineering and then launched a career building public infrastructure and facilities, single-family homes, and commercial buildings. An entrepreneur at heart, he started his first company in 1965 with his brother, Joe.  Later, he developed, owned, and managed several commercial buildings in St. James for many years.

Tony married Catherine Ebner in 1961, and they quickly started a family. Their daughter, Christine, was born first, followed by a second daughter, Renee, in 1962, and a son, Anthony, in 1969. Tony built his young family a home on Steep Bank Road in Nissequogue in 1965, where he lived until his death.

Tony loved fishing, and he always had a boat, first anchored in Smithtown harbor, and later, as his ambition and boats grew in size, docked in Montauk and Greenport. He was happiest catching stripers and bluefish on Long Island Sound and tuna on overnight expeditions to the canyons. He shared his passion with his family and his many friends. When he wasn’t fishing, you could usually find him on the back of his boat, with a cigarette and a Johnnie Walker in hand. He loved to tell stories and off-color jokes. He was fun and charming and larger-than-life, and he will be missed by all.

Tony is survived by Cathy Calagna, his wife of 59 years; his children, Christine O’Rourke and her husband Dave, Renee Mitchell and her husband Mitch, and Anthony Calagna and his wife Hilary; his brother, Joseph; and his grandchildren, Sandra, Alec, Cole, Hugh, and Alice.

A visitation will be held under social distancing protocols on Monday, June 8th, from 11am to 1pm at the Branch Funeral Home in Smithtown and will be simultaneously live-streamed on the Branch Funeral Home website. In lieu of flowers, please consider sending donations to Visiting Nursing Service and Hospice of Suffolk or your favorite charity.

Private Cremation
In Lieu of flowers the family suggest donations in Tony’s loving memory to:
VNS Hospice House
101 Laurel Road

East Northport, NY 11731

Tony’s Services Will Be Available On Webcast Monday 11:00am – 1:00 PM With A Family Eulogy at 12:30 PM.

Please Follow the Link Below To View Webcast.


Visitation: June 8, 2020 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Branch Funeral Home Smithtown
190 E. Main St.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Tony, I remember the day that I first met you. I was relatively new to Nissiquogue, and I made my home away from home at the Old Street Pub. You were among the first friends I made. I sat next to you, you introduced yourself. Your nose was running. You took my shirt tail and wiped your nose. I thought you were crazy. That was the start of a deep friendship.

    I see you know at Roblyn’s Neck Hunting Club in South Carolina. We were down there hunting wild boar together. I see you on their grand porch, over-looking the Great Pee-Dee swamp, with twilight settling fast, a J.W. Black in your hand, joking, as usual, but also telling me how much you love your son Anthony. Soon after that, Anthony and I became closest of friends. But that is how I will remember you, Tony; sitting with you in the rocker at twilight, planning the next day’s hunt.

    My loves goes out to Kathy, Anthony, Renee, and Christine. And to you, too, Tony. Bon Voyage, old pal.
    Ted Petrara

  2. candleChristine, I never met your father but judging by who you are, I know he must have been a wonderful person. Heartbreaking to suffer such a loss at any time, but especially now when the way we say goodbye to those we love is so laden with restrictions and rules. Sending you and Dave my love ~ and if you ever want to talk about the grief and sense of loss, I am here to hear you, as I’m farther down that road now and may have some words or thoughts that could ease your mind. Love, Caleigh

  3. candleBig Tony
    What a run you had, you left everything you had on the field as they say. So many great moments impossible to forget. From the first offshore Tuna trip when you taught me about that ever so amazing sound of the outrigger clip popping, to the day Tony and I discovered the many lobsters that gathered in your trap under the boat at the Landing, to the songs we sang at Thanksgiving dinner with my little children around the table. The list goes on.
    The last few days, Tony and I have been replaying stories that made our faces hurt from laughter, back then and Just today. I’ll never forget them…nobody who knew you will.
    You and Mrs. C , ‘Mom’, were my second family and a constant in my life, good times and not so good. You leave behind a great family and a rock solid son, who as you rest, please know will be my brother to the end. We will, in your honour and in our joy, share the many moments you gave us for years to come.
    Job well done Big Tony. We love you.
    Anthony, Peta-Anne, Josephine and Augie.

  4. My sincere condolences to the Calagna family.
    May you rest in peace Tony in God’s loving hands.

  5. Ciao Zio Tony,
    mi ero ripromesso molte volte nel corso degli ultimi anni di venire negli States a conoscere una parte della Mia Famiglia Materna, di cui mi avevano parlato tanto la Zia Cristina Calagna, Mia Madre Graziella Viola ed il Cugino Franco Calagna.
    Ne avevamo parlato ad Ottobre scorso con Cole e Kristine, che siamo stati felici di avere conosciuto, a casa di Mia Sorella Franca di venire a trovarVi !
    Quella sera c’erano tre generazioni della nostra famiglia Viola Russo e Calagna e più di un secolo di storia da quando, ai primi del novecento, i nostri nonni e bisnonni sono arrivati negli States dopo la crisi economica in Sicilia, in seguito alla fillossera che ha distrutto i raccolti viticoli per diversi anni !
    I nostri Padri,Nonni e Bisnonni erano agricoltori !
    I nostri nonni e sono rientrati in Sicilia a metà degli anni trenta, i vostri Padri e Nonni sono rimasti negli States !
    Diversamente da Franco e della Sua Famiglia non abbiamo avuto molte occasioni di incontrarci e conoscere le nostre rispettive famiglie, in cui scorre lo stesso sangue !
    La nostra generazione adesso è di professionisti, coltiviamo ancora la campagna, per passione e per il ricordo dei nostri genitori e nonni, da cui proveniamo e che ci unisce anche con un oceano in mezzo !
    È un nostro desiderio, adesso ancora più forte, venire negli States per conoscere una parte importante della nostra famiglia e vedere i luoghi dove hanno lavorato ed abitato i miei nonni e zii !
    Speriamo di poterlo fare Ma con il rammarico di non averTi conosciuto!
    Da come parlano di Te e Ti descrivono figli e nipoti Mi ricordi molto lo Zio Nino, anche Lui indimenticabile!!!
    Un Forte abbraccio ed un affettuoso saluto a Voi Tutti, zii e cugini !
    Totò Russo

  6. This covers 80 years. From grammar school to college and the two of us travelling through Europe by car, all the way to visit the Calagna clan in Partinico, Sicily (from another century.) There is so much more to his life story that I could share but Tony is taking our million experiences and left me holding the bag as usual. We were close – need I say more? I will keep the memories, all kinds.
    See ya, “T”

  7. Our common hobby- boating .
    Our common favorite entertainment-
    “The Producers”
    Rest in Piece Mr. Bialeystock!
    Tony was a pleasure to have as a client and friend for more then 40 years.

  8. I’m Bruce Gregory’s daughter. I was led by a ‘feeling’ to look up Uncle Tony and just found this. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have pictures of Tony & my dad I would like to share with you. Please reach out …

  9. Hello Patricia,
    Anthony Calagna here, Tony’s son. I just saw this and thank you for your condolences. Please feel free to contact me at so we may share some memories.
    Thank you,

  10. Very sorry to read this. My Father, Arthur, was Irene’s Brother. So, Anthony is my cousin. I just saw him once that I remember, seeing I was 18 years younger and we were in different worlds. It’s awesome to read the testimonies. He lived a full life surrounded by people he loved and who loved him. That is the pinnacle of living. I really liked Aunt Irene. I remember going to the house Anthony built in St. James L.I. with the big white columns in the front and Anthony and Joe and my father shooting this old style western .22 pistol in the large back yard. We also lived in JKHTS just a few blocks from Aunt Irene and Uncle Sam. I remember all my Father’s relatives on 103rd street, Chickee, Joe, Tommy Baker Rosie. We never hung around or were close but you all are family. I always liked all of you. Life is just so freakin’ short. My condolences and God Bless Cousin Anthony.

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