On December 30, 2018, the world lost one of its best. Francis Anthony “Tony” LaSalata, born May 8, 1933 in Waterbury, Connecticut to Daniel and Irene LaSalata, enjoyed life to the fullest. He had a deep passion for America’s pastime, headlining numerous newspaper articles during his minor league and military baseball careers. Tony would turn that passion towards the betterment of his fellow man, developing outreach programs for under-privileged youths in Waterbury, Non-Violent Conflict Resolution programs for the Department of Justice with the Martin Luther King Center, Drug and Alcohol programs for the City of Atlanta, as well as gambling addiction assistance for the state of Georgia and the Southeast. He touched many lives and made an impact on who ever had the pleasure of meeting him.
Tony had simple tastes; he simply liked the best. Cheese, shoes, cars, golf clubs, people; if it wasn’t the best for him, he’d find the best, then stick with it. He was also very opinionated and very vocal about those opinions, which was balanced by his charismatic charm and disarmingly likable grin. Tony was well known for being a talker. He loved conversing with people, and never had a shortage of tales from his storied life. He remembered every name and detail from every experience. If you were a part of his life at any point, he remembered you vividly, and would recount your tale with excitement and reverence. Talking was probably his greatest passion, along with baseball, golf, Italian food, soulful music, and gadgets.
Francis Anthony LaSalata is survived by his wife Karen Kelley LaSalata, his two sons Tommy and Richard, along with numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Tony is glad to be reunited with his family, especially his sister Eleanor, and friends who went before him. If they were bored, he’s surely corrected that by now. He is playing baseball and talking someone’s ear off, with the sweetest, most endearing, happiest grin forever affixed upon his face.
There will be a graveside service at 11:00 AM on Friday January 4, 2019 at Forest Hills Memorial Gardens, Forest Park, GA.
Carl J. Mowell & Son Funeral Home, Fayetteville – www.mowellfuneralhome.com