Anthony James Vendemia, 91, of Drexel, North Carolina, passed away on Thursday, April 27, 2017, under the loving care of the staff of Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Anthony was born on May 2, 1925 in New Castle to Italian immigrants Stefano and Assunta Vendemia.
He graduated from New Castle High School in 1943. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp and served in the 391st Bomb Group during World War II in the European Theatre.
He had a passion for higher learning, receiving multiple degrees in engineering and law. "Tony," to those knew and loved him, was admired and respected for his intelligence, generosity and good humor. He enjoyed nothing more than a good meal with friends and family sharing opinions, old stories and a heartfelt laugh.
Tony showed his love through his selfless actions and was known for sharing his handyman skills. He took in strays, both two and four-legged, and he believed strongly in justice, civil and human rights and living by the Golden Rule.
He came into the world weighing two pounds, grew up during the Great Depression and fought with grace until the end. He will be missed by everyone whose life he touched.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marian Nichols; his son, Steve Vendemia and his wife, Susan, of Pittsburgh; his daughter, Toni Hay and her husband, John, of Hendersonville, North Carolina; three grandchildren, Anthony, Stephanie and Carly and her husband, Matt; his sister, Maria Vendemia of Villa Maria, Pennsylvania; and his "adopted" son, Tommy Keener and his wife, Alli, of Middleburg, Florida. His full life was made all the richer by his many special nieces, nephews, in-laws, friends and four stepgrandchildren.
Even after moving to North Carolina at age 89, he continued to add to his circle of friends with new neighbors and a cherished fishing buddy, Floyd Ingle.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepmother, Anna Vendemia; his brother, David Vendemia; his sister, Tina Canfora; and his brother-in-law, Phillip Canfora.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Heritage Funeral Home, 1507 Main St. East, Valdese, North Carolina.
Receiving of family and friends will begin at 1 p.m., prior to the 2 p.m. service.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and the American Diabetes Association.
An online guestbook and obituary is available at www.heritagefuneralservices.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Heritage Funeral Service and Crematory of Valdese, North Carolina.
Published on May 1, 2017