Anthony S. Billoni, retired owner of Colvin Cleaners and an active community and church volunteer, died Sunday (Aug. 23, 1998) in Sisters Hospital Hospice Care after a battle with cancer. He would have turned 77 on Tuesday.
Billoni was known for giving away thousands of finger rosaries, which he obtained through a close friend, Henry Newbigging. He organized many family and social events for Kenmore Council 3076, Knights of Columbus, and worked at bingo games for the St. Jude Center in Buffalo.
Billoni and his wife were eucharistic ministers at St. Paul's Church in Kenmore, where they attended Mass daily.
He also was a member of the Northside First Friday Club, St. Paul's Holy Name Society and its seniors group, and Kenmore Lions Club.
Born and raised on the West Side, Billoni moved his family to Kenmore in 1959.
After graduating from McKinley High School and serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he joined the dry-cleaning business started by his brother Philip in 1934.
Billoni served as route manager for more than 30 years, meeting customers in Buffalo and the suburbs each day. He and his late brother, Santo, assumed ownership of the business in 1969, and in 1978 Billoni took sole ownership.
In 1988, he retired and turned the reins over to his son Paul.
"My dad was my mentor when it came to knowing what to do in my years of community service," said Paul, who served 14 years as a Kenmore village trustee.
Billoni's oldest son, Michael, former general manager of the Buffalo Bisons, is chief administrative officer of Western New York United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
"I have met many famous people in my life," Michael said, "and few can match the love my dad has carried in his heart for others."
A third son, Anthony, a senior manager of the Campos Group, founded the annual Artists and Models Affair and appears on the syndicated television program "Off-Beat Cinema," now seen in 50 TV markets.
Survivors in addition to his sons include his wife, the former Josephine Bianchi; his brother, Philip of Margate, Fla.; a sister, Angeline Sagliani; and two grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday in St. Paul's Church, Delaware Avenue and Victoria Boulevard, Kenmore. Prayers will be said at 9:45 a.m. in Greco Funeral Home, 2909 Elmwood Ave. near Sheridan Drive., Town of Tonawanda. Entombment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.