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Joseph P. "Joe Tagg"Tagliarino, of the Town of Tonawanda, owner of Tagg's Dairy, died unexpectedly Tuesday (May 20, 2003) in Millard Fillmore Hospital after becoming ill while making deliveries. He was 73.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Burgard Vocational High School and the General Motors Institute. He served in the National Guard.

At age 10, he began working at Tagliarino's Dairy on Busti Avenue, which was owned by his grandfather, his father and his four uncles, riding in a horse-drawn cart and dipping milk into customers' bottles.

He inherited his father's share of the business and arose at 4 a.m. for more than 40 years to make his deliveries. He provided milk and other dairy-related products to Buffalo public and parochial schools, suburban schools and homes for the elderly.

In the late 1960s, Tagliarino pioneered the use of coin-operated milk machines in the Buffalo area. Loyal to his customers, he often would make special milk deliveries to those who lost coins in the machines.

Active in St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, he sponsored many Sunday breakfasts in the King's Court Restaurant downtown after the Latin Mass.

Known for his enthusiasm and generosity, he once paid the air fare for a fellow member of the Italian Club at the church to return from California to Buffalo to attend a club activity.

Surviving are his wife of 52 years, the former Rose Scime; two sons, James of Buffalo and Charles of Amherst; and a daughter, Constance Ann Rager of West Seneca.

A Latin Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Anthony of Padua Church, 160 Court St., after prayers at 8:30 in Perna Funeral Home, 1306 Hertel Ave. Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cheektowaga.


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