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Antonio “Anthony” Caligiuri, Buffalo factory worker, sportsman

July 12, 1938 – March 31, 2016

Antonio “Anthony” Caligiuri, of North Buffalo, a truck driver, factory worker and sportsman, died March 31 while visiting his sister in Tennessee after a seven-year struggle with cancer. He was 77.

Born in Buffalo, he attended School 76 and McKinley High School.

Mr. Caligiuri was a crane operator at Bethlehem Steel Corp., a cutter and piler at M. Wile & Co. plants on Goodell Street and Elmwood Avenue, a quality assurance inspector at Dunlop Tire Co. and a truck driver for Citywide Trucking Co. on Exchange Street, where he became a member of Teamsters Union Local 375. He retired in 2003.

He also worked independently as a carpenter for cash or trade. One of his clients gave him a player piano in payment. Another paid by giving him a pinball machine.

In Palm Beach, Fla., where he had a winter home, he worked as a clubhouse attendant at a country club, which allowed him free golf for himself and his friends.

As a youth, he worked as a pin boy in the Hippodrome bowling alley and went on to become an avid league bowler at Connecticut Lanes. He appeared on the “Beat the Champ” televised bowling show and competed in many tournaments.

He was a member of the M. Wile softball team that played on the hidden diamond in Delaware Park. He started a horseshoes league at DiTondo’s Restaurant and regularly won the horseshoes tournament at the Butler Mitchell Boys Club picnic.

A strong swimmer as a boy, he and his friends would climb pilings onto the substructure of the Peace Bridge, then dive off and swim to the “baby hole” beach on the Canadian shore in Fort Erie, Ont.

He also enjoyed horseback riding, roller skating, handball, bocce and Morra, the Italian counting game. He also had a professional pool table in his home.

He attended Holy Cross, St. Rose of Lima and St. Mark’s parishes.

His wife of 33 years, the former Susan Galiano, died in 1992.

Survivors include two sons, Mark and David; a daughter, Tina; two sisters, Angela Christopher and Lena; five grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 401 Woodward Ave.

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