May 26, 1951 – June 3, 2019
Anthony P. Fanti Sr., an electrical contractor active in politics and community programs on Buffalo’s West Side, died Monday in his Buffalo home. His family said the cause was a rare neurological disorder, corticobasal degeneration. He was 68.
Born in Buffalo, he attended School 71 and was a 1969 graduate of Hutchinson Central Technical High School, where he studied electronics.
He served his apprenticeship as an electrician while working at the Peavey Flour Mill, where he became plant electrician. He earned an associate degree in electrical maintenance from Erie Community College in 1981 and served in the Army National Guard.
A master electrician, Mr. Fanti had operated his own company, T&S Maintenance and Repair, since 1986 and was appointed to the City of Buffalo’s Examining Board of Electricians. Two of his sons now manage the business.
He also worked as a bingo inspector for the City of Buffalo from 1983 to 2018. An expert on running games of chance, he advised nonprofit groups on how to use them as fundraisers.
“Tony was the very best Bingo inspector,” the bingo workers of Assumption Catholic Church said in a condolence posted on the Lombardo Funeral Home website. “He solved any issues we had and always gave us the best suggestions.”
As president of the Niagara District Leadership Club, Mr. Fanti organized volunteers for the election campaigns of Mayor James Griffin, Mayor Anthony Masiello and Mayor Byron Brown. He also was co-campaign manager for Niagara Council Members Carl Perla and Nick Bonifacio.
He brought together various ethnic groups on the West Side and encouraged many Hispanic and Somalian groups to join the Leadership Club. He received the club’s Carl A. Perla Jr. Memorial Award in 2002 for his dedication and leadership.
He also was president of the West Side Sportsmen’s Association on Connecticut Street, where he created its scholar-athlete scholarship program, supported numerous Little League organizations and picnics and Christmas parties for needy children and their families.
He was honored May 23 by City Kids Summer Camp at the Night of Champions Gala in Statler City, during which Mayor Brown proclaimed it Tony Fanti Day.
A member of the Butler Mitchell Alumni Association, he will be inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame in November.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years, the former Debbie Saele, a school crossing guard; three sons, Anthony P. Jr., Dr. Peter and Michael; a daughter, Janeen Schultz; his father, Anthony J.; two brothers, John and Paul; a sister, Francine Sahli; and six grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday, June 10, in Holy Angels Catholic Church, 348 Porter Ave.