May 5, 1937 – Jan. 22, 2020
Anthony M. Christiano Sr., of North Buffalo, a retired hardware store owner and a standout high school athlete, died Jan. 22 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a lengthy illness. He was 82.
Born in Buffalo, the fifth of seven children, he attended St. Vincent de Paul School and was a 1956 graduate of Bishop Fallon High School, where he was All-Catholic in basketball, baseball and golf.
He was a guard on the Fallon basketball team that won the Manhattan Cup in his senior year and was declared the championship tournament’s most valuable player.
He was inducted into the Bishop Fallon Sports Hall of Fame.
He attended night classes at Canisius College and served in the Army stateside.
He met the former Frances C. Blake-Krawczyk, a registered nurse in the maternity ward at Sisters Hospital, in a restaurant on Hertel Avenue, and they were married in 1960.
Mr. Christiano worked at the former Sears store at Main Street and Jefferson Avenue, selling plumbing supplies and appliances. In 1981, he and his brother John purchased Hertel Hardware and Plumbing Supply Co.
He retired in 2003 to care for his ailing wife, who died in 2011. His son, Anthony Jr., operates the business.
He was a member of the Hertel-North Buffalo Business Association.
He remained active as a basketball player in municipal leagues for many years, assembling teams of top-flight players and winning several championships. As a golfer, he won numerous tournaments, shot three holes-in-one and was a member of the men's club at the Links at Ivy Ridge.
A resident of North Tonawanda before moving to North Buffalo, he also coached youth baseball and basketball teams.
He was a former parishioner of St. Christopher’s Catholic Church and in recent years he attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
A dog lover and an avid Buffalo Bills fan, he held season tickets for 25 years and attended two of the Super Bowls in which the Bills appeared.
“He had an infectious personality,” his son Anthony Jr. said. “He could talk to anybody anywhere. He was a fixture at the hockey rinks where his grandchildren played. All the parents knew him.”
Survivors include two other sons, Stephen and Kevin; a daughter, Holly Ann; five brothers, Felix, Vincent, John, Frank and James; a sister, Serafina Wheeler; and seven grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Monday, Jan. 27, in St. Rose of Lima Church, 500 Parker Ave.