Antonio “Tony” Ferri died at home Dec. 12 from congestive heart failure. He was 84 years old.
Mr. Ferri was born in Broccostella, Italy on Jan. 10, 1925. He immigrated to Canada in 1950 where he worked on a farm and in construction. In 1956, Mr. Ferri married Lidia Vani, also of Broccostella, and the couple moved to New York. In 1961, he opened Tony’s Hero Shop on Old Country Road and three years later moved his family to Westbury.
Tony’s Hero Shop became a success and Mr. Ferri served hundreds of people daily. Many customers who moved away from the Westbury area made a point of stopping by Tony’s while in town, often buying trays of frozen food and flying it home with them as carry-on luggage.
Tony’s was truly a family business for nearly 40 years and a regular supporter of Little League baseball and other numerous community groups. The Ferris owned and operated Tony’s Hero Shop until 2000, at which time a long time employee took over, maintaining many of the traditional dishes and adding their own.
A funeral Mass was held Dec. 16 at St. Brigid’s Church in Westbury followed by Interment at Holy Rood Cemetery. Mr. Ferri is survived by his wife Lidia; children John (Karin) Ferri of Marlboro, NY, Maria (Paul) Cousins of Great River, NY, and Angela (John) Posatiere of Kailua, HI; five grandchildren, Christopher and Nicole Cousins, Alexander and Vincent Ferri and Lia Posatiere; a brother, Loreto Ferri in Broccostella, Italy; and a nephew, Valentino (Jane) Ferri of Babylon, NY.
Aviation pioneer and retired airline executive George Erskine Rice, 91, died on Nov. 18, 2009 at Athens Regional Medical Center in Athens, GA.
John H. Strada, formerly of Westbury, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Lake Canadaigua, NY, on Oct. 12, 2009. He was 73 years old.
Cecil Kenneth Watkins passed away on Oct. 10, 2009 due to complications from pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife of 46 years Valerie Morgan Watkins; daughters, Kara Watkins Tillman and Keri Watkins; sisters, Caroline Townes and Ruth Ross; sisters-in-law, Dorothy Watkins, Shirley Mack and Ruby Rolle; brothers-in-law, John Mack, Anthony Rolle and John Townes; son-in-law Emmanuel Tillman; granddaughters, Amadia Tillman and Elysia Tillman; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends who will miss him greatly. He was preceded in death by his brother LeRoy Watkins Sr.; sister Henrietta “Mazie” Smith; and nephew Michael Velazquez.
Alice Virginia Benzie Dowden, a resident of Williamsburg, VA, former longtime resident of Brookville, died on Oct. 27, 2009. Born March 3, 1922, she grew up in what was then known as Wheatley Hills, before it became part of the Village of Brookville. She was a Navy WAVE during WWII (chief yeoman) and a longtime employee of Long Island University, retiring as executive assistant to the president. Loving wife of over 61 years to John B. Dowden. Mother of Michael J. Dowden. A wake was held at the Whiting Funeral Home, Williamnsburg. Service at St. Bede’s Church.
Former Laurel resident Robert Lawrence Daly died July 1, 2009 at Flint River Memory Care in Macon, GA. He was 79. He was born in Mineola on Jan. 30, 1930 to Michael and Violet (Corson) Daly. He graduated from Westbury High School in 1947 and joined the Army upon graduation. In 1950, he earned an associate degree in refrigeration from Long Island Agricultural and Technical Institute (now SUNY Farmingdale).
At 92, Marion “Tess” Teslik was an independent, quick-witted, working woman with a flair for fashion.
Growing up in Jamaica, Queens, Ms. Teslik attended finishing school after her high school days and later enrolled at Fordham University.
She attended three years of college before meeting her husband, Alexander, Jr., while on a train traveling between New York and Connecticut. They later married and Ms. Teslik, an only child, went on to have three children, Alexander, Steven and Melanie.
Westbury resident Iris Wolfson, a tireless education advocate for the students of Nassau County and 30-year board member of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Nassau County (Nassau BOCES), died on June 10. She was 78 years old.
“New Yorkers everywhere are indebted to Iris,” said Nassau BOCES Board President George Farber. “Whether in her local roles in Nassau County or in her statewide role as a member of the Board of the New York State Teachers Retirement System, she influenced the policies and procedures that govern our schools. Her business acumen, determination, focus and compassion cannot be replaced.”
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