Anthony Varcalli
Anthony Varcalli
  • April 28, 1939 - October 11, 2017
  • Fort Myers, Florida

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Anthony "Tony" Varcalli passed away in his home on October 11, 2017 at the age of 78. Anyone who has ever met Tony would agree that he would literally give you the shirt off his back, find a way to make you laugh or be the first person to help a stranger in need. He was a genuinely good man.

Tony was born on April 28, 1939 in Mahoning Township, Pennsylvania - at least according to his birth certificate. Some mystery surrounds this as the name on his birth certificate is "Antonio Veracalli, Junior" and his mother's name is recorded in various places as Florence "Bernardi" and Florence "DiBernardo". His mother also insisted Tony's birthdate was April 29th, rather than the 28th he celebrated on.

Regardless, this wonderful man graced our presence for 78 years. Tony graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School and subsequently served as a medic in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1964. He married his former wife, Patricia Pritt, in 1966 and they remained married for 16 years. During that time they had two daughters, Debbie and Kelly. Tony worked as a professional tractor-trailer driver for 28 years in Michigan.

Following his divorce from Patricia, Tony moved to Fort Myers, Florida and created a new and exciting life. He began working at the News Press and remarried briefly to Susan Varcalli. But it was at Lee County Transit as a public bus driver that he found a job he loved and a community that felt the same about him. For 18 years he had a smile for every passenger that stepped on board and they donned his bus the "Happy Bus". In 2013 Tony was honored by the Florida Public Transportation Association as the state-wide "Operator of the Year". Something he was very proud of. Another proud event for Tony was the birth of his third daughter, McKenzie Clower, on May 18, 2000.

It is nearly impossible to use words to describe a man as kind and generous as Tony. Golf, friends and family were Tony's passions. He organized annual golf outings, he loved to entertain and always cooked far too much. He spent as much time as he could with his daughters, traveling north during the hot Florida summers for long visits. We have all lost a truly wonderful soul from this earth.

Tony was preceded in death by his father Antonio Veracalli, his mother Florence Dibernardo, his brothers Roy, Joe, Johnny Varacalli and sister Rosy Zito. He leaves behind his daughters Debbie Kilpatrick of Tennessee, Kelly Werback of Michigan and McKenzie Clower of Florida. He also leaves behind his grandson Daniel Anthony Fries, granddaughter Audrey Virginia Kilpatrick and his great grandchildren Azalynn Hickmann and Zaedan Bowman.

His wishes for cremation will be honored and a celebration of his life will be held at Coral Ridge Funeral Home, 1630 SW Pine Island Road, Cape Coral, Florida at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 9, 2017. The family will host a luncheon following the memorial.