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Anthony "Tony" Taglia

February 18, 1926 - August 16, 2017
Hazel Crest IL, formerly of Kalamazoo, MI

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Visitations


Wednesday, August 23, 2017
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900
Driving Directions

Services


Thursday, August 24, 2017
10:00 AM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

A lunch will be served in the Life Story Center immediately following the service.

Driving Directions

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Honor Flight
175 South Tuttle Road
Springfield, OH 45505
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ambati
1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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Anthony “Tony” Taglia lived for 91 and half years. He began his life with his parents and sister, on February 18, 1926. The four of them resided in a small apartment in Chicago. He spoke often about what it was like to live during the depression. His father, Anthony Sr. was rarely home, He worked long hours managing a bar and later working as a cab driver, His mother, Helen was always creative and would find various ways to make sure there was enough food on the table. She worked at a bakery. When he was about eight years old he contracted pneumonia. He was not expected to live and stayed home from school for several months. His mother tried to keep him entertained, which was difficult. Finally near the end of his illness, she taught him to knit. (He did not continue knitting after returning to school.) Perhaps the long absence from school was a big factor in his lack of passion for formal education.

Anthony often proudly reported that he joined the army as soon as he was considered old enough. He completed basic training at Fort Riley (Kansas) as a young soldier. He was connected to the 738 MP (Military Police). Listening to him talk about how tough the drill sergeants were was inspiring. He was determined to fulfill his commitment no matter how difficult the job was. He also spoke about the lack of privacy and how difficult it was to adjust to that discomfort. Tony was in the the cavalry and was bit on the rear by a horse. That was a story which he loved to tell. He admitted that it was both embarrassing and painful. He loved the camaraderie of his fellow soldiers. He turned down a promotion once because it would mean leaving his battle buddies. Anthony served in WWII in the Philippines.

Following his honorable discharge he worked in a car garage in California. He moved back to Chicago about two years later. In 1953 he accepted a job, driving a truck for “Seven Up”.

Shortly after his return home, Tony and a few friends went to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for a getaway weekend. He met his future bride Marian Finnegan who also resided in Chicago; she also coincidentally was on a weekend with her friends. On September 22, 1956 they were married at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Chicago.

The newlyweds bought a home on the south side Chicago near Marian’s sister, brother and mother. On December 29, 1957 their daughter Mary Ellen was born. Tony accepted a job with Blatz Brewing Company. Within a year of their daughter’s birth he was offered a job in Kalamazoo Michigan. They subsequently moved and raised their daughter in Kalamazoo.

Anthony continued his work in the beer business, 35 of those years with Pabst Brewing Company. He was a dedicated and hard working employee. The only beer products allowed in his home were the products he sold. He would say, “This is the house that Pabst built.” Throughout his career he was promoted several times. He was so proud upon being awarded the position of division manager for the states of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

Around the time of his retirement, he and his wife bought a home in Florida. Prior to Marian’s passing, they lived part time in Michigan and part time in Florida. Following the death of his wife in 2006 Tony decided to live in Florida full time. He frequently visited family and friends “Up North “.

Tony continued to lead a busy life. He enjoyed morning walks and morning coffee with friends,. He adhered to a strict schedule and arrived at the VFW for happy hour (Pabst Blue Ribbon, of course.)at a specific time daily. Tony was an avid reader and a self proclaimed democrat. He was never afraid to present a strong argument in support of his beliefs. Tony was affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, the Elks and VFW.

In September 2016 Tony decided it was time to move back to the Midwest. He adjusted to a new schedule He enjoyed sharing both his political views and business ideas with new friends. Tony spent a great deal of time with Mary Ellen, Fran, Matt, Brian (Holli), Brayden and Ryne. He embraced the opportunity to become more familiar with his step grand and great grandchildren, Keith (Melissa), Tom Joelle (Morgan), Megan, Annie and Tasha. Fran, his son-in-law dedicated himself to ensuring that Tony was seldom alone and transported to all appointments followed by lunch and/or a short “happy hour.” at the VFW.

His principals and beliefs supported hard work and devotion. He was an individual with a keen awareness of the world. He was a dedicated father, father-in-law, grandfather and great grandfather. He had many friends who will miss his wit and humor. He was an intelligent, resourceful, and honorable man who was loved and admired. He will never be forgotten.

Anthony “Tony Taglia, age 91, died on August 16, 2017. He was born in Chicago and throughout his life he has lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, CA, Kalamazoo, North Ft, Meyers FL and Hazel Crest IL. His affiliations included the Knights of Columbus, Elks, and the VFW. Tony enjoyed his family, friends, playing bridge and had a successful career as a division manager for Pabst Brewing Company. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marian (Finnegan). He is survived by his daughter Mary Ellen (Francis) McSherry, grandsons Brian (Holli) Crowley, Matthew Crowley and great grandsons Brayden and Ryne. Visitation will be held Wednesday August 23, from 4-7pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo and services will be on Thursday August 24, at 10am at the same location. The burial Ceremony will follow at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Tony's personal web page can be found at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com. Donations may be received by the honor flight.

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