By Tanya Napoli
Tony, the son of James “Jimmy Nap” Napoli, was born and raised in Williamsburg. He had many roles in his lifetime: son, husband, father, friend, veteran, and mentor. He left this earth on May 5, 2019, three days before his 84th birthday.
As a husband, on June 5, 2018 he honored his beloved wife, Laura, at her memorial with these words, “We will always be together now and forever. I will join you soon my darling. I can’t wait to be together again. With all the Love that fills the air in the clouds above. There is a cloud above where we will meet again in eternal life. This is a temporary separation. Our next meeting will be in Eternal life forever and ever. The greatest love the world has known. May God accept me to be with you in the Heavens above.”
He served in the United States Air Force and joined their boxing team when on active duty in Japan during the Korean War. As a veteran he worked diligently helping hundreds of veterans receive compensation for their service-connected injuries. For the past 25 years he was dedicated to sobriety and supporting others through their sobriety. Tony was a great friend, mentor, and influence to so many. Many had the deepest respect for him and were more than proud to call him a friend.
Princess Karen Cantrell stated during her eulogy, “Tony has never known a stranger. Once you were in his presence, you became his friend.”
He lived his life his way and Sammy Davis Jr’s “I’ve Gotta Be Me” was his theme song. “Daring to try, to do it or die. I gotta be me!”
Tony was a family man until the end. His legacy remains a blessing that will never be forgotten. Our dad’s courage and strength during his life was an inspiration to us all. We admire him for aiding all those in need. He meant so much to so many veterans and touched so many lives. He was a humble man and helped most people anonymously. When he was honored with awards, he always said, “I don’t deserve it.” We received countless condolences from people whose lives he had influenced. They mourn his loss just as deeply as we do. God broke our hearts twice to prove He only takes the best. Our dad is now at peace in our mother’s loving arms. He was taken from us three days before his 84th birthday and exactly 11 months after we lost our mom. We now understand what it means to ‘die of a broken heart’. He couldn’t bear celebrating birthdays or any more holidays or occasions without her. Our parents showed us what true, unconditional love looks like. We miss them dearly…but we have to let them go to be together once again.” We love you, Mommy & Daddy! Love, your daughters.