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Anthony Francis Mussulli, Sr. Turns 100

Anthony Francis Mussulli, Sr. at his 100th Birthday party this summer. Contributed photo



Over 150 relatives and friends recently gathered at the Hoboken Citizens Club in Milford, to share a full course Italian dinner to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Anthony Francis Mussulli, Sr. The dinner was hosted by his children, Anthony F. Mussulli, Jr. and his wife Theresa (Perrault), Patricia and her husband, Anthony DePasquale, Eleanor and her husband Ralph Porzio, Sr., Deacon Pasquale G. Mussulli, and Rossella and her husband Robert Minichiello, Sr. Anthony was married 51 years to M. Eleanor (Kearnan) who died in 1987.

Tony was born on June 11, 1911, the sixth child out of eleven born to the late Pasquale and Pierina (Celozzi) Mussulli. His brothers and sisters were: Josephine (Veneziano), Mary (DeSantis) Matthew, Francesco, Ethel (DeCollibus), Louis, Henry "Boots", Elizabeth (Iacovelli) John "Jake", and Rose (DeSalvia).

Tony was educated in the Milford School system until the 8th grade when he left school to earn income for the family. As a young teenager he worked at Bandy's Farm and as an errand boy for Sam Segal, who operated a poultry market on Main St. Tony often recalls the story of how he use to deliver chickens to Sam's brother "Bugsey Segal" in Revere whenever he needed them. He drove Sam's truck and one time he had to drive all the way home in the dark without headlights.

Tony recalls the great flu epidemic that ravaged the nation in 1918-19, One third of the citizens died during that frightful time. Things were rough during the great depression and Tony worked for the WPA to help support his new bride and first son. He landed a job at Draper Corporation once the economic situation turned around and after 35 years he retired from Draper's as the second shift shipping clerk.

Tony is a devoted and active member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish. He remembers vividly the building of the Lower and Upper Church and to this day he makes this remark when he passes by the church, "this is the most beautiful church in all of Massachusetts." In his younger days he ministered as an usher every Sunday at Mass. He served as President of the Holy Name Society and invited the young John Fitzgerald Kennedy to speak at the annual Communion Breakfast when the candidate first ran for public office.

He and his wife traveled every winter to Florida after they retired and also traveled to Portugal, Switzerland, the Holy Land, Vatican City, and both northern and southern Italy. In 1975 he visited Casalvecchio di Puglia, the home town of his parents,and found his father's sister still living in the house where his father was born.

Tony now lives with his son, Deacon Pat. He enjoys television, watching EWTN in the morning, the news, the "Sports Champions" in their respective seasons, the "Wheel of Fortune", "Jeopardy" and "Judge Judy." He loves company, and a ride to the Fatima Shrine, a visit to the cemetery and a stop at Dairy Queen for ice cream.

At his birthday celebration Tony received the Papal Blessing of Pope Benedict XVI; greetings from President and Mrs. Obama; a Proclamation of Resolutions adopted by the Massachusetts House of Representatives and presented by State Representative John Fernandes; a Citation from the Town of Milford Selectmen; a letter of congratulations declaring Tony a member of the "Centennial Birthday Club" from Willard Scott of NBC television, and he was inducted as a friend and member of "Red Sox's Nation.

Tony was not only surrounded by friends and acquaintances at his party, but by his 17 grandchildren and their spouses, 31 great-grandchildren and spouses, and 14 great-great grandchildren. He concluded his celebration by saying "Now it is on to my 105th Birthday."




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