Anthony “Tony” Verna was born on March 6, 1926 in the small coal mining town of Windber, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Louis and Mary Verna, both of whom came to the United States from Italy. He was the brother of Thressa, Anne, Jean, and Gilda.
He attended Windber High School where one could often find him in the Art room pencil sketching portraits. After graduation, he served in the United States Army during WWII as a corporal in the 9th Armored Division, 14th Tank Battalion. When the war was over, he served as a Guard Patrolman on a ship returning German prisoners from the United States back to Germany. Tony was honorably discharged in 1946.
Once back home in Windber, he worked for the Eureka Stores, played on the company’s softball team, and played drums for the town’s Drum and Bugle Corp., which is where he met Verna Fetzko. Eventually, Verna set her sights on Washington, DC, and Tony followed. They married on July 19, 1952. Once settled in Washington, DC, Tony began working at the FBI. His career of 36 years started as a pressman, and he retired as the Chief Supervisor of the Printing, Warehousing, and Supply Unit of the Mechanical Section at FBI headquarters.
He was married to Verna Veronica Verna for almost 56 wonderful years filled with life and love of family, friends, and laughter. Together, Tony and Verna enjoyed league bowling and dancing. They could “cut a rug” with their jitterbug and even belonged to a square dancing group. As the family grew, he moved from DC to Lanham, Maryland. Living not far from the bay or ocean made the family vacations to the beach a tradition.
During Tony’s retirement years, he preferred spending time with family and friends. Babysitting grandchildren and meeting them during recess, lunches at school, or any milestone occasion, were always favorites. Playing cards was a frequent and fun activity, with him winning almost every time; and he was such an expert at working crossword puzzles, he could fill them out in ink. He also cherished his cross country travels with friends visiting National Parks along the way. Tony always looked forward to attending the brunches with his colleagues from the FBI. He also enjoyed woodworking, completing many projects, which proved helpful and treasured.
Following the death of his beloved Verna, Tony established a friendship with Lillian Shima. The two enjoyed each other’s company during trips to casinos, sporting events, going out with friends, and spending time with each other‘s families.
Tony was a member of Saint Matthias the Apostle Catholic Church for over 50 years where he served as an usher. He was a fraternal member of the Knights of Columbus as well as the VFW. He was a member of the College Park Moose Lodge; and a life member of the American Legion in his hometown of Windber, Pennsylvania.
Tony was predeceased by his parents, wife, and sisters.
Tony is survived by his three daughters: Connie Osborne (Jack), Linda Watson (Douglas), and Susan Lambert (Norman); eight grandchildren who love their Papaw: Kristy Weber (Greg), Chad Osborne (Nicole), Toni Beriault (Joey), Devin Watson, Dustin Watson, Matthew Mitchell, Mark Mitchell, and Luke Lambert; and three great-grandchildren: Caylee Osborne, Rae Beriault, Jack Beriault; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, good friends, and neighbors.
Tony was always willing to share his life’s knowledge, humorous comments, and loving ways with all. His presence will be missed, but his spirit will live on in our hearts and his love of family will be passed down for generations.
His was a life well-lived.
Donations may be made in, Anthony Verna's name to the National Kidney Foundation, 5335 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20015.
The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Tuesday August 20, 2019 at the funeral home. Committal will follow immediately at St. Anthony of Padua Church Cemetery, Windber with military graveside rite by Windber VFW Ritual Team.
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