The great Anthony J. Anni, better known as Tony or “Cookie”
- husband, father, uncle, grandfather, godfather, friend, artist, athlete, coach, veteran and business owner - peacefully passed away in his Cape Neddick home surrounded by his family, Saturday, March 2, 2019.
Tony, son of Dominick and Joanna Anni, brother to Linda Anni was born August 26, 1940 in Port Chester, NY, where he attended public schools, created award-winning art and played for the Port Chester Aggies.
From 1961 to 1963, Tony honorably served in the US Army’s 4th Psychological Operations Unit (Airborne) at Fort Bragg. The majority of his time was served working under General William Yarborough, with Sergeant John Holmes, creating what is now called the US Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum. There he painted a portrait of General William Darby, sculpted statues of soldiers in combat and designed special museum exhibits.
He was a star hitting catcher at Port Chester high school (‘54-‘58), and went on to anchor the SUNY-Farmingdale (AA in Design ‘58-‘60) baseball team that would compete in a JUCO World Series. He was later offered a contract with the Class A, Winston Salem Warthogs. Instead, he married his only love, Dorothy in 1963. His athletic talent carried on through his never-ending devotion to the New York Yankees, and his passion for golf.
While studying at both the School of Visual Arts and PRATT Institute, he became a New York City art director. Afterward, once residing in Maine, he continued his profession, designing high-end packaging for international food companies. Tony specialized in packaging gourmet coffees, teas and cheeses. He also worked for the International Marketing Council.
In 1970, he co-founded Cranberry Hill Antiques & Custom Lighting along-side his wife Dottie. Undying love for their business and their community grew into the thriving institution that remains fifty years later. Tony’s kind disposition, enthusiasm and unmatched creativity drew in a loyal following of locals, musicians, architects, interior designers, celebrities and politicians.
Awarded and recognized throughout his life as a fine artist, Tony, published works with the National Cancer Society, Reader’s Digest and the National Portrait Gallery. Among his many talents, Tony would carve gifts for friends and family from wood and etch ostrich and emu eggs in the traditional Scrimshaw style. His creative talents were endless.
Tony was a fiery, pointed, local advocate for the preservation of Cape Neddick and it's historic artifacts. Residents throughout York knew that they could bring anything from the town’s past, entrusting him to cherish and preserve it. He was a periodic editorial contributor to the York Weekly with subjects on conservation and protecting the rights of long-time York natives. Some of his letters are still recalled by friends to this day.
Tony (and Dottie) were always generous and gracious hosts to all who visited their home and business. It wasn’t uncommon for friends and strangers alike to get a meal, stay the night, or join their family for holidays. This, and the lighting of their large pine tree every Thanksgiving is in thanks to the residents of Cape Neddick for welcoming their family. Tony adopted this tradition and it will continue on in his honor.
He spent the majority of his exceptional life in Cape Neddick with his wife of 55 years, Dorothy Anni (née Licata), and daughters Eileen Berezni (husband Mark) and Amy Powell (husband David) and son Tony Jr. (wife Megan Callan). His joy, love and support for family continued with the birth of his three grandchildren, Anastasia Berezni, Isabella Berezni and Jackson Powell.
Calling hours will be held from 5 to 7pm on Friday, March 8th in the Lucas & Eaton Funeral Home, 91 Long Sands Road, York, ME. Please join family and friends in celebration of Tony’s life at a 1:00pm Mass, Saturday, March 9th, at St. Christopher’s Church 4 Barrel Lane, York, ME. In lieu of flowers, a donation to The York Land Trust would continue Tony’s passion to preserve York. Visit www.lucaseatonfuneralhome.com