February 5, 2013 > Obituary: Antone (Tony) Rago
Obituary: Antone (Tony) Rago
June 14, 1926 - January 10,2013
Tony peacefully went home to be with the Lord with his family by his side. He was a devoted husband to his wife, Elsie, for 63 years, a loving father to Anna Andrade, Pamela (David) Wipprecht, and Tony (Milena) Rago, and a wonderful grandpa to Bobby Accardo and Tony and Amanda Rago. He was predeceased by his son-in-law, Bruce Andrade, his parents, Antonio & Anna Rago, and his siblings, Paul, Ralph, Rock, Vince, Nick and Lucy.
Tony's young life was all baseball. He lived, ate and slept baseball! He managed his first of many teams when he was nine years old and won a ball award at the age of 14, competing against 1400 other boys. In his early 20's he met with Casey Stengel and was to sign to play semi-pro ball, but a knee injury ended his career. He recalled playing with other young men who went on to careers in baseball, such as Billy Martin. He continued to umpire and play ball as well as become a proficient golfer and bowler.
During WWII Tony, at age 17, enlisted in the Marines and proudly served his country, seeing action in Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and Saipan. After the bombs were dropped his unit was the first in, aiding in the clean-up of Nagasaki.
After the war, Tony's brother Ralph got him a job at Electrical Products, where he made a living working as a glassblower. For 46 years he created many famous neon signs, such as the Mint Hotel & Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, the Hamm's beer, Canadian Club & Coca Cola signs in San Francisco, and the impressive 300 ft. long Sherwin Williams sign in Emeryville that greeted motorists on the I-80 freeway with a 50 ft. "Cover the Earth" symbol which spilled colors from a paint can onto the globe.
He became very active in the Boy Scouts of America, as his son worked to become an Eagle Scout. He took great pride when this tradition was carried on by his grandson, currently working towards his Eagle Scout rank. He particularly enjoyed serving as scout master for Troop 168 in Hayward for many years.
Tony's family, however, chooses to remember him as an outstanding husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was a very humble man, who possessed a gentle spirit and a loving heart. He impacted all who met him and is greatly missed and remembered fondly by all who knew him.
Funeral arrangements can be viewed at: www.fremontchapeloftheroses.com