Anthony Phillip Cangiolosi, a 65-year member of the East Hampton Fire Department who for many years owned and operated Tony’s Sport Shop on Newtown Lane in East Hampton Village, died on Sunday at Southampton Hospital. He was 86.
Mr. Cangiolosi was a Navy veteran, having dropped out of East Hampton High School when he was 17 to enlist. He served in the Pacific aboard the U.S.S. Tombigbee, a tanker. He was a “plankowner,” of the ship, one of those in the crew when it was commissioned at New Orleans in July 1944.
While in the service, Mr. Cangiolosi participated in the initial occupation of Sasebo, Japan, in the fall of 1945, and was then involved in cargo operations, including in Nagasaki just two weeks after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on that Japanese city.
As a member of the Tombigbee crew, Mr. Cangiolosi received the Pacific Theater ribbon, the China Service Medal, the Occupation Service Medal, and two battle stars for action at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
After the war, Mr. Cangiolosi returned to East Hampton, and re-enrolled at East Hampton High School. The young veteran became enamored of Molly Welker, a gym teacher who, his family said, he “persistently chased.” The couple married on July 4, 1949.
Mr. Cangiolosi was born on April 3, 1926, to Phillip Cangiolosi and the former Jenny Sorce in the den of his parents’ house on Accabonac Road, which he would eventually call his own. His father had come to East Hampton to work for the Long Island Rail Road and bought the land on Accabonac Road where many family members still live.
After graduating from high school, Mr. Cangiolosi attended trade school, then became a carpenter, working for Frank B. Smith, a leading contractor in East Hampton. He left carpentry when the opportunity arose to open his own sporting goods shop on Newtown Lane. “It was perfect for him, his outgoing nature,” his daughter, Pam C. Anderson of East Hampton, said.
Tony’s Sport Shop stocked everything from baseballs to fishing equipment. Mr. Cangiolosi was a welcoming personality, equally happy to let boys from the nearby East Hampton Middle School hang out there during lunch breaks and peer into the display cases as he was to serve paying customers. Later, Ms. Anderson said, when he shut the store, he went to work for a time at Harvey Bennett’s Tackle Shop, which was in those years on Montauk Highway in Skimhampton.
Throughout his life Mr. Cangiolosi enjoyed hunting and fishing and taking canoe trips when he could. He raised vegetables and kept what he called a “menagerie” of goats, ducks, chickens, and geese behind the house.
Mr. Cangiolosi was a member of the East Hampton Lions Club, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, of which he as a lifetime member and past commander. He served on the East Hampton School Board for 20 years, with a term as its president.
He was a fan of the New York Giants and a man with a rollicking sense of humor. Idle time might be spent watching classic movies, especially those starring John Wayne. First and foremost, he was a family man and proud father and grandfather, Ms. Anderson said. “Anyone can be a father,” she said, “it takes someone special to be a daddy.”
During his retirement, his outgoing nature continued with regular drives to One Stop Market on Springs-Fireplace Road to buy a hard roll with butter, and sometimes a lottery ticket, and to the beach to relax and look at the water.
In addition to Ms. Anderson, he is survived by his sons, Phillip James Cangiolosi and Richard A. Cangiolosi, both of East Hampton. His wife died in 1997. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and three nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be from 2 to 4 p.m. today and 7 to 9 at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton. He will be buried at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery with full military honors on Friday at 11 a.m.
Mr. Cangiolosi’s family has suggested donations in his memory to the East Hampton Fire Department, 1 Cedar Street, East Hampton 11937, or to the Molly Cangiolosi Scholarship Fund, East Hampton School District, Business Office, 4 Long Lane, East Hampton 11937.