NORTH ANDOVER — Anthony J. "Tony" Sakowich, 95, successful inventor, avid pilot, prodigious philanthropist, and devoted husband, died on February 14, 2014, fittingly St. Valentine's Day, with his beloved wife by his side. He was born in Lawrence, Mass., on December 27, 1919, to Lithuanian immigrants, John and Bronislawa (Ainorite) Sakowich, Tony grew up in Lawrence working at his father's Park Street meat market. After serving in the military, Tony attended Tulane and Bentley University, then went on to become a successful entrepreneur and inventor, patenting a process to mold laminated countertops, manufacturing them in North Andover, and selling to customers of the likes of Formica and Sears. In 1955, Tony married the love of his life, Gladys M. (Tidswell), and together they lived in Andover, sharing 58 years of unwavering devotion to one another. In the 1950s, Tony began flying his plane up to New Hampshire's Lakes Region to visit clients, or with his wife, Gladys, to enjoy boating on his favorite Lake Winnipesaukee aboard their antique Chris Craft, aptly named "Kismet" for their romance. He was a member of the Winter Harbor Yacht Club on Welch Island for over 50 years. They shared a vacation home on Governor's Island, the couples' "home away from home," where they made many lasting friendships. Although they had no children, Tony was dedicated to a philanthropic mission to improve the lives of children. As a longtime Kiwanis Club member, Tony gave generously to various causes benefiting children and education, recently donating half a million dollars to Lakes Region charities, including a new home for the Boys & Girls Club in Laconia. Other beneficiaries of their generosity have included Merrimack College in North Andover, where the Anthony Sakowich Recreation Center is named in his honor, and the Boys & Girls Club in Lawrence. In 2012, the couple gave their 9-acre Andover homestead to the Andover Village Improvement Society so it could be used as recreational space open to and enjoyed by all.
ARRANGEMENTS: Friends are respectfully invited to visit on Friday, February 21, from 9 to 11 a.m., at The Charles F. Dewhirst Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen, Mass. Funeral services will follow at 11 a.m., on Friday, at the funeral home. Burial will be in West Parish Cemetery, Andover.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Greater Lawrence Kiwanis Club Foundation, P.O. Box 3068, Andover, MA 01810. To send a condolence, please visit, www.dewhirstfuneral.com, or www.facebook.com/DewhirstFuneralHome.