The son of James and Rose (nee Romano) Lombardo, Tony was born in Syracuse on December 26, 1935. He graduated from Syracuse University, where he studied music under Kirk Ridge. Playing his first “gig” as a teenager, Tony spent more than 50 years as a performer and 35 years as a music educator.
As a member of the Air National Guard’s 138th Attack Squadron, Tony was deployed to Phalsbourg France in 1961 during the Berlin Crisis that led to the building of the Berlin Wall. The deployment turned into one of the highlights of Tony’s musical career as he toured Europe with the Air Force Band under the direction of Colonel Arnold Gabriel. A newlywed, Tony and his bride, the former Sandra Boyden, started their family during his deployment, arriving back in the States with their infant daughter Tracey and their oldest son, Anthony Jr., known as Chip, on the way!
Tony’s career was varied. He studied conducting at Tanglewood, under the tutelage of the Erich Leinsdorf, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was the founder and conductor of the Ars Nova (i.e. New Art) classical Choral and a past choir director of the Leiderkranz. For 16 years he held the post of Organist and Choir Director at Saint Charles Boromeo Church in Geddes, where he directed one of the finest church choir’s in the Syracuse area. Despite his classical leanings, Tony was also an accomplished jazz pianist, leading the Tony Lombardo Trio throughout the 1970s. He performed with numerous national acts such as Wayne Newton, Sammy Davis Jr., Sony & Cher, and Frank Sinatra Jr. and many others at venues including the Great New York State Fair and Syracuse’s famed Three Rivers Inn.
Despite his many accomplishments, Tony’s great love was not his career, but his family. He was especially close to his younger sister, Marylou, her husband Peter, and his four nephews, to whom he was always “Uncle Twan.” He adored his grandchildren and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do to make them, or anyone else for that matter, laugh. Tony was predeceased by his nephew Peter Baichi and a grandson Joshua Pinkasiewicz.
Tony is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sandy, his daughter Tracey Simon (Mark) and their children Jenna, Alexa, and Kolby, his son Anthony J. Lombardo Jr. (Karen), and their children Amelia and Jack, his son John Lombardo (Marylou) and Marylou’s sons Michael and Andrew. Tony is survived by his sister, Marylou Baichi (Peter), his nephews David, Derek, and Mathew Baichi. A celebration of life will be held on Friday July 14th at 11am at First Presbyterian Church Skaneateles. Calling hours will be held on Thursday July 13th from 4 to 7pm at Robert D. Gray Funeral Home, Skaneateles. Burial will be private. The family would like to thank the staff at St. Camillus for the compassionate care they provided during Tony’s final months.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Camillus 813 Fay Road Syracuse, NY 13219.
To send condolences visit: robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.