Anthony Laudari, age 94, passed away peacefully on January 7, 2018. Born December 8, 1923 in Santa Rosa’s Little Italy to Sicilian immigrants Giuseppe and Carmela Laudari, he was their first child born in the United States. He grew up on the family farm on Guerneville Road. Tony graduated from Santa Rosa High School in 1941. A week later, he began a 37-year career with Bank of America, starting as a bookkeeper, and retiring in 1978 as a Vice President. During the ‘60s he was instrumental in introducing what is now known as Visa credit card into Europe and the Virgin Islands. Tony was active in a number of service clubs during his career, and maintained a “fork and knife” status with other organizations in retirement.
Tony was an avid reader and traveler. In retirement, he enjoyed 18 years as a host on a couple cruise lines. He occasionally mentioned that if the city was accessible by water, he had been there. Tony eagerly awaited and thoroughly enjoyed his Wednesday poker games, where practically every other card was wild; he would almost quietly stew for a week if he lost money, waiting to exact revenge. He enjoyed dancing and playing gin rummy and backgammon. Tony rarely missed his 5:00 p.m. Bombay Sapphire each night and occasional evening brandy, and gave up cigars some time in his late 80’s. He credited his four-mile walk from the Guerneville home he grew up in to Raley’s, and back, as a key to his longevity, a walk he continued until he was 89.
Tony married Aili Clockers, from Ft. Bragg CA, in 1950. He is survived by their children: Joe(Shirley) Laudari, Tom(Linda) Laudari, and Dori Tognozzi; grandchildren: Skye(Allie) Laudari, Sarah(Nick) Austin, Gina Laudari(Mike Welch), Katie Tognozzi(Zac Bauman), and Ellie Tognozzi(Jacob Haas); great granddaughter Aili Austin, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews in the US, Australia, and Italy.
Services will be confined to a small family gathering at an undetermined date. In lieu of flowers, Tony asked that donations be made to Hospice, or simply raise a glass of Bombay on the rocks or your favorite wine to him should you be thinking of him.