Anthony ‘Tony’ Cannata, longtime president of the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association and former Community Board 10 chairman, died on Sunday, November 2 at age 88.
He is survived by his wife Yolanda, his daughter Mary Ann Guarneri, and his son Anthony Cannata, Jr.
Cannata was a veteran who served in the Navy during World War II. He moved to the Bronx with his wife when they married in 1952.
A butcher by trade, Cannata worked at his store in Brooklyn for more than 40 years before semi-retiring and working for local shops in the Bronx.
Cannata was one of the founding members of the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association in 1976, and began serving as president four years later, said member Mary Jane Musano. He served the organization as president, and recently as president emeritus, for 34 years.
“He really was an advocate for his community,” said Musano.
Cannata was passionate about improving his neighborhood and skilled at working with people, she said.
“He knew how to bring people together,” said Musano
He was also skilled at working with the local elected officials, she said, and got to know them well over the years.
One such person is Councilman James Vacca, who was district manager when Cannata was on CB 10. He describes Cannata as a very principled person.
“I always respected him for standing up for what he believed in,” said Vacca.
In addition to Cannata’s longtime service to the Waterbury-LaSalle community, he was vice pshe resident of the Sunset Park Merchants Association while working in Brooklyn and was also very active at Preston High School while his daughter attended, his wife said.
“He loved being with people,” she said.
“He liked to keep busy,” said Guarneri. “He wasn’t one to sit around.”
Cannata enjoyed volunteering with various groups in the area, and was always available to lend a neighbor a hand, said his wife.
Cannata’s service to the neighborhood came from the heart.
“His life was serving his community, and he loved it,” she said.
Many members of that community showed up to mourn Cannata last week and shared their kind words with the family, said Guarneri.
“People really liked and respected him,” she said. “That was a nice thing to hear at the end.”