Tony Francisco Charles Vecchio, Jr.
Tony Francisco Charles Vecchio, Jr. of Merrill, at the age of 81, died peacefully on October 19, 2015 at Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston, Wisconsin.
Tony was born on May 5th, 1934 to Sicilian immigrant Antonino (Tony) Vecchio, Sr. and Leona (Kruse) Vecchio in Elgin, Illinois.
After graduating from Elgin High School in 1952, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in the Construction Battalion (Seabees) where he was stationed in such places as Guam, Kwajalein, and the Philippines. He was honorably discharged in 1957, returning to Elgin where he met and married Dixie Ann Kramer of Strawberry Point, Iowa, who precedes him in death in 2000.
Together they had 6 children: Terrance A. (Mi Hui) of Merrill; Clayton C. (Lori) of Tomahawk; Jeanine A. (Lorenzo) Elias of Worley, Idaho; Kay A. of Tomahawk; Alan C. who also preceded Tony in death in 1986; and Karen E. (the only Merrill native). He has two grandchildren, Brian & Brandon, and two step-grandchildren, Greg & Russel, and also a step-great-granddaughter, Anika Elias.
In 1970, Tony and his family moved from Elgin, Illinois to Merrill, Wisconsin and founded Custom Woodworking & Supply, where he started out as a cabinet maker and general woodworker, eventually turning his business into a successful retailer and wholesaler of a huge selection of domestic and exotic woods and plywoods plus other woodworking materials and supplies. His woodworking skills are on display in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. as well as in a presidential library. His woodworking skills are in many other places too numerous to mention. In December of 2014, after 45 years in business, Tony was forced to close the doors of Custom Woodworking & Supply, due to his health. He was still kept partially active with his son Terry (his co-worker of 15 years) in closing up the business until his death.
Tony enjoyed fishing, bowling, playing cards and ballroom dancing. He also leaves behind his dear friend Irene Radzius of Manitowish Waters.
At Tony’s request, a private family service will be held at Waid Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Merrill Memorial Park. Waid Funeral Home of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com