Anthony “Tony” Trozzi made friends everywhere on campus.
As a member of the Distribution Services team for more than 22 years, Trozzi spent time getting to know the people who received deliveries of mail and packages. He often chatted with President Emeritus Michael Ortiz and former Vice President of Administrative Affairs Ed Barnes in the elevator.
The longtime employee, whom colleagues described as “a gentle giant,” died June 30 after battling lymphoma for a decade. He was 72.
“He was so kind,” said Karen Martin, manager of Distribution Services. “In all the years I knew him, he never said an unkind word about anyone. He really cared about people.”
Martin said that when her father died, Trozzi came to the funeral to comfort her mother and give her support even though he was ill.
Trozzi retired in 2008, earning a staff emeritus award. Six months after retiring, he came back to campus to work part-time as a retired annuitant delivering mail and training new Distribution Services employees until June 2015. He loved working on campus and attending basketball games, Martin said.
The Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, native was a U.S. Air Force veteran who was stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War.
He continued to visit regularly with his son after he stopped working, Martin said.
Trozzi’s prognosis was three months after he was diagnosed as having lymphoma. But the man Martin teased about looking like opera legend Luciano Pavarotti lived for 10 years with the disease.
“It was his positive attitutude,” Martin said. “He always looked on the bright side of things.”
Trozzi is survived by a daughter, Heather Michelle Valles of Carrizo Springs, Texas, a son, Paul Anthony Trozzi of Baldwin Park and four grandchildren.