By Catherine Hanewich-North Star Reporter Intern
After so many decades working in North Attleborough, the legacy of Anthony Calcia can be seen far and wide.
North Attleboro’s beloved Anthony “Tony” Calcia, passed away on March 27 at the age of 64, in his home. Calcia was very involved with the town, and touched the hearts of the people in it. He worked with both kids and adults for the North Attleborough Park and Rec Department, followed by the YMCA. He also participated in the School Committee, and was a volunteer football coach.
Calcia started his career working with children and making an impact on their lives as a North Attleborough Parks Director.
“He was a kind, wonderful human being who remembered everyone’s name and had a genuine connection,” said Steve Carvalho, director of the Parks and Rec Department. “He always wanted to make time to talk to you…such a kind hearted and giving person.”
YMCA head member, Ed Hurley, said that everybody loved him, and Tony loved people back.
“One of the greatest loves of his life was the Town of North Attleborough,” Hurley said. “He loved the town and the town loved him. There was nothing more North Attleborough than Tony.”
Calcia was great with people, and made a new friend everywhere he went. Hurley described him as a man who made everyone feel so special.
“I’m a better person. I’m a better everything, a better husband, a better father, a better grandfather because of what I learned from Tony Calcia,” said Hurley. “Those are the things I”ll always remember, always treasure.”
School Committee Chairman James McKenna said Calcia’s cheerful nature endeared him to people of all ages. When Calcia was the Parks Director, McKenna said he was a strong influence on his children as they moved from children’s program to children’s program. To this day they remember Calcia as “cool.”
“The world is a better place because Tony was here, and I am sure Saint Peter welcomed him to heaven with the words ‘job well done.’ Thanks, Tony,” said McKenna.
Calcia later became a Vice President of Child Protection at the YMCA. He was very passionate about protecting children from child abuse and sexual abuse. He created educational roles in how to do that, trained over 5,000 adults, and traveled to YMCAs around the country to help train staff members on how to protect children.
Hurley said it “is going to be one of the great legacies of Tony.”
Calcia was also very involved in programs and services dedicated to children with special needs. His programs have affected over 1,200 kids at the Y, including the YMCA Elmwood Camp program, New Horizons. Hurley said these programs were some of the best things that Calcia had ever done.
“Tony loved and took a lot of pride in [the programs],” said Hurley. “That’s going to live for a long time because it’s an important need and it’s in the core of who we are.”
Hurley said that Calcia created programs for children’s safety, made sure staff followed their protocols, and taught everyone that kids are at the core of what needs to be done at the YMCA
“We are going to continue to honor him at the Y,” said Hurley. “[We will] make sure both his name and impact on his legacy will continue for future generations.”
I personally have had the honor to meet Tony Calcia. I work for the YMCA as a camp counselor in the summer, and can support the claims of him being a man who deeply cared about children and who truly cared for the YMCA. I was part of his counselor training last year, and could tell how motivated and invested he was in what he did. Calcia was a friend, coworker, and leader like no other. Tony Calcia was a North Attleborough treasure, and anyone that had the chance to meet him would certainly agree.