Anthony D. “Tony” Alianiello, 73, Altoona, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday at his home, after a brief and tough battle with leukemia.
He was born in Altoona to the late Joseph J. and Lucy R. (Riccio) Alianiello. On Sept. 23, 1978, he married Christine Jacobs at the Altoona Campus Chapel of Penn State University.
Surviving are his wife of 42 years, Christine; his three sons: Anthony, Joseph (Jessica Irwin) and Michael; two grandsons: Anthony and Aidan; his two sisters: Lenora Johnson and Joette (Robert) Wisnieski; and his golden retriever, Winston. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Cindy (John) Anthony; brother-in-law, Ralph (Michele) Jacobs; and several nieces and nephews.
He was affectionately known as “The Big T” by his sons and their friends. He was a humble man of few words who never sought credit for his work. He was always willing to help out when needed without expecting thanks in return.
A 1964 graduate of Altoona High School, he served his country in the U.S. Army from 1965-71, where he served in the 59th Military Police Company in Bremerhaven, Germany. He was very fond of his time in Germany.
After his honorable discharge from the Army, he served the city of Altoona for over 50 years with the Altoona Police Department from Dec. 16, 1969 until his death. He rose to the rank of lieutenant in charge of the Criminal Investigation Division and then eventually to deputy chief. He loved his job and the city which he served. He also was a security guard at Bon Secours Hospital for 20 years.
An avid outdoorsman, Anthony enjoyed hunting and fishing before a back injury and his kids’ busy schedules caused him to stop. He loved spending time at his Glendale year-round campsite. He also enjoyed reading anything about history and enjoyed his western television shows and movies.
Anthony volunteered with numerous organizations that his sons were involved in including AYSO, the Altoona Soccer Club, Keystone Soccer Club and the AAHS Big “A” Booster Club. He also oversaw the indoor soccer leagues and tournaments at the Summit Tennis and Athletic Club, which grew exponentially under his direction. He was also a member of the advisory board of Pyramid Healthcare Inc.
A devout Catholic, Anthony was a member of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. He was very generous and gave to numerous charities such as March of Dimes, United Way, Wounded Warrior Project, Toys for Tots, St. Vincent de Paul of Altoona and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
Due to COVID-19, a private burial will take place at Calvary Cemetery. A visitation and a celebration of life Mass will be held at a later date. Arrangements are by Jones Funeral Home, Altoona. Condolences may be made at jonesfhaltoona.com.
In lieu of flowers, his family suggests donations be made in his name to St. Vincent de Paul of Altoona or the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 8.