Monday, July 26, 2010

Farewell, Friend

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of Anthony P. Rendino, owner of Rendino's Towing of Syracuse, NY. Rendino, 70, died July 20. Here's the story from about a procession in his honor:

Syracuse, NY-- About 60 tow trucks drove solemnly along Salina Street in Syracuse this morning in a funeral procession honoring Anthony P. Rendino, a long time advocate for, and a mentor to, other drivers.

The 70-year-old Rendino, known as Tony to his friends, died Tuesday
. He was the owner and operator of Rendino’s Towing Inc. in Syracuse.
Pedestrians and traffic along Salina street to watch the motorcade of trucks escorted by police drive past.
Philip Cady, a driver for MC’s Towing, organized the procession in Rendino's honor.

“He was a phenomenal guy. He did everything for everybody. He was great for the community,” Cady said. “This is the least we can do for him and his family.”

The procession began on Park Street near the Farone & Son Funeral Home. It traveled down Court Street, turning south on Salina Street and through the downtown to Oakwood Cemetery.
Later about 100 friends and family gathered at Mama Nancy’s diner on State Fair Boulevard, where Rendino and his wife Karen were regulars.
Rendino was a long-time customer and a close personal friend, said Doug LaLone, the diner’s manager.

“He was a stand-up guy who helped anybody who needed help,” he said. “Whatever we did today wouldn’t have been enough to honor him.”

The restaurant owned by Nancy Bianchi picked up the check for the after-funeral meal, LaLone said.

Cady said he met Rendino by chance when the two were called to work at the same accident scene. Cady’s car was tougher to get out of the guardrail and, even though Rendino’s car was already loaded onto his truck, he stuck around to help.

The two quickly became friends, he said.

“He showed me stuff I never even knew about tow trucks,” Cady said. “He was a mentor to a ton of people including me.”

After another tow truck driver was killed while hooking up a vehicle, Rendino insisted that police officers always park behind drivers while they did their work, Cady said.

At the time Rendino organized a truck-procession for the driver to bring awareness to the problem, according to The Post-Standard archives.

When he learned Tuesday afternoon that Rendino had died, Cady said he got on the phone right away calling towing companies on lists kept by the Syracuse Police, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, and other police agencies, and going through the phone book to organize drivers in a procession.
Despite the short notice, drivers gave up business and time with their families to honor Rendino, Cady said.

One of those that took part was Ron Pullen, of Weedsport, a driver for Big Red Towing. Although he didn’t know Rendino, Pullen said he was pleased to take part. “It was quite an honor for this gentleman,” he said.

That’s a shame, according to Cady.
“If you even met him one time you would never forget him. Talking to him for 30 seconds you would never forget that man,” he said.

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