ANTHONY ‘TONY’ LARICCIA, 71 Valley benefactor shunned ‘mansions and Mercedes’

Staff report


Anthony “Tony” J. Lariccia, a prominent Mahoning Valley financial adviser and generous community philanthropist, has died at 71.

Lariccia died Wednesday evening in Hospice House, and private services for him already have taken place.

The organizations he and his family supported over the years, which are almost too numerous to name, include Youngstown State University, Angels for Animals, Boardman YMCA, Goodwill Industries, Boardman Park, St. Charles Church and Animal Charity.

He also helped to provide more than 70 college scholarships to students in need, and supported several area school improvement projects in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Lariccia worked four decades with Merrill Lynch. He enjoyed sharing with others what he viewed as the positive power of the stock market and the importance of saving and investing.

As for his passion for community giving, Lariccia once told The Vindicator: “I do feel good in trying to help the community. But I also try to give my time.... We live in a home like yours. I’m deathly afraid of materialism. I never wanted to be ostentatious. I avoid mansions and Mercedes.”

One of the organizations benefitting from Lariccia’s generosity is Angels for Animals.

“I’m really sorry to hear of Mr. Lariccia’s death,” said Diane Less, Angels’ founder.

He and his family paid for the Lariccia Animal Center, an adoption facility that is part of the Angels for Animals campus,” Less said.

“Every time there is any acknowledgement for the Lariccias, it is for the entire family. We would not be where we are without the Larricias,” she said.

“He and his family are very generous to the entire community. He has always given back. I felt he was grateful for being given a decent life. He just liked to help people,” Less said.

D.D. & Velma Davis Family YMCA in Boardman is another community organization that benefited greatly from the Lariccias’ gifts.

“One of the reasons Tony had a heart for the YMCA was because when his father came to the United States and Youngstown from Italy, he had no place to live or even take a shower, and the YMCA came to his rescue. When we built the Boardman facility, Tony was one of the big donors paying for the Lariccia Family Gymnasium and Aquatic Center there. The Davis Y was one of his major legacies. A lot of families and the community get a lot of use out of that facility,” said Thomas M. Gacse, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Youngstown.

Also, said Gacse, who served with Lariccia on the YMCA Board of Trustees, Lariccia’s values lined up with the YMCA values regarding Christian principles and importance of family and being part of the community.

“He was sensitive to people in need and helped them. We were blessed to have him and his connection with the YMCA,” Gacse said.

He also provided more than 70 college scholarships to students in need, and supported several area school improvement projects spanning two counties.

“We are sad to hear of Tony’s passing,” said Ron Cole, Youngstown State University spokesman.

“Tony and his family have been very generous supporters of YSU and our students for many years. His leadership and his family’s financial support of the YSU Centennial campaign resulted in record fundraising amounting to more than $50 million.” Cole said.

“Our School of Finance and Accounting bears his name. He leaves a large legacy and will be missed by the entire Mahoning Valley community. Our sympathies to his wife, Mary, daughters Natalie and Dana, and the entire Lariccia family,” Cole said.

Lariccia was born Oct. 19, 1945, in Youngstown, graduated in 1963 from Struthers High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1966 from YSU. He was a member of St. Charles Church and worked 40 years as a stockbroker/financial advisor with Merrill Lynch.

Through all his financial success in the stock market and his career, Lariccia never forgot his humble roots, often calling himself “just a kid from Struthers.”

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