ROCHESTER, NY January 30, 2023, at the age of 86. He is survived by his beloved Libby, daughter Judi (Sam) Dana; son Joe (Christina) Carretta; grandchildren Elyse (Mark) Cardarelli, Patrick (Janine) Dana, Joey Carretta, Juliana Carretta; great-grandchildren Alexis Cardarelli, Marco Cardarelli, in addition to other loving family members and dear friends.
Tony’s passions included being the primary caregiver to the love of his life Libby, family, his pride in his Italian American culture, and an unending zeal for the food service industry. He served as the president of the Italian American Businessmen’s Association in Rochester from 1992-1994. Tony, his two brothers, and his father opened Carretta Beef Supply on St Paul Street back in March of 1965, and he remained active in variations of the business until retiring from Palmer Food Services in 2021 due to the pandemic. His legacy will live on in the full line of ‘Tony Carretta Signature Sausage’ products. For decades, Rochesterians have enjoyed his sausage creations produced locally with the caricature of his likeness on every box. He was also a Buffalo Bills fan and was truly hoping that this would be the year.
Tony was thoughtful, caring, and compassionate. He absolutely loved people and always enjoyed meeting individuals everywhere he went. Whether it was an industry trade show, grabbing a cup of coffee, or shopping at Wegmans, Tony would always come home having made a new friend. He also had a razor-sharp mind right to the end. He could recall details and encounters to the amazement of his acquaintances when he would recite something unique about them on their next encounter.
He would also quietly and frequently help the less fortunate. It was not uncommon for him to aid a homeless person by inviting them into a restaurant and allowing them to purchase any meal they wished on his tab, or he would purchase an extra meal to-go and gently hand it off as he continued on his way. Tony also had a deep respect for our first responders and men and women in uniform. He would thank them frequently and would also quietly pay for their meals when the opportunities would arise.
But of all the things that made Tony special, it was his old-school love of family. He lived for his children and especially his wife. The example he set in how he selflessly cared for her to the very end has served as an inspiration to all those that knew him.
A special thanks from the family goes out to all his care team. He formed strong bonds with his pharmacist, primary care physician and the specialists that treated him. Their support in his passing has been remarkable. The family would also like to acknowledge the team of doctors, nurses, and technicians of the RGH Intensive Care Unit for their professionalism, compassion, and support.
For those wishing to make donations, please direct them to the American Diabetes Association in Tony’s honor. https://diabetes.org/?form=Donate
The family will be holding a Memorial Mass and reception in Tony’s honor, with the date yet to be determined.
I was saddened to see that one of the Carretta brothers had passed away. My dad worked for them for years. His name was Lou Nacca. Everyone was always good to my dad. He was a hard worker. I remember Tony and his smile.
May he rest in peace as we remember the good times.
So sorry Joey and family. Your Dad was an icon in the Rochester Italian American Community.
Judy & Joe (and family). I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. He was one of the kindest men I’ve ever known. I remember him driving down Lamplighter Lane, back when we were kids, always with a wave and a smile. He truly was a family man and I know you will all miss him immensely. Ironically he passed away on the one year anniversary of the passing of our Mother. I am thinking of all of you in this difficult time. Nothing will ever take the place of your beloved Dad.
With love and sympathy,
We just heard about Tony’s passing and are deeply saddened. We had many good times with Tony, Libby, Judy and Joey. Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy and prayers to all.
Dan and Maria Lincoln
Carolyn and I loved his sausage as did everyone else. We upset Palmers because that was all we would order for our customers at Lodge on the Green. He was a wonderful man and would go out of his way to say hello. Being retired out of the food business has little regrets except leaving behind fond memories of special friends like Tony. He will be missed.
Jim and Carolyn Bauman
I had the opportunity to work with Tony. He was a wonderful man. Always kind, never a sharp word. I was in need of a ride home from work a few times & Tony was right there going out of the way for me. The world needs more people like Tony. Prayers for the family. May you forever rest in peace.
I worked with Tony and (Libby) for a year as their caregiver. Tony always had a smile first thing in the morning if even if he was in pain or the night was rough. I loved watching movies with him because he would explain the movie to me if I didn’t understand what was going on. Tony, showed me new ways to cook, so when it came to dinner time I enjoyed cooking. One thing I learned from cooking for Tony was presentation was the key thing to peoples eyes. Also, Tony was a very loving man that would just sit there a listen to you if there was a problem and offer his advice. He cared deeply for all the aids that took care of him and Libby. He treated us like family. God bless him and his family. My memories of Tony will alway be cherished and not forgotten. Love you Tony.
Theresa W. 🙂
Growing up, my family and Tony’s lived next to each other. When Tony and Libby built their house on Wildwood, they put up a chain link fence. A gate was included in the back yard. That gate led to our house. That gate sealed our two families friendships. My father had a large garden and would bring baskets of tomatos to them. I can still remember the smell of Libbeys sauce cooking in the house!!
That’s a great picture of Tony. He always had a smile greeting you and was generally interested in how you were. Joe, Judi, Libbey sorry for your loss he was a wonderful man. Remember the good times, I am sure there are many.
Herd about Tony’s passing to Libby, Judy, Joe and the family I want to give my condolences he was a wonderful, great, cheerful and amazing man. I remember the time we went to the Italian fest down town and they had a flag hanging on the telephone pole with the letters AMC I climbed the pole threw down the flag to him and still picture him running across the parking lot with the flag wrapped under his arm it was hilarious. All the good memories we shared together. I’m sure he’s with my father having a glass of wine for old times. God bless him and may he rest in peace.
Tony was our wonderful neighbor.. What a kind man. Yes, he so loved Libby. May he rest in Peace with Our Lord Jesus. Please let me know if I can help in any way with the house.
So sorry to hear I cooked for Grandeville senior home for many years and we buy carretta beef I remember after they closed Tony going to palmer’s and we kept buying Tony’s products there especially the Italian sausage rip Tony
As his neighbor and friend , the 1st memory the comes to mind about Tony was his smile. He always made you feel so happy and genuinely cared how you were . I remember Dad too bringing over baskets of veggies from our garden . And my mom calling Tony and ordering “roasta beef “ and Tony bringing us the best meat ever! I’d always ask if Tony was around when we occasionally stop in Palmers. Lots of happy memories with Tony , Libby, Judi and Joey ! I miss those days , time goes by too fast ! Much sympathy and love to you all, Laurie
Libby, Judi, Joey, and families,
So sorry to hear of Tony’s passing. Our families had a lot of fun together over the years. From the Wildwood Women’s bowling team on Friday nights to Tony and Libby, Frank and Janet, and Arnie and Jesse out on the town. Tony was always very encouraging to myself and other young people. He was a prankster as well, once getting me so good that I didn’t sleep for 3 nights! (I’ll tell you the story in person). As kids (and as adults) Tony was someone that we looked up to as a successful businessman, a good neighbor and friend, and a classy person who cared about people and liked to have fun. What more could anyone aspire to be. Thinking of you all.
Love, Steve and Kathy Alvito
So very sorry to hear about Tony’s passing. My sympathies to Libby and all his family. I first knew Tony and the Carretta’s when they supplied my restaurant and then worked for them in the office. Tony and his brothers were always very kind and generous. Stay strong in this difficult time. May he rest in peace.
Love, Mary Lou Cinelli
So sorry to hear about your father. He was an example of what a gentleman should be. Our condolences to your whole family.