Jelly, jelly so fine

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tony Duchi

My great friend Tony Duchi passed away this morning, a few minutes after 8:00. Tony was family to me and the loss will be very hard to take.

Anthony Leo Duchi Jr. was a longtime Fallbrook resident who had lived with and fought off leukemia for the last 15 or so years. Unfortunately his chronic lymphocytic leukemia morphed into lymphoma a few months ago and things started breaking down fast for him. He had something called a 17p deletion in his chromosomes which is apparently very bad news.

Tony was a stand up guy who treated me like his son. He showed my wife Leslie the same unconditional love. We were on opposite sides of the political spectrum but he always was respectful. We agreed to disagree. He always had time for me. Tony didn't own a television. He had a clear idea of what he liked and didn't like and lived life on his own terms. He loved to travel and to sail the open sea. He really enjoyed hearing jazz and music at my parties. We judged the Fallbrook Car Show together in May. And I will never forget him manning the wheel on our whale watching trip and the security everyone felt being guided by his steady hand.

Tony loved his family and his friends, of which he had many. He was justifiably proud of his kids. He supported me and visited me in the hospital when I was ill. He suffered the greatest loss of his life when his late wife Liz died several years ago. He could never replace her.

He loved boats, cats and clocks and cars, food and antiques. And his friends. He was a person who didn't suffer fools gladly. But when you were in, you were in. He was solid gold. Everyone at the coffee shop would brighten up in his presence when he would pay the regulars an occasional visit in the morning.

Tony leaves four grown children, Tony the third and wife Sharon, Lisa and husband Jeff, Julie and Carlo and John along with all of their respective children. They rallied around him in his last days and did everything they could for him. His friend Dick flew out from Massachusetts and spent time with him when things started to go south. Tony built a very successful manufacturing business with his children and was a brilliant mechanical mind. His passing will leave a huge hole in many of our lives. He was truly one of a kind.

Please raise a glass of something red and preferably italian to my wonderful friend.

There will be a Memorial Service and Celebration of his Life on September 5th at 3:30 p.m. at the Ocean House, 300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, Calif. (760) 729-4131. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Tony's name to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. (888) 773-9958.


Anonymous said...

Dear Robert,

We are so sorry to learn of Tony's passing. While we only met him once, we liked him. He seemed to be a "real" guy. As you say, he will be a terrible loss to all who knew him. Friends like Tony are few and far between.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry bro. I love you, I know that doesn't help much at a time like this, but I do.

John Fisher

Anonymous said...

my deepest deepest heartfelt sympathy goes out to you. i am so sorry for your loss. please know tony is free of his long-time suffering .....you are both in my thoughts. i am so sorry......


Anonymous said...

R and L,

When you introduced us to Tony last December, you injected a richness into my life that will never be forgotten. One of my fondest memories of Tony is his patient guidance as he placed me behind the wheel and led me through the marina to our dock after that whale watching expedition. I know how much Doug and I miss him after knowing him only a few months. Your loss must be agonizing. You are both in my thoughts.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry Robert to hear this news. I like Tony immensely and will feel his loss too. I always loved to see him and have a great conversation. He was friend and I am grateful for having known him. I feel for his family, his son and his daughter Lisa. I feel for your loss of a close friend, both you and Leslie. My thoughts are with you today.

Richard Carpenter

Anonymous said...

I have been out of town and away from the phones and email so I just read your post. I am very sorry to hear this. I really liked Tony and enjoyed the times we shared, though brief.
My sympathy goes to his family and to you, a close friend. Thanks for introducing Janis and me to Tony.

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert; I am so sorry to hear of Tony's passing. I know what a dear friend he was to you and Leslie. I am glad I got to meet him, to talk food and wine. I pray for comfort for his family and you both.

All my best, Jeaneane

Anonymous said...

He was a most interesting and wonderful man......heartbroken..

Kathi Witkoff

Triton Enterprises said...

Robert - This is Tony's daughter-in-law Sharon. Thank you for your kind words. Tony loved you and Leslie very much, and your friendship meant so much to him. I couldn't have asked for a better father-in-law or grandfather for my children. He always treated me with much love and respect, and my life (and my family's) will be very different without him in it. The loss that we feel is overwhelming. Thanks again for all you and Leslie did to enrich Tony's life.

Chris Plante said...


I share your grief in losing a good friend. I met Tony and his family 34 years ago when I was 13. They took me in like family. I have been close to Tony, his wife and kids ever since. I cannot say enough good things about the entire family. I remember Liz as an intelligent, challenging woman, and Tony as innovative, insightful, and right about everything. I secretly adopted them as my parents and they knew it. I'll always be grateful for them, and will miss them dearly.