Antonio Cillo, 77, a loving husband, father, grandfather and a great friend to many who loved him for his sense of humor and storytelling. A man of strong faith.
In late 1967 Antonio Cillo came to the United States from his home province of Avellino Italy to pursue the love of his life, his wife Adriana, of 49 years. Without any background in English, Antonio initially started working in a factory that made plastic. By 1968, he joined an Italian travel agency in the North End, working as an accountant and a notary public, and learning the travel industry. As part of his focus, Antonio was able to assist many Italians with money transactions and legal documents.
After seven years, Tony opened his own travel agency, Back Bay Travel for over forty years. He became one of the top Italian travel agents in Boston. Tony found it particularly rewarding to share his love of Italy and Italian culture with Americans that he brought to the country every year. One of his most memorable trips was when he brought former Mayor Thomas Menino back to the Mayor’s ancestral village. Tony’s biggest joy during that trip was the honor to personally meet Pope John Paul II and many local Italian political personalities.
Antonio was very active in the Italian community, volunteering in many organizations. He was a member of the Sons of Italy since 1976, the Italian-American Club of Norwood, in which he served as president for seven years and their accountant for 21 years. In 1985, he was elected to COMITES and in 1987, he became a founding member of the board of Casa Monte Cassino. In addition to cultural volunteering, Antonio was heavily involved in sports. He served as a MSA USSF soccer referee for over 20 years, which gave him the opportunity to meet and share his love of the sport with many of his fellow countrymen. One of his greatest pleasures was being able to coach both his children’s soccer teams.
Antonio was instrumental in bringing RAI- Italian programming to Massachusetts. In 1987 he contacted RAI in New York to bring Italian programs to MA. Initially RAI would send him tapes, which he distributed to various local stations in MA. The programs ran for two hours during the week and were live on Sunday. Today, RAI broadcasts on all the cable networks.
During his time in this country, Antonio worked to build bridges between Italians, Italian Americans, and everyone to experience Italian culture and heritage. He highlighted the beauty and adventure of Italy for all to enjoy. He received the prestigious “I Migliori in Mens et Gesta” award by the Pirandello Lyceum in 2016, for his participation and appreciation of Italian Culture.
Antonio Cillo, beloved husband of Adriana for 49 years, passed away on June 15th, 2017 devoted father of Gianna and her husband Joe Carroll of Middletown, Rhode Island, Anthony and his wife Kristen Cillo of West Roxbury, MA. Grandfather to Stephen, Sofia, Adriana, Antonio and Giuseppe. Son of the late Arturo and Antonietta Cillo, brother of Olga, Panfilio, Mario, Aldo, Marisa and the late Maria Sofia and Giovanni. Uncle to many nieces and nephews. Born June 23, 1939. Originally of Pietradefusi, Province of Avellino, Italy. Resident of Roslindale. Visitation will be held at the William J. Gormley Funeral Home 2055 Centre Street, West Roxbury on Monday from 4pm to 8pm. Funeral Mass in the Sacred Heart Church 169 Cummins Highway Roslindale, Ma Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock. Relatives and friends respectfully invited. Interment St. Joseph Cemetery. In lieu of flowers remembrances can be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Sarcoma GIST Research 450 Brookline Avenue Boston, MA 02215-5450. The family has established a scholarship in the name of Antonio for a Sacred Heart Student. Donations can be sent to Sacred Heart Parish, 169 Cummins Highway, Roslindale, MA 02131. For guestbook and directions please visit gormleyfuneral.com.