SCRANTON -- Friends and colleagues of a beloved former Scranton Prep teacher and coach who passed away this week rallied Wednesday to help the family he left behind.
A fundraiser was held in Scranton for the family of Tony Cantafio.
Friends and colleagues of Tony Cantafio and his wife Joanne packed into Andy Gavin`s in Scranton to support Cantafio`s family in their time of sorrow.
Cantafio, known as Taps to friends, died on Monday.
The former Scranton Prep teacher and coach had been hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury after a September 30th Prep football game when a player collided with him on the sidelines.
“It was devastating, I was there actually when it happened on the sidelines and it was devastating,” said Carl Lutkowski, a Scranton Prep coach. “I know the kids were really upset.”
Joe Wargo`s daughter is married to Tony`s son.
“The family is just devastated right now and they`re trying to cope with it, and it`s event like that are showing them the outpouring of support that they have for their family,” said Wargo.
A fundraiser was held at Andy Gavin`s for Tony`s family, organized by employees at Robert Morris Elementary, the school where Tony`s widow Joanne works.
“Joanne in our building at Robert Morris is true mother figure to everybody, she makes cakes for everybody`s birthday, she`s just somebody everybody wants to be around,” said Michael Coleman, the principal at Robert Morris.
“I just can`t even imagine what she`s going through. I just can`t even imagine,” said coworker Linda Jenkins. “When you would see the two of them together, they were like teenagers, they`d walk hand in hand.”
While Tony retired from Prep in 2015, he continued to be fixture on the football field.
He kept the stats for the football team during games and was doing just that the night he was injured.
“He died doing what he loves, being involved in sports, he just was a sports guy,” said Coleman. “So the way he died is touching to him and he`ll definitely be missed.”
The viewing for Tony is planned for Thursday, October 13th at Saint Paul's Church on Penn Avenue.
The funeral will be held at the church on Friday.