News and Views

BWC mourns the loss of Tony Martucci

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If Tony Martucci has a legacy, it will be his wave. The staff and some special visitors to the Baltimore-Washington Conference Mission Center in Fulton usually received a greeting, a short wave and a very few words from Tony. That greeting was always noted and often quietly treasured.

Tony, 31, was the Mission Center Assistant. He died unexpectedly on the evening of March 7, after a day of work and before going out for french fries with his father.

At the Next Level Speaker Series event, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling shared the sad news. “Our own Tony Martucci passed away last night, transitioning from life to life,” she said. “He was a beautiful presence, an innocent presence. He was shy with us at times, and at other times he was bold. We’re struggling now. We will miss him and we will remember him with fierce love.”

“I reached out to Tony’s mother to offer our condolences and prayers at this devastating news and to thank her for sharing Tony with us for so many years,” the bishop said. “He was a blessing to our Mission Center family.”

Perhaps no one at the Mission Center will miss Tony as much as Ricky Shaw, his supervisor. Shaw remembers when the Mission Center opened in 2010, and Tony was part of a work program at Reservoir High School for students with autism. The purpose of the program was to help the students learn to better socialize with others. He began working with Shaw, checking coffee stations, setting up tables for meetings and performing other routine tasks. When Tony graduated, he was hired at the Mission Center.

Tony, Shaw quickly discovered, was a person of routines, so his day was designed around routine. Every day at 11 a.m. – every day – was lunchtime. “Tony was very intelligent, but his autism wouldn’t let him show it,” Shaw said. “He was very easygoing, he kept to himself. When he felt like speaking, he would speak in short bursts. When he was frustrated, he would press his hands together. He smiled a lot.”

Shaw never understood when people said he was patient with Tony. “I always thought of him as my good friend, who I worked with,” he said. However, the pair did develop a shorthand.

One of Tony’s favorite activities was watching animated Disney movies, especially The Jungle Book and The Lion King. When something happened in the Mission Center that triggered an emotion or thought for Tony, he would quote a line from a movie. Shaw watched all of Tony’s favorites and learned the dialogue so that when Tony would recite a line, he would know what his friend was feeling. “They were little sparks of bonding, special moments,” Shaw said.

“I’m still in pain and grief. I’m in shock mode,” Shaw continued. “But I know that in the future there will be movie lines that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

While Tony brought joy to the Mission Center with his daily greetings, working there also touched his life. Shaw saw him once talking to his reflection of a display case at the Mission Center – he was practicing making eye contact.  “It’s all the little things,” Shaw said. “Tony wanted to help. He wanted to be here. He felt he belonged here. He had a purpose, he had a job, he was so happy about that. I’m going to miss those waves.”

A time of visitation and a prayer service for Tony Martucci will be held on Monday, March 13, at Donaldson Funeral Home in Laurel. Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m., the service is at 6 p.m.  See his obituary

Sorry, it was in the link.  Visitation is 5:00 – 8:00 pm.  Service at 6:00.

Beth Mar 9, 2023 4:20pm

I'm so sorry to hear this! Tony was always so friendly and helpful, his presence will definitely be missed!!

Deborah Trowbridge Mar 9, 2023 4:28pm

I’ll always remember Tony stopping by my office to say “Good Morning Deb” !!

Prayers to his family

Frank Robert Mar 9, 2023 5:35pm

Thank you Melissa for such a warm article. His friendly smile and wonderful greetings will be missed.

Patricia Allen Mar 9, 2023 7:07pm

Tony was such a sweet soul. It was a blessing to have been one of the many who God chose to share time with Tony in this life

Patricia Allen Mar 9, 2023 7:09pm

Tony was such a sweet soul.
He will truly be missed!

Ken Camper Mar 10, 2023 7:03am

Thank you for a personal and loving article about Tony. Although I never had the opportunity to meet him, I felt like I knew him through the personal accounts. Again we are all special people in the sight of God and in our own special ways. My condolences to his family who knew Tony best.

Pastor Mina Mar 11, 2023 3:32am

Such a kind soul. Thank you Tony for being caring and kind especially when things are more difficult than expected. God sent you into my pathway, right on time.

DaeHwa Park Mar 14, 2023 6:32pm

On behalf of Good Shepherd UMC and the UMC of Savage, we send condolences to Tony's family, friends, and co-workers at the Conference center, and give thanks to God for the faithful service of Tony for the works of the Lord and His people of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. We pray for his eternal rest in the bosom of God.

Sharon Fleet Mar 15, 2023 7:13pm

Oh my goodness, I thought certainly I had misread the name. I am so very sorry to hear this news. Such a sweet, sweet spirit, always so kind. I will never forget his sweet smiling face and his hand wave. My sincere condolences to his family and the BWC staff, especially Ricky Shaw. The two of them had a very unique bond which I admired very much. Tony always greeted me with kindness, he will be missed. Rest in heavenly peace my friend!

SHERRI E WOODPOWE Mar 17, 2023 3:39am

This is such sad news. Blessings to his family. He will truly be missed at the Conference Center.

Rev. Dr. Diane Dixon-Proctor Mar 20, 2023 9:59am

I always made a point of specking and waving to Tony each time I visited the Mission Center. My last visit was in late February. Tony was there, and I got my wave. R.I.P.