‹ Return to Current Obituaries

Order Flowers now for guaranteed delivery before Anthony's visitation.

Anthony J. "Tony" Sylvester

Anthony J. “Tony” Sylvester, Ph. D, age 90, of Bloomsburg, died peacefully with his wife at his side on Monday, January 11, 2021.

Born in Newark, New Jersey on August 1, 1930, he was the son of the late Pasquale and Angelina (Grasso) Silvestri. He resided in Bloomsburg since 1965.

Tony was a graduate of St. Benedict’s Catholic High School in Newark. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Rutgers University and his Ph. D. in History from the University of Chicago.

Tony served his country with honor during the Korean War as a member of the U. S. Army from June, 1954 to May, 1956.

He was a professor in the history department at Bloomsburg University from 1965 to 1992 when he retired.

He enjoyed international travel and escorted several college groups on tours. Following retirement, he became an avid ceramics maker. He also served as an active member of the Coalition for Social Equity in Bloomsburg and continued to serve until 2020. Since 1992, he was an active member of the University Community Task Force on Racial Equity.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Eileen Conlon, on July 2, 2009, and daughter, Sharon P. Sylvester, on November 23, 2017.

Surviving is his wife, Vera Viditz-Ward with whom he observed their 17th wedding anniversary on March 15, 2020; a son, Anthony P. Sylvester, and his wife Molly Bleecker, Albuquerque, New Mexico; his grandson, Anthony G. Sylvester, Albuquerque, New Mexico; his brother-in-law, Joseph Conlon; his nieces Diane Conlon, Lori Conlon, Angela Conlon; his nephew Joseph Conlon; and his four grand-nieces and nephews.

Tony was known for his larger-than-life personality to even those he met only briefly. He meant so much to so many - always kind, inspiring and seeing the best in people.  He was able to make all those in his presence – strangers or not – feel welcome, loved and important.  Most importantly, Tony cherished family.  Throughout his life, he never missed an opportunity to spend time with family members – be it as a brother, husband, father, grandfather or uncle. His love, outlook and heartfelt concern for each member of the family will be greatly missed.

Memorial services will be scheduled following the Covid-19 pandemic.

In lieu of flowers, friends may remember Tony by contributing to either the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard, 342 Iron St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Dean W. Kriner, Inc., Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 325 Market Street, Bloomsburg.


To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Anthony Sylvester, please visit our flower store.


Tony was such a giving person. Our kids will always remember visiting on halloween and singing the Tony bologna song. We're all going to miss him.

Vince, Cindi, Ethan , and Izac Feb 12 2021 12:00 AM

Dear Vera and family,
I am writing belatedly to tell you of my sadness when I heard of Tonys illness and then his passing. I apologize for the lateness of this card. I hope this finds you well, And I hope today is a good day for you.

I met Tony early in my years at what was then Bloomsburg State College. I felt an immediate liking for him his willingness to question convention and authority, his wisdom about teaching, his gentleness and ability to find humor in life. Also for his having grown up in Newark, where I had spent a college summer working in a community program. (He corrected my pronunciation of the Weequahic neighborhood in which he grew up.)

Years later, I worked more extensively with Tony in the Task Force on Racial Equity. Those were not easy years for the Task Force. Yet Tony never gave up, never lost sight of the importance of this work, and exercised a wise mix of idealism and practicality in leading us and in the community. Later yet, Tony and I served on the Racial Equity work team of the revitalized Coalition for Social Equity, and I again enjoyed this presence, wit and commitment.

Tony really wanted to be on good terms with everyone, while speaking his truth. I honor and appreciate his ability to do both.

Jim Dalton Feb 3 2021 12:00 AM

Dear Vera and family, A big presence gone but not forgotten. Thanks for sharing him with us in the Italian Club feasts , And Newark feasts. He was one of a kind, interested, engaging, comfortable,intelligent , warm and so proud of his Italian heritage. We truly loved him and will miss him. Take care of you. Wishing you peace and comfort in good memories.

Darlis and Vince Varano Jan 25 2021 12:00 AM

So sorry to hear of Tony's passing and extend our sympathies to the family. We hold good memories of his
camaraderie and cooperation during his times with the Department of Developmental Instruction at BU.

Janice Feimster Walters, Floyd, and Family Jan 18 2021 12:00 AM

Thinking of you and praying for you! Both of you meant so much to the boys!! Many fond memories in the neighborhood!

Liz, Holden, and Bryce

Liz Hazzard Jan 17 2021 12:00 AM

Vera- heartfelt condolences from me and Brigid. Fond memories of his bus trips to NYC and the NJ dining on the way home! He always brought a smile to our faces with his NJ accented "How you doin'". A wonderful man who was truly an asset to BU, Bloomsburg and humanity. He will be missed.
Michael and Brigid Pugh

Michael Pugh Jan 16 2021 12:00 AM

Ahhh...Tony, RIP my friend......you were one of the kindest men I've ever met. I will never forget your smile.....thoughts and prayers for the family.......xoxo Joe and Lorraine Feola

Lorraine Feola Jan 15 2021 12:00 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss and am keeping youin my thoughts and prayers.He wasone of the best and willalways be remembered.

Rachel Jan 14 2021 12:00 AM

We will miss you so much Tony and thank you for the memories we hold dear; especially our trip to Russia! You were definitely the Main Man! Until we meet again.. RIP! Love you !!

Luann and Joe Conlon Jan 14 2021 12:00 AM

Bloomsburg University, the town of Bloomsburg, and indeed this world are better for having been touched by Tony. Thanks to Vera and his family for sharing Tony with us.

Frank and Sandy Davis Jan 14 2021 12:00 AM

Show More Entries