Skip to main content

Your Tewksbury Today

Obituary: Antonio J. Terenzi, 88

Jan 27, 2015 08:39PM ● By Bill Gilman

Antonio J. Terenzi, 88

Antonio Terenzi was received by our Lord on Friday, January 23rd, 2015.
Antonio was born on March 13, 1926 in Lynn, MA to Lorenzo and Julia Terenzi.
Proud to serve his country, Antonio was a dedicated American patriot who always wore his USS Adams Navy hat wherever he would go. He enlisted in the US Navy in March of 1944 during WWII along with his brothers and sisters. Antonio traveled the Pacific Theater aboard the USS Adams (DM-27) engaging in minesweeping operations off of Okinawa. He witnessed the Battle of Iwo Jima firsthand when he was brought to the island by the Attack Transport vessel, The USS President Adams (APA-19) 3rd Marine Division. As part of the Navy reinforcements, Mr. Terenzi reached the beach and survived one of the fiercest Pacific battles known and he was there to honor the raising of the flag atop Mt. Suribachi on Feb. 23rd, 1945.
After WWII, he remained in the Naval Reserve and served in the Korean War. Additional war operations had brought him to naval operations in the Philippines. His Korean War injuries led him to his final assignment on the USS Macon. For his bravery and honor, he was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, The Philippines Liberation Medal, the American Theater Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal.
After returning home to the US, Antonio Terenzi pursued a career in academia. He received his BA and Masters in Education from Suffolk University, Boston, MA . His ambition gave him the spirit to earn an advanced degree in School Administration from Boston University.
During the following years, Antonio progressed from being a history teacher to advancing to the role of Vice Principal at Tewksbury Junior High School. For the remainder of his administrative role in education, he was the principle of Heath Brook Elementary School in Tewksbury, MA.
He loved his career and took a personal interest in the welfare of his students. Antonio was nicknamed 'Mr. T' as he was most famously referred to and this name would often be heard called out to him when he attended many a Tewksbury football game. His alternate nickname was 'Sheriff Jones' for he was known to personally go looking for truant students in efforts to emphasize to them the importance of education. He took pleasure in helping as many of his students and staff reach their full potential.
 In 1991, Governor Weld and the House of Representatives awarded Mr. Terenzi with a Certificate of Recognition for his 33 years of devoted service to public school education. He was admired and respected by all who worked by his side, and he will be dearly missed by those who love him.
Antonio is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Rita F Terenzi (nee Digiustino), and his loving daughters, Ms. Christina Terenzi, Mrs. Alicia Terenzi- Dehaai and Dr. Gina M .Terenzi along with two respectful sons-in-law, Leland Dehaai and Tony Groves. He also leaves his surviving brother, Harry Terenzi, and many dear nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his two sisters, Frances (Terenzi) Cashman, Mary (Terenzi) Jarzylo and three brothers, Angelo Terenzi, William Terenzi, and Matthew Terenzi.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Saint Mary Star of the Sea Parish, 253 Cabot Street, Beverly on Thursday at 11:00 A.M. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly on Wednesday from 4 to 8P.M. Burial will be in North Beverly Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made in Antonio's Memory to Heath Brook Elementary School, 165 Shawsheen St., Tewksbury, MA 01876. Information, directions, condolences at

Follow us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter at @TewksburyToday Follow us on Instagram at YourTewksburyToday