Thomas Anthony Mandina, "Tony" to all his friends, passed away Sunday, July 4, 2021, at the age of 83, in New Braunfels, Texas. He was a devoted son, brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, husband and true friend to all that had the pleasure of knowing him.
Tony was born in Oil City, Louisiana, on September 11, 1937. He grew up working in his parents' grocery store. At a young age he learned the value of hard work and dedication to following his dreams. He was awarded a football scholarship to Texarkana Junior College. He transferred to East Texas State University on another scholarship, where he played on the winning National Football team that went on to win the Tangerine Bowl.
Upon graduating from university, he volunteered and was accepted into Officer Candidate School in the United States Marine Corps. Once he completed his training, he was assigned to Marine Corps Headquarters at Quantico, Virginia. First Lt. Mandina continued to excel at sports and leadership while he played on the USMC football team. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, he continued his passion for sports and football, coaching at several high schools in Texas.
Tony not only had an award-winning personality, he was a true charmer to all. Using these great skills, he went into sales, working for Stetson Hat Company, Resistol Hat Company and Justin Boots Company. Being one of the top performers in his field, he was often awarded the Salesman of the Year award. After retiring, Tony wanted to reach back to his roots of store ownership, opening several stores in the north Texas area. He was able to continue to be a part of his community and give back to those around him.
Tony will always be remembered for his love, loyalty and support to his family and friends and giving more than he had to anyone that was in need.
Tony is preceded in death by his beloved mother, Frances Cascio Mandina; father, Anthony Mandina and grandson, Dylan Sparks.
He is survived by sisters, Vita Belle Gregorio and Frances Lynn Mandina; children, John Thomas Mandina and Laura Mandina Sparks and husband, Stephen; grandchildren, Christian Sparks and Casey Sparks and great-grandchildren, Sarah Sparks and Adylan Sparks.
The family suggests memorials may be made to the Texas A&M - Commerce Athletic Association, P.O. Box 3425, Commerce, TX 75429-3425, Sigma Chi Fraternity- Annual Fund Contribution, 1714 Hinman Ave., Evanston, IL 60201 or a Catholic church of your choice.
Honoring Tony as pallbearers will be John T. Mandina, Stephen Sparks, Christian Sparks, T. J. Mandina, Tony Gregorio and Joseph Gregorio.
Funeral services for Tony will be held Friday, July 16, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. with a visitation at 10:00 a.m. until service time. Burial will follow at Forest Park Cemetery, St. Vincent. Officiating will be Father Pike Thomas.
A memorial will be held at a later date in New Braunfels, Texas.
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