Beloved teacher, coach, mentor in Chelsea
Published in the February 1, 2017 edition
SAUGUS — Anthony “Chubby” Tiro, 80, passed away at Lawrence Memorial Hospital on January 11, 2017 surrounded by his greatest treasure, his family. He will be remembered as a strong, dedicated, passionate man, but more importantly, a true family man.
When the name Chubby Tiro is mentioned, someone always has a story. Stories of his great athletic ability. Stories of his selflessness and dedication to those less fortunate in means or spirit. Stories of how he helped to mold so many individuals to be the best person they could be. If you didn’t personally know him, you knew of him. His exterior was loud, strong and powerful; seemingly indestructible. Yet his heart and soul was kind and compassionate. He was a man who affected the lives of many without concern for praise. He was a champion for all.
In his early days, Chubby emerged as a leader. He was the president of both his junior high and high school classes as well as a member of the National Honor Society. He was captain of both his football and track teams and All-Scholastic in both sports; a feat rarely achieved in those days.
He held several individual records and was recruited as a Division I scholastic football player at Kansas State University. He went on to coach at the high school, college, and semi-pro football levels. His athletic career was so illustrious that he was inducted into both Chelsea High School and Malden Golden Mustang’s Halls of Fame.
Professionally, Tiro began his teaching profession in special needs education and retired as a physical education teacher. His devotion and advocacy for children was evident in his 30-year service to the Chelsea School Committee and the Shore Collaborative; serving as chairman of both. He was co-creator of the Chelsea High School Athletic Varsity Club, helping to usher in many members that he mentored as youths. He single-handedly guided many off to colleges, leading them to both educational and personal success. He defended the underdog. He took youths from the road to self-destruction and uncertainty and made the difference in their paths. He was truly a mentor, a counselor, and a friend.
Perfect strangers would tell his daughter, Robin Tiro-Kinnon, how her dad impacted their lives or what he had done to help communities as a whole, which showed her the type of man her dad was because he never talked about it. He lived by the motto: “If you’re going to do something, don’t talk about it, just do it. And never for the praise or recognition. At the end of the day, you want to be able to look in the mirror and like what you see.”
“His best advice of all was that the importance of life is not things but the people whom we love. For that, and all he has given us, we are abundantly wealthy. In my mind, there is no other man like my dad. He was a man of character, integrity and strength,” Robin said.
Chubby is survived by his three children: Robert Tiro and his wife Denise of Wakefield, Robin Tiro-Kinnon and her husband Stephen of Lynnfield; and Anthony Tiro and his wife Lisa of Saugus; eight grandchildren; T.J. and his wife Stephanie, Gianna, Robby, Bria, Rosie, Stephen, Brooke and Nicholas, and one great-grandchild: Ayla.
He was the devoted son to the late Mary and Americo “Joe” Tiro, and the devoted brother to Robert and his wife Grace and Dennis and his wife Diane. He was adored by many nieces, nephews and friends who considered him family. Recalled one of his nieces, Toni-Ann: “He wasn’t our rock or foundation; he was our mountain.”
However, Chubby’s longest relationship is the one he held with such cherished honor. He met his wife Anna (Damiano) in the sixth grade when both knew that they had met a friend they would stand alongside in love and admiration for the rest of their lives.
Married for 58 years, they were a couple that many friends admired and whose children’s friends hoped to emulate. In fact, Anna very rarely referred to him as her husband, but more affectionately “my Chubby.”
To best honor the legacy of a life so devoted to the benefit of children, if so inclined, donations in his name can be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105, https://www.stjude.org, or by calling 1 (800) 822-6344.