Anthony LaSpina: ‘Workhorse with a huge heart’

Chester. Longtime Chester Highway Department supervisor steps down.

16 Dec 2020 | 11:43

Everyone has been a bit shocked with the announcement of Anthony’s Amyloid Disease diagnosis and decision to retire.

I was asked to provide information about Anthony and his accomplishments as Highway Superintendent and I can only do this from my perspective as his assistant of eight years and co-worker of 13 and forever friend so, it may be sappy.

So, first, the numerical facts: Anthony was hired as a Heavy Equipment Operator in April of 1987. He began his term as Highway Superintendent in 2012. He has served the Town of Chester for 33 years.

He has lived in the town since he was nine years old.

Family first

The first part of his career was in the truck or on the road. The second chapter was overseeing all the things he did at one time or another and trying to enhance what was already a great place with ideas of his own.

I have been blessed working with such a wonderful human being who puts most everyone before himself.

Family first. That is what you will hear from Anthony, and make no mistake, we are his family too!

Anthony is a man of pride. He loves what he does and wants to do the best possible job, no matter what it entails. He’s there to help. I have witnessed him helping with Eagle Scout projects, community projects, a Make a Wish project.

Do it right. Period

He loved Touch-a-Truck. Touch-a-Truck was one of the first things that he wanted to get going, and with the help of the rest of the town, it was a success and continues to be since 2014.

If you need a tree planted, a hole dug, or a road plowed, everyone knows who to call. In the winter, the man never sleeps. He’s out checking roadways for safety issues at all hours of the night, weekdays, weekends, it doesn’t matter. He says, “I’m 24/7.”

He watches the weather intently and sets alarms for the middle of the night. “It’s about the residents,” he tells me.

During the summer, he is doing his best to make sure that the Town of Chester has the best reputation for well-maintained roads and attempts to address any issue that residents have.

He just wants to do it right. Period. When a resident calls Anthony with an issue, if it is in his power to help correct the problem, it’s corrected.

When we had the fire in 2019, and I finally found him running around in the smoke-filled garage trying to salvage anything salvageable, I darn near thought he was going to break down and cry when he saw me. The fire was a personal blow to him. Like he lost his home, and it has been a long road.

As the rebuild was in progress, he was here painting block on a weekend so that the schedule would proceed on that following Monday without a hitch.

And those weren’t the only times he was here on a weekend. In this office, preparing or brainstorming about what he wanted to get done next. When he says to me, “Do you have a minute for me?” I chuckle to myself because I know he has some sort of plan to try to get something done and wants my help or opinion on how to proceed. We’ve had a lot of those moments.

Chapter 3

It’s difficult to encapsulate 33 years into one article. It’s difficult to describe someone so dedicated to his town, his family, his work, his friends, church and causes in one article. I describe Anthony as a workhorse with a huge heart. And I feel that’s pretty accurate.

The goal is for him to get healthy with treatment and then move onto chapter 3, which hopefully is about taking time and enjoying life and leaving the workhorse for an occasional visit.

Donna Thom is the Senior Clerk for the Town of Chester’s Highway Department.