Buffalo is known as the City of Good Neighbors. And big-hearted people like Anthony Colicchia are one of the reasons why.
Colicchia, the owner of Mister Pizza in the Elmwood Village who dedicated as much of his time to helping others as he did to keeping his loyal customers happy, died Monday. He was 71 years old.
A 1964 graduate of Canisius High School, Colicchia served in the Army Reserve from 1967 to 1973.
After a career in construction, Colicchia turned to pizza and wings in the late 1990s, opening Mister Pizza at Elmwood and Bird. And as his restaurant developed a large fan base, Colicchia turned many of those fans into friends. He was known for his incredible generosity - from his annual St. Joseph's tables offering free food to the community to his holiday meals for those in need.
Colicchia also loved animals, and made regular donations to the Buffalo Animal Shelter.
"He was a wonderful human being full of kindness and compassion," one family member said fondly.
Simply put, Colicchia made Buffalo a better place to live. He loved Buffalo, and Buffalo loved him back.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Colicchia will take place Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Buffalo.