Anthony (Tony) Francis Gersitz (October 28, 1929 – May 28, 2022)
I first met Tony at a Miss Utility meeting in 2003 when I joined the board as the Delaware Electric Cooperative representative and Board Treasurer. He was the kind of person you would immediately like. Tony had been on the board as far back as 1989 and had been through it all. He worked for the City of Dover in the Water Department and was deeply involved with the Delaware Rural Water Association. He still took classes when he was in his 90th decade.
He was a mentor to me, sharing many of the issues that they had to fight for during the organizations inception. I have not met anyone more dedicated to the dig safely concept than Tony. He was very aware of the dangerous job the locators have and how little recognition they received throughout the year. It is as if they have to be on top of their game 100% of the time, and then they were “just doing their job”. Perfection was the goal, but if you got a cut or marked a location incorrectly, shame on you. Sometimes it cost them their job.
Tony was instrumental in getting our Locator Recognition Awards Banquet off and running. He wanted to make sure it was a first class event and something they should be proud of being selected by their supervisor. The jacket has to be a nice one and the embroidery was to be a badge of “street cred”.
Tony knew everyone. If it dealt with excavation, locating or Rural Water, he was THE MAN. His knowledge base was very deep and at 92 he was still pretty sharp.
Tony would lend his van for transportation anytime someone needed a ride. In the later years, he would let you drive as his eyesight was weakening. Once we were discussing purchasing a trailer to haul give away trinkets and he without hesitation offered his, not to borrow, but donated it to our organization. I believe he would give you the shirt off his back if you asked.
Tony loved his wife, Loretta and worshiped the ground she walked on. Occasionally she would help him work a booth at a Miss Utility function. He was devastated when she passed in 2014. After that, I would swing by his house just to visit and check on him. I really enjoyed the talks we had. Sometimes just idle talk and other times he had a deep conviction about some board issue or decision. He had great insight with all his years of experience with Miss Utility.
Tony was a devout member of the local Catholic Church and has a close circle of friends that supported him through thick and thin. But Tony being Tony, he would gather these friends together once a year and take them out to dinner.
It is a great honor for us to name our yearly Locator Achievement Awards to The Tony Gersitz Locator Achievement Awards.
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