OPINION: A journalist, an Inquirer reader, and a fine man’s life and farewell

Philadelphia Inquirer

July 26, 2020

By Maria Panaritis

I was in the receiving line at the wake of a virtual stranger. Something had pulled me toward Egizi Funeral Home in Turnersville on Friday. I’d gotten word that an Inquirer reader I had met only once had died. And for some reason, that was reason enough to make the 45-minute trip from Philadelphia into South Jersey.

The pandemic had caused the wake to be delayed by two weeks, so there was no casket. Just flowers and photo galleries of a life I knew close to nothing about: Anthony DeVirgiliis, 72, of Sewell. On a table was a black-and-white picture of him as a baby; another from what looked like his confirmation; in a white tuxedo as a young man; with lifelong love Donata on their wedding day. A faded color shot of him, Donata, and their only child, Michelle Tamburro, on a Jersey Shore beach 40 years ago left a lump in my throat.

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