NEW WINDSOR - “Anthony wishes a long, healthy, and happy life for all of his family and friends that he leaves behind.”
Those simple words were part of the obituary published over the weekend for Anthony Mancinelli, who was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest-working barber.
Mancinelli died last Thursday at age 108, and worked as a barber from the age of 12 until he trimmed his last head of hair this July.
Along the way, he set an example of how to live that long, healthy, and happy life.
“He was incredible, his work was phenomenal, he was phenomenal,” said Jane Dinezza, owner of Fantastic Cuts in New Windsor, where Mancinelli worked for the past five years. “I can’t explain it; if we all were like him, the world would be a better place.”
Born in Montemilone, Italy, Mancinelli sailed to America in 1919 at age 8 on the ship Caserta, landing in Newburgh and residing in the Newburgh-New Windsor area for the rest of his life.
He picked up his first set of barber shears in 1924, learning the business at a Newburgh barbershop after school each day. He opened Anthony’s Barbershop in the City of Newburgh in 1930, when he was just 19 years old, and owned it for 40 years. After that, he worked at other salons.
He loved his customers, and they adored him back: Mancinelli was Grand Marshal of the New Windsor Memorial Day parade for 13 years, and he was awarded many accolades from government officials. Sen. Bill Larkin proclaimed March 2, 2016 (Mancinelli’s birthday) as Anthony Mancinelli Day. In April, the World War II veteran was part of the Hudson Valley Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., accompanied by his son, Robert Mancinelli.
“He was a great man – sweet, loving, kind, and compassionate,” Dinezza said. “He had an abundant life.”
Visitation is being held from 5-8 p.m. Monday at Brooks Funeral Home, 481 Gidney Ave. Newburgh. A Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Francis Church, 145 Benkard Ave. Newburgh. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery, New Windsor.