July 19, 2024

Anthony James Rich (aka “Tony”, Cookie”), 82, of Baden, passed away after a brief illness, but unexpectedly, on Wednesday September 28, 2022, Allegheny General Hospital.
Tony was born in Ambridge on December 28, 1939, the son of the late Patsy Rich, Sr. and Mary Noschese Rich.
His life was lived vivaciously as a God fearing man, entrepreneur, sportsman, conservationist, community activist, cement contractor, expert meat and specialty meats maker, wild game processor, wild game outfitter, fish whisperer and lover of righteous pathways to follow. Mostly he was admired for being someone who educated others and respected everyone and cared deeply for his fellow man/woman. He hunted with thoughtful respectful approach of wildlife. He was a trusted guide and advisor for wild game. He earned the Super 10 Award for his hunting accomplishments, where he hunted in many places. Tony was an avid fisherman, he could catch the limit even on the worst day on the water. He had his own keen sense fish finder in his DNA of how fish species moved in waters.
Tony had life memberships in the following organizations; National Rifle Association, Rochester Sportsmen’s Club, FOAC, North American Hunting Club, North American Fishing Club, Ambridge Sportsmen’s Club, PA Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, North Borough Sportsmen’s Club, Pittsburgh Downriggers, Sewickley Conservation Club, Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation. He was past President at Ambridge Sportsmen’s Club, where he led the project to grow the club acreage from 35 acres to 165 acres. He was past President at Rochester Sportsmen’s Club, where he led the construction of the new gun range and clubhouse updates. Tony created the Beaver County Sportsmen’s Conservation League “Youth Foundation” as he believed that children should be indoctrinated in understanding wildlife, hunting, fishing and healthy respect for conservation efforts for the future and also to have healthy fun meaningful activities. Tony advocated and was successful in helping Beaver County become the proclamation of the 2nd Amendment. He also designed the open Archery and Muzzleloader committee and created the Wild Geese Hunting activities at Brady’s Run Lake. He was currently President of Beaver County Sportsmen’s Conservation League for 16 plus years. Tony founded the new “We The People of America” 501C4 non-profit organization to hold elected officials accountable to their oaths. He will be greatly missed as he led the Director Board on activities and plans for this group. He led the growth of the group with his friend, Jerry Hooks, from 5 people to over 25,000 in just a short 16 months. Tony organized rallies to Harrisburg, PA for many years to support Gun Rights 2nd Amendment. He was effective in having Beaver County recognized for its strength and regard for elected officials to hold the constitution in place righteously. Tony worked for over 12 years tirelessly on the restoration of Hereford Manor Lake Dam to the point of only needing government funding for it to be completed.
As an entrepreneur, Tony was successful at every business he worked. He learned the concrete trade from his late uncle, Bill Rich and then successfully owned and operated Tony Rich Concrete Construction for many years. His work was recognized as perfection. He worked many years with his brother, Patsy Rich Jr., uncle, Bill Rich Sr., late cousin, Billy Rich and cousin, Gary Rich, on cement construction projects. The stories of their daily interactions, funny escapades and perfectionist attitudes could fill a book or at least many chapters. He owned and operated Indian Creek Outfitters and Powder horn Area Hunting Association in Gunnison Colorado, for over 26 years, where he helped many sportsmen have successful Elk, Mule, Deer and other wild game hunts and fly fishing events. He owned and operated Bullock County Outfitters in Union Springs, Alabama. Tony learned the meat butcher trade also as a young Italian boy. He learned how to define each part of an animal and knew how to make cuts and process meats for optimum deliciousness. He operated Tony’s Specialty Meats in Ambridge and also Rich’s Wild Game Processing in Economy Boro. He won awards for pulled pork, bacon, artisan hams and also was popular for his specialty venison made meats from his shop.
Some would say that Tony Rich broke the mold in the man he was and how he lived life. An avid Patriot who was “neutral” with all political sides. His opinions were well studied perspectives and detailed knowledge of history and knowing what was happening in local and state government. He advocated constantly for the freedom, peace and goodwill of all men. He was great company. He was brave, strong, of solid character and a man you could count on. His word was golden and true. His shop was a revolving door of friends and others who just wanted to talk with him and most times if you visited him, you walked away with something from his freezer or smoker. He was fun and funny and loved to hear and tell jokes. He smiled a lot. He loved his life. He slid into Heaven on a fast run and he accepted his death with dignity, bravery and gratefulness.
He is survived by and will be greatly missed by his loving beautiful wife, Ellen, of 61 years of marriage; his loving daughter, Venise; his loving goddaughter, Traci Rich Jones; his brother, Patsy Rich Jr.(Angel); nephew, Malley Branchetti; sisters, Florence Mancini (Mario), Stella Jones and Antoinette Verna; and many other nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
Friends will be received on Sunday October 2, 2022 from 1:00- 5:00, Bohn-Matich Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc., 1099 Maplewood Ave., Ambridge, where a Blessing Service will be held on Monday, October 3, 2022 at 10:00am. Interment will follow at Economy Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Beaver County Sportsmen’s Conservation League Youth Foundation.
Posted online on September 29, 2022
Published in Ellwood City Ledger, The Beaver County Times


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