Antone "Tony" Oliveira (age 99)
New Bedford's last railroad Ticket Agent passed away peacefully, Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at Philip Hulitar Hospice Center, Providence, RI. He was the widower of Linda (Soares) Oliveira, his wife of 65 years. Son of Manuel, an Azorean whaler, and Maria (Silva) Oliveira. A 1940 graduate of New Bedford High School and a World War Il army veteran. A life member of the Disabled American Veterans, DR.C.E. Burt Chapter 7, the American Portuguese Veterans Association, Inc. Post l, the American Legion Post 265 of Acushnet and a Charter Member of the National World War Il Museum in New Orleans. He enjoyed the camaraderie of his "Chapter 7 brothers" in their Forget-Me-Not fundraisers.
His 44-year career began as the era of the steam engine and the telegraph was ending. He held the positions of Block Operator (traffic control between stations), Interlocking Signal Station Operator, Drawbridge Operator, Ticket Agent and Train Dispatcher. He saw service with the New York, New Haven and Hartford; Penn-Central; Amtrak; Con-Rail; and the Bay Colony railroads. He was a past member of the Communications and Transportation International Union and the Order of Railroad Telegraphers. He was the New Haven Railroad Boston Division correspondent for the Railroad Telegraphers magazine and the periodical Along the Line. Football season meant Sundays in Foxboro on Patriot home games to cover the arrival and departure of the "passenger extra" trains of Patriot fans from Boston and Providence. Watching the games gave him the added pleasure of seeing his granddaughters; Tracey, Tricia and Kristie perform as Patriot cheerleaders.
It has been 63 years since he recorded the arrival of the last train into New Bedford in May of 1958. Through the tireless efforts of former Governor Duval Patrick and State Senator Marc Montigney, scheduled commuter rail service will come to fruition ending the stigma of the fact that the South Coast is the only section of the entire Commonwealth without passenger service.
He worked 25 years part-time at the former Cape News Co. He was a member of the New Bedford City Band and local dance bands in the "Big Band Era" in the late 30's and early 40's. Devoted to Our Lady, he was a past president of the Our Lady of Fatima Feast Committee at the Immaculate Conception Church. He was a member of the Senior Bowling League at Dudek in Warren, RI, Descendants of Whaling Masters, Inc., National Parks Conservation Association, National Association of Retired and Veteran Railway Employees and an Honorary Member of the New Haven Historical and Technical Association.
Survivors include three sons, Ralph and wife Arlene of New Bedford, Stephen and wife Phyllis of Hopkinton, NH and Edward and wife Hongxing of Hayes, VA. Daughter, Diane Borges and husband Ronald of New Bedford. Seven grandchildren, Tracey Bulis and husband Jeffrey of Wareham; Tricia Brogioli and husband, David of Wareham; Kelly Lambert and husband, Luke of Braintree; Stephen Oliveira and wife Paula of Bedford, NH; David Oliveira and wife, Shannon of Auburn, NH; Eric Borges of New Bedford and Kristie Soderquist and husband Jeffery of Woburn. Sixteen great-grandchildren, Taylor and Hunter Bulis; Grace, Benjamin and Ava Brogioli; Lydon, Ashton and Adrienne Shay Lambert; Madison Oliveira; Ryan and Gavin Oliveira; Lilly Borges; Aidan, Silas, Sienna and Quinn Soderquist. Several godsons, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by sisters, Eva Sousa and Valentina Costa. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish Building Fund at 106 Illinois St., New Bedford, MA 02745 or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 50, Memphis, TN 38105. Visiting hours will be Monday from 4-7pm at the Boulevard Funeral Home, 223 Ashley Blvd. His funeral mass will be said 10am Tuesday at St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish. Interment will be in Pine Grove Cemetery. For directions and guest book please visit www.boulevardfh.com. All attendees must wear a face covering and practice social distancing.