Anthony (Tony) P. Vajda, Jr., 70, of Lusby, Md., beloved husband, brother and uncle, died peacefully at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., on January 7, 2019, of complications from cancer, following a brief illness. He was surrounded by his loving wife and family.
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Born on January 22, 1948, in Harrisburg, Pa., Tony was the son of the late Anthony P. and Diana (DiSanto) Vajda. He attended Bishop McDevitt High School and Harrisburg Area Community College, where he earned an associate degree in business administration in 1970.
Tony served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1969, repairing aircraft hydraulic systems in Vietnam. He worked as an engineering technician at the New Cumberland Army Depot in New Cumberland, Pa., from 1975 to 1980, and was the facilities manager for the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., from 1980 to 1982.
In 1982, Tony joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Alexandria, Va., as an industrial engineering technician with the Facilities Engineering Support Agency. He was then appointed Chief of the Facilities Engineering Systems Development and Maintenance of Systems Directorate. Finally, when the Center for Public Works was organized, Tony served as Chief of the Department of Public Works Management Division, providing guidance and functional support in the areas of work, supply and contracts management to U.S. Army installations around the world. Between 2001 and 2003, Tony served as a Senior Program Manager for the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, working in IT integration, for the Department of the Army.
After retiring in 2003 following nearly four decades of military and civilian service with the U.S. Army, Tony brought his considerable analytical and organizational skills to Southern Maryland, where he built his retirement home along the Chesapeake Bay. He became an authority on shoreline erosion and installed a series of offshore reef balls to protect his property and that of his neighbors from cliff erosion. The project, which garnered local and international interest, was chronicled by The Washington Post in an article entitled “Breathtaking Views, Wearing Reality,” by staff writer Joshua Partlow.
Following a lengthy process involving national, state and local authorities, Tony also secured permission to install a revetment at the base of Calvert Cliffs to further protect homeowners’ properties from erosion. He continued to work with interested parties from other Chesapeake Bay communities who faced similar dilemmas, offering his support and expertise.
In recent years, Tony sought to establish the Calvert Shores incorporated municipality, after becoming concerned that tax dollars paid out from the community were not being returned in the form of local and state services that other, non-private, communities received. Tony also volunteered his time to support many local organizations, especially the Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Center in Lusby, Md. Tony was a familiar and beloved figure in his immediate neighborhood, often called upon for help or advice on almost any kind of problem. Local children would often stop to chat with “Mister Tony” and pet his dogs, Jack and Kiki, during his daily walks. He enjoyed vacationing in Roatan, Honduras, with his family. Tony was a brilliant, caring and compassionate man, who rarely encountered a problem that he couldn’t solve. He will be forever missed and lovingly remembered by all who knew him.
Tony is survived by his wife Anne (Larsen), of Lusby, Md., sisters Rosalie Kammerling (Richard), of Huntington Station, N.Y. and Juliana Puliti (Louis), of Mechanicsburg, Pa., brother Michael Vajda (Patricia Malison) of Bel Air, Md., many nieces and nephews, as well as his two dogs and eight rescue cats.
Services will be private.