QUEENSBURY - A man who was revered regionally for his leadership in community service and known for his irrepressible cheer and positivism was honored Dec. 1 for his service to the nation.
Bearing flags and solemn expressions, a dozen war veterans in formal uniforms stood at attention Dec.1 as county and state officials recounted the military service of the late U.S. Army Air Corps soldier Anthony J. Palangi of Queensbury.
The recognition of Palangi's service to his country was the 79th "Honor a Deceased Veteran" ceremony held in Warren County since the program started in 2002.
Palangi served from Oct. 1942 to March 1946 in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
Heather Loneck, representing U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, presented Palangi's family with a U.S. flag, to be flown one month over the county Municipal Center.
"He not only served the country bravely, but he was a dynamic force in community service through the Kiwanis organization," she said, detailing Palangi's half-dozen medals, including the American Theater Medal.
Dan MacEntee, representing state Sen. Betty Little, noted Palangi's service as he presented the extended Palangi family with the state Senate Liberty Award.
"We're here to honor Anthony Palangi's exceptional valor and humanitarian achievements," he said.
The award was presented on behalf of the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs.
Palangi was born in Italy and by the age of 10, he emigrated to the united States with his parents and two sisters, settling in the Glens Falls area. He graduated from St. Mary's Academy in 1939 and attended Skidmore College in Saratoga, and the American Conservatory of Music in Schenectady.
Palangi initially worked for the Great Northern Lumber Co., the Union Paper & Bag Corp. and then spent 26 years at Jaxton Manufacturing of Glens Falls, were he retired as office manager.
But Palangi gained most notoriety regionally through his community service, investing 41 years into charitable works through Glens Falls Kiwanis.
In the mid-1980s, Palangi served as Governor of New York State District Kiwanis, and for years later on the Kiwanis International Foundation Board.
Dan Stec of Queensbury recalled how Palangi's ever-present goodwill and cheer was contagious.
"Tony would light up a room when he entered it," Stec said. "Then everyone would gravitate around him - he was the face of Kiwanis in the region, and he was so well-known in the area for all his good works."
Among those charitable works were his actions of organizing fundraising events for charity and 31 years of effort through Kiwanis to promote youth programs.
Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Fred Monroe said Palangi's life was dedicated to others.
"Anthony Palangi defended our nation with honor," he said.
Anthony Palangi died Oct. 6, 2007, and was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery. His two wives, Madonna Carnahan and Virginia Brenno, predeceased him. Altogether, the Palangis had seven children.
After the ceremony, Anthony Palangi's son Joe said he was proud of his father's attitude and accomplishments.
"He's part of the generation that built the nation we have today," Joe said.
"My father was very patriotic, and he always enjoyed honoring veterans," he added. "He must be 'up there' smiling right now."