Anthony “Tony” Coelho, 52, passed away on Wednesday, January 23. Coelho served as a member of the night custodial department at Andover for 10 years and maintained George Washington Hall and Gelb Science Center.
Coelho, a lifelong Lowell resident, is survived by his daughter, Melanie, and his sister, Maria, according to the McDonough Funeral Home.
“Tony was a friendly, down-to-earth, good natured, hard working, dedicated guy. We all got kind of misty on Wednesday, when we heard last week, and we were just shocked. This came out of nowhere,” said Marc Koolen, Instructor in Biology.
“Tony was a quiet, kind, steadfast worker who was really a good guy,” said Heather Thomson, Senior Manager for Operations and Management, in an e-mail to the Andover community.
“I will remember Tony as someone who was always thinking of others. At work he was always willing to lend a hand to his co-workers whenever they needed it,” said Paul Morrell, Night Custodial Work Leader.
Coelho was trained as an auto body repair technician at Greater Lowell Vocational High School in 1979. He was a car enthusiast, and owned numerous cars during his time at Andover, said Roy Dennehy, night custodian.
“I’ve been here five years, and he probably had five cars, easy. It was never about the style [of the car], because he had different sized cars. He had big cars, small cars; it all depended on how it felt to him in the car. If he didn’t like the seat in the car, he’d get rid of it. It’s just an incredible quirk he had,” said Dennehy.
Coelho was also a fan of the “Three Stooges” and was thrilled about seeing the movie that ran in the theatres this past summer. The storage closets in the buildings where Coelho worked were filled with “Three Stooges” memorabilia, said Morrell.
Coelho worked hard every day to ensure that campus was a beautiful place to study and work, said Morrell.
“When we came in every morning, [Gelb] was immaculate. Just spotless. Part of that was his dedication to the job. He took a ton of pride in what he did. He’d make it so it was just perfect,” said Koolen.
“All of us in the Night Custodian department will miss him dearly,” said Morrell.
Andover held a gathering in Coelho’s memory on Monday, January 28, in the Underwood Room, where cards were available to those who wished to write a card of condolence to his family.