Tributes paid to popular ice-cream man Tony

A popular ice-cream seller who is fondly remembered by thousands of Lancaster residents has died at the age of 89.

Monday, 11th January 2016, 3:30 pm
Updated Monday, 11th January 2016, 3:39 pm
Tony Macari (centre) with his brother Alfonso (left) and father Mageo (right) at the St Leonardgate ice-cream factory.

Antonio Macari, known as Tony, died on New Year’s Day following a short battle with cancer.

Born on November 27 1926 in Leven in Fifeshire, Scotland, to Italian parents, Tony was the third of six children.

The family moved to Lancaster when Tony was seven, and he attended St Peter’s School.

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Tony Macari on his birthday last November.

His working life began as a youngster when he would make money cutting wood and working as a labourer, before he joined the family ice-cream manufacturing business.

Tony’s parents ran a cafe in North Street and later built their own factory on land in St Leonardgate. The business went from strength to strength with all family members involved, and in 1959 they boasted the first soft ice-cream van in the north west, replacing the more traditional scooped ices.

The Macaris became a Lancaster institution, selling ice-creams across the district, from Ingleton to Garstang.

In 1969 the cafe closed but the family continued to sell their ices through their fleet of 10 ice-cream vans.

Tony Macari.

Tony married his wife Costanza in November 1952, and the couple went on to have five children – Ronaldo, Maria, Peter, Angela and Toni.

There are also 12 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

“He worked hard for his family,” his son Ron said. “They were all he thought about. Whatever he had was for his children.

“He was a real gentleman – one of his sayings was ‘never do anybody a bad turn’.”

Tony Macari riding one of the family's traditional horse and carts.

Costanza sadly died in November 1952 at the age of just 55.

Tony worked until he was 84, when he had a fall and broke his hip.

He was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia, although was able to continue living at his home in Morecambe.

Tony was diagnosed with lung cancer after being taken into the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on December 3.

Tony Macari on his birthday last November.

He died at his home on January 1, surrounded by his family.

He is survived by two of his sisters and a brother.

Tony’s funeral was held on Tuesday at The Good Shepherd Church in Torrisholme, followed by a burial at Skerton Cemetery.

His coffin was carried from his home to the church by horse and carriage.

Tony Macari.
Tony Macari riding one of the family's traditional horse and carts.