Cornell lost a promising young alumnus April 8 when 25-year-old Anthony (Tony) Apuzzo ’04 passed away tragically following a 13-month battle with liver cancer.
Hailing from Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., Apuzzo was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1982. Apuzzo spent most of his childhood in Brazil and Caracas, Venezuela, until his family relocated to New York in 1990.
An English major at Cornell, Apuzzo served as a writer for The Cornell Daily Sun, keeping a copy of every paper that he had an article published in. Apuzzo used his love of writing to help others by teaching literature and writing for the Cornell prison writing program at Auburn Correctional Facility.
Apuzzo was involved in many other clubs and groups at Cornell, and “he loved that at Cornell, there’s a club for pretty much everything,” said girlfriend Jessica Rounds ’04.
As a freshman at Cornell, Apuzzo participated in the pre-orientation Wilderness Reflections and rowed for the Cornell Freshman Lightweight Crew. He was co-founder of the Cornell University Club Baseball team and also served as treasurer, attorney and witness for the Cornell Mock Trial team.
However, what friends say characterized Apuzzo most were his love of food, wine and music. “Tony loved to barbecue, hang out at CTB, and would drive hours to get to a rock concert,” said Jeremy Paley ’04.
Paley, who was Apuzzo’s freshman year roommate in Clara Dickson Hall, remembers Tony as “a smart, passionate, genuine guy. He was a true renaissance man who cooked an amazing steak, loved reading James Joyce, swimming in the gorges, and Cornell hockey.”
Apuzzo was described as having made the most of his experience at Cornell and “loved to research places in Ithaca to find the most special things about them,” Rounds said.
“Tony would find the best place to eat lunch on campus with a good view of the Dragon Day Parade and also knew the best trails for a great bike ride,” Rounds said.
At Cornell, Apuzzo enjoyed the course ‘Introduction to Wines’ so much that upon graduating he took a job in the wine industry, working for AKA Wine Geek and living in New York City.
“He was strong ‘til the end,” Paley said.
“He handled his disease with such poise and was always so brave and optimistic.”
Apuzzo’s love for Cornell and Ithaca were apparent to all who knew him. “Even after Tony got sick, he always wanted to take a trip back to Ithaca, to visit Cornell and his favorite spots in town. He loved the scenery and the laid-back sense of community,” Rounds said.
“At Cornell he made enough precious friendships and joyful memories to fill another lifetime.”