1976 TUSTIN AREA MAN OF THE YEAR: A.J. (Tony) Coco
A.J. (Tony) Coco has served the Tustin Community for many years in numerous capacities.
– Born in Rochester, New York.
– Spent 4th grade year in Denbigh, Virginia
– 3 ½ years of high school at Aquinas Institute, Rochester
– Graduated high school at Salpointe, Tucson, Arizona
– Odd jobs as curio store clerk, TV antenna installer, news reader for Tucson radio station.
– Earned First Class Radiotelephone ticket, FCC
– Entered University of Arizona, interrupted program to spend 2 ½ years aboard USS Iowa as Electronic Technician. Ports: Europe, Africa, Asia, South & Central America.
– Upon discharge, bought first (and last) motorcycle, took off same day from Norfolk to Tucson, traded for Ford in Dallas for remainder of trip across desert.
– Graduated University of Arizona, BS in Electrical Engineering [TAU BETA PI]
– Married, 2 kids born in Newport Beach, California – Moved to Tustin, California in 1962 – Worked in aerospace as EE and program control specialist. – Graduated Cal State Fullerton, MBA [BETA GAMMA SIGMA] – Life member of MENSA
– Elected Tustin City Councilman, then Mayor (eight years).
Conceived idea for putting message on reverse of all “Welcome to Tustin Signs” : “Work where you must, but live in Tustin”. At suggestion of Frank Greinke, then Chamber President, added “…live and shop…”
– Elected President of the Tustin Area Historical Society.
– Named Chairman of Tustin Chamber Legislative Committee
– Officer and member of Tustin Host Lions Club (current)
– Graduated Western State University School of Law, Juris Doctor degree
– Passed US Patent Office bar and California State bar exams (first time)
– Lost life savings in First Pension fraud [3,000 investors lost 99 million dollars]
– Awarded outstanding alumnus honors (Louis Slonaker Award), University of Arizona
– Retired as Lieutenant Commander from Navy, full benefits
– Operated small patent, trademark, copyright practice; now retired
– Member, Orange County Bar Association Administration of Justice Committee
– Chairman of Orange County Patent Law Association Legislative Committee
– Have owned current residence in North Tustin since 1978
– Awarded Gold Star member of Orange County Sheriff’s Department
– Appointed to sheriff’s Professional Services Reserve
– Currently have 7 grandchildren
– Currently volunteer as reader/director for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RBD)
– Currently taking bagpipe and Hebrew lessons, traveling and kayaking, not simultaneously.
– Practice Tai Chi Quan and do weekly NY Times Crossword just to keep mind and body active.