It has been 18 years since Anton Remy Jr. passed away, but his widow Betty still misses him.
“Oh goodness, yes, it is hard without him,” Betty said Saturday during the championship game of the revived Anton Remy Jr. Basketball Tournament in Milford. “I keep going on, but sometimes I’m not sure why.”
Betty, 92, said she has clear memories of when the couple moved to Milford in the 1940s.
“When we came here he said, ‘Don’t unpack, we probably won’t be here long.’ Instead we stayed forever.”
According to the tournament program, Remy was born in 1917 in New York City. His parents were German immigrants; his father was a carpenter. The family moved to Hudson where Remy excelled at athletics. He played basketball, baseball and ran track, setting a school record in the half mile that stood for 30 years.
Remy was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college, which is where he and Betty met. After serving in the Navy in World War II, the Remy’s moved to Milford. In addition to a job as a coach and teacher, the Remys were given free rent in an apartment across the street from the school in exchange for him keeping the coal furnace stoked.
Remy coached basketball, baseball and football. During the 1961-62 school year the teams had undefeated seasons in all three sports. He also led the Wildcats to a Section Four title in baseball in 1970. He retired in 1976.
“His best sport was baseball,” Betty said. “It was hard to beat Remy in baseball. He coached football; they had a football team back then. When they switched to soccer, that was when he decided he better find someone else to coach.
Remy liked antiques and he enjoyed lots of outdoor activities.
“He had a sailboat,” Betty said. “He liked to fish and hunt.”
In Milford, Remy started a summer recreation program and helped lead a drive to build a community swimming pool.
The Remys have two daughters, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Betty said that Remy enjoyed working with kids.
“He was strict, but he was loving and giving at the same time,” she said. “He was very good with kids. They really admired him, and he had a good rapport with kids.”
In addition to the tournament, the school gymnasium is named for Remy. When Remy died in 1995, MCS began the tournament in his honor. However the tournament disbanded about a decade ago because of lack of funds, according to Milford Booster Club president Gwen Mertz.
Last year, Mertz said that it was a priority for the club to bring the tournament back.
“We felt it was important to bring back the Anton Remy Tournament,” Mertz said in an interview with the Cooperstown Crier. “We thought of it as a little bit of Milford history. He was so important to Milford and gave so much to Milford athletes. When we raised the money, it was important to us to bring it back.”