Anthony Sauta, “a dear friend, supporter and current board member” of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ), passed away on Dec. 19.
Sauta was 59.
Sauta began his automotive career more than 25 years ago, working as a mechanic, then as a manager at an automotive repair shop for his cousin. He later opened East Coast Auto Body in Neptune, N.J., a business that grew to include four repair shops, a body shop, a towing company, a warehouse and a furniture store.
Sauta was a devoted AASP/NJ board member, and was always active in the association prior to joining the board, the association noted.
He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Bradley Beach, as well as an avid powerboat enthusiast, serving as a member of the NJPPC (New Jersey Performance PowerBoat Club) and Florida PowerBoat Poker Runs.
“I knew Anthony for about 25 years, both in business and as a personal friend,” shared AASP/NJ board member Joe Amato. “He was a great father to his daughter, and a great husband to his wife Theresa. He was a brilliant businessperson. Brilliant.
“Anthony always had a smile on his face. No matter what was happening in his life, he was smiling. He had that bubbly voice that just made you feel better when you talked to him. And he was a real devoted board member. He made every meeting he could, he always contributed and he’d always give you that 110 percent.”
AASP/NJ offered its “deepest condolences” to Sauta’s family, friends and colleagues.
“To hear of the passing of Tony Sauta was one of the most painful things I have been informed of in a very long time,” AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant said. “When one of our own very special people goes much too early, it is really heartbreaking.
“Tony always seemed so full of life, and I can’t recall even one time seeing him get really mad. I will miss the enjoyable ride to our board meetings, because he always made it a fun trip. My heart goes out to the many, many close friends, people he employed and his relatives, because I can only imagine the sadness they are feeling.”
Sauta is survived by his wife Theresa Sullivan Sauta, his daughter Brittany Sauta, his brother Stephen Sauta, his sister Dianne Donato, and niece Jessica and nephew Nick Donato. He also is survived by his in-laws Robert and Peggy Sullivan, and his three brothers-in-law Michael, John and Edward Sullivan.