WAKEFIELD – On Aug. 15, 2019, Amy Beth Parravano lost the love of her life when her husband, Tony, 87, died of a massive heart attack while the duo was performing street theater on Main Street. Now approaching the one-year anniversary of Tony’s death, Amy Beth is looking to the future while still honoring her husband of nearly 40 years.
“Life is different without him,” she said. “He’s not physically present, and I live my life daily by taking care of business and my home while on my own. But the most amazing thing about Tony is that he prepared me for this.”
Since Tony’s death, Amy Beth, a musician and mime artist, has been traveling to all of the couple’s favorite places, mostly beaches and parks, and had a memorial plaque placed at the Main Street bench Tony sat in before suffering critical heart failure nearly one year ago. She also attends the spot frequently on walks with the couple’s son, always leaving behind candles, flowers or balloons. She is also planning an antique car show in memory of Tony for next year. Having served in the Korean War, Tony is buried at Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Exeter.
“I pass the time creative writing, I have a dream journal about Tony,” said Amy Beth. “I have a notebook full of poetry and stories so that keeps me busy too. I want to eventually write a book.”
Amy Beth and Tony met in 1974 after the former placed an ad in The Providence Journal seeking a bassist for a country rock band she was forming after a trip to Nashville, TN. They were engaged five years later. Tony, also a musician, was a civilian cartographer for the U.S. Army Map Service for over 30 years before his retirement, and was drafted into the Army in 1950 to serve during the Korean War.
While the two held a number of jobs after Tony’s departure from military life, their true passion together came in performance, with the couple frequently hitting the road, bringing their musical and mime act to public streets and events in towns throughout the state and beyond. Combining Amy Beth’s acts with Tony’s affinity for video production, the duo began to produce “Amy Beth Presents,” a television show featuring performances and frequent guests. “Amy Beth Presents” debuted on COX Rhode Island in 1995 and still enjoys frequent reruns today.
Together, the couple has two sons, Paul and Peter.
“They come to visit on weekends and we recreate the atmosphere as if Tony still here with our own traditions,” said Amy Beth. “Since the pandemic, we’ve been doing lot of backyard things together as well.”
As for the future, Amy Beth thought it best to quote her late husband in explaining her pursuit of engaging more with the local community and developing new creative enterprises.
“’Keep moving and doing,’” she said. “That’s what he used to say.”