Oakwood mourns passing of Anthony Pellegrino

Officials throughout Oakwood Healthcare, Inc. are mourning the passing this week of prominent Texas businessman and long-time benefactor Anthony J. Pellegrino.

Known as ‘A.J.’ among his friends, Mr. Pellegrino was the founder and owner of Transportation Systems, Inc. He passed away on Dec. 17 at the age of 84.

“We will be forever grateful for his generosity,” said Carla O’Malley, executive director of the Oakwood Foundation. “He was a great man, a good friend and he will be sorely missed.”

Mr. Pellegrino donated $1 million to the major expansion at Oakwood Southshore Medical Center (OSMC) in Trenton in 2007; a plaque was dedicated in his honor in 2009. Located in the lobby, it reads: “A.J. Pellegrino Family Pavilion.” AJ was a Diamond level member of Oakwood’s President’s Society, an esteemed group of philanthropists dedicated to the Oakwood mission of excellence in care, healing and health to the individuals and communities served by Oakwood Healthcare. He was also a prominent leader in the Downriver community.

He founded TSI, a trucking company, in 1979. Based in Brownstown Township, the company also has facilities in Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, South Carolina and Mexico. The company at one time employed about 675 people, about 100 of which were in southeast Michigan, along with 430 owner-operators. Mr. Pellegrino’s philosophies spawned transportation practices now in use throughout the industry. His son, Kenneth, is TSI’s president and CEO. Mr. Pellegrino often donated to several causes, including the Southshore Promise, Texas A&M and the Mayo Clinic. A nursing scholarship is being created in his honor for nurses at OSMC, too.

“His generosity has helped create a legacy of giving throughout the community,” said Edith Hughes, Division President of Oakwood Southshore Medical Center. “We can’t thank him and his family enough for their belief in us and our mission to provide excellence in care, healing and health throughout the community. He was truly a friend of the community. AJ has left a legacy in the Downriver community—one that will long be remembered.”

Mr. Pellegrino is survived by his son, Kenneth; four daughters, Janice Schmidt, Dorice Pelto, Courtney
Pellegrino and Nicole Pellegrino-Guardado; 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and friend, caregiver and nurse Gretchen Erickson.

CUTLINE: At a ribbon cutting event at Oakwood Southshore Medical Center, Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm shakes hands with Anthony 'AJ' Pellegrino, Honorary Chair of the Southshore Promise Campaign, as Wayne County CEO Robert Ficano, Oakwood President & CEO Brian Connolly, and Iqbal Nasir, MD (left) look on.