New Book Tells Rane Family Story

1/4/2006

It’s a story of love, loyalty and family. It’s a story of courage and dedication to duty.

It is Tony Rane’s story.

The life and times of the man known to all who know him as “Mr. Tony,” a rock in the Abbeville community for 64 years, are documented in a newly released book. “Mr. Tony’s Lessons of La Famiglia,” written by Lynn Byrd and contributing writer Phillip Marshall, tells the story of Mr. Tony’s life and family, starting with the journey from Sicily to the promise of life in the United States.

From the Greenbush community in Madison, Wisc., to Hollywood, to New York City and finally to Abbeville, Mr. Tony has lived a life of accomplishment and good works. He has been a friend to the rich and famous and a friend to the little man. He’s done it all.

The book, 225 pages of stories and rare photographs, is for sale at Town Square Shoppes in downtown Abbeville, at Headland National Bank on the square in Headland and at Northcutt’s on Main in Dothan. They are also available online at www.mrtonybook.com. Books are $30, with all proceeds going to the Jimmy Rane Foundation, which provides college scholarships for deserving students.

“Every family has a rock, somebody that lays the foundation for future generations,” former Auburn football coach and family friend Pat Dye says. “For the Rane family, it all started with Mr. Tony. His spirit, his personality – all the intangibles that you want to teach your children to help them build meaningful and successful lives – he shares willingly with the world at large.”

Mr. Tony is treasurer of Great Southern Wood Processing in Abbeville where his oldest son, Jimmy, is founder and chief executive officer and his youngest son, Greg, is vice president.

The book, three years in the writing, was Jimmy’s brainchild.

“Daddy has always been my hero,” Jimmy says. “He has done more and accomplished more than anybody I’ve ever met. His story and his family’s story is an inspiration to me and, I believe, will be to anybody who reads the book.”

Mr. Tony says he never expected to see a book about his life.

“I feel flattered beyond words,” Mr. Tony says. “The reception has been great. It’s truly an honor.”