Mr. Anton (“Tony”) Saca. RIP

An Extraordinary Life of Faith, Generosity, and Devoted Love

With heavy hearts, we share the news of the passing into the eternal life of Mr. Anton (Tony) Saca (15 July 1934 – 24 March 2024). Tony, together with his devoted wife, Mrs. Ilham Saca, has been a long-time cherished friend, advocate, and benefactor. He leaves us with a remarkable legacy of generosity and dedication that has profoundly impacted Bethlehem University and our extended community. Alongside his devoted wife, Ilham, Tony’s life exemplified the spirit of compassion and philanthropy.

On Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024, Tony Saca peacefully passed away at home, surrounded by loved ones. Tony passionately believed in the transformative power of education. At Bethlehem University, the Sacas’ support has been extraordinary. Their commitment to the advancement of education has provided our students with the opportunity to pursue their academic goals and to live a better life.

Through the establishment of the Anton J., Ilham, David, Diana, and John Saca of Sacramento, California Endowed Scholarship, the Sacas have empowered four students with the gift of education. Two of them graduated from Bethlehem University and are leading fulfilling lives equipped with the knowledge and skills they gained during their study at Bethlehem University. Among the Sacas’ many contributions is their outstanding support to the construction of Cardinal Foley Hall, housing the Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences at Bethlehem University. The construction of this new building has provided students with modern learning environments and equipped them with the resources they need to excel academically and professionally.

Tony and Ilham Saca’s vision for Bethlehem University extends further, touching the lives of students through their outstanding support to the Sir John McGuckin Internship and Mentoring Program, an initiative of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem – USA Northwestern Lieutenancy. It is worth mentioning that the late Tony and Ilham, our Board of Regents member, are esteemed members of Northwestern Lieutenancy, further demonstrating their dedication to their faith and service to others. Their generosity extended beyond financial contributions, encompassing a wide range of charitable organizations and causes including the March of Dimes, Make a Wish Foundation, Sacramento Symphony, Sisters of Mercy and the Sacramento Food Bank. For 18 years, Tony and Ilham hosted and sponsored the Annual Saca Benefit Ball at their home on behalf of the Sacramento Food Bank, which raised over $4 Million. They also funded the Saca Learning Center, which was dedicated to assisting those in need and moving them toward self-sufficiency and financial independence.

Tony Saca’s life story is one of resilience, determination, and steadfast faith. From humble beginnings in Bethlehem to achieving remarkable success as an entrepreneur in the United States, Tony’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance and hard work. Throughout his life, Tony remained deeply committed to his Palestinian roots and never forgot the importance of giving back to his community.

As we mourn the loss of Tony Saca, we take comfort in knowing that his legacy will live on through the lives he touched and the hearts he inspired. His generosity, compassion, and devotion to Bethlehem University will continue to shape the future of our institution and the students we serve.

We also extend our deepest condolences to Ilham Saca and her family during this difficult time. Their steadfast support and dedication to Bethlehem University have been and continue to be a source of strength and inspiration for our community. We are forever grateful for their enduring partnership and friendship.

We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Saca family and pray that Tony may rest in eternal peace.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Tony Saca to Bethlehem University via the links provided below