CANFIELD - Anthony T.J. D'Apolito, 47, died early Wednesday morning in the emergency room at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, after suffering an apparent heart attack while he was working.
T.J. was born Oct. 1, 1973, in Pittsburgh, Pa. He was a 1992 graduate of South Range High School and later graduated from Hiram College in 1996, where he was a member of the football team for four years.
He served as a dispatcher for the Ohio State Highway Patrol for the past 13 years. T.J. was also active in the Canfield Cardinals Booster Club and all of his children's athletic events and activities.
He is survived by his wife, the former Holly Zemelka, whom he married June 17, 2000; his parents, Tony and Patty Kana D'Apolito of Boardman; a daughter, Karley; and son, Joey D'Apolito, at home; a sister, Deanne (Randy) Carr of Corry, Pa.; his mother-in-law, Debra Zemelka of Boardman; a brother-in-law, Brant (Yvette) Zemelka of Boardman; and nephews and nieces, Brant and Cole Zemelka, and Reece, Raymond, Olyvia and Emmalee Carr.
He was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Rudy Zemelka; and grandparents, John and Anne D'Apolito, and Marge and Martin Kana.
Services will be 4 p.m. Saturday, March 20, 2021, at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, Boardman-Canfield Chapel. Friends may call 1 to 3:45 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
"T.J., what a son you were, you left this life way too early, but I know you are in the arms of our Lord and as buff and trim as can be. You were always a good husband and father who cared and loved his family deeply. You always wanted to be there for them, and wanted the best for them. At times you were a little tough on them, but only because you wanted the best for them, because you wanted them to be the best they could be. You dispatched at the State Highway Patrol for all those years, working the night shift so that you could be involved in your children's activities, and you were. Especially Joey's hockey and Karley's lacrosse. It was not uncommon for you to work all night, come home get a little rest, then make it to home and away hockey and lacrosse games. I could always count on you at the drop of a hat to help dad in his many wheelchair episodes and adventures, even as recently as the day before you passed. I can still hear you saying 'Dad, if you have ever gone slow, now is the time to do it.' You were a great brother who shared many good times, and adventures with your sister, some crazy adventures I only learned about in your adult years. You always 'half joked' about who was the favorite child, but you both loved each other deeply. You were an 'other son' to your in-laws, loving their daughter with all your heart and ever so concerned about her well-being. Affectionately known as 'Guido' to your in-laws and 'main most man' to dad, you made us all so very proud. We all love you and miss you already! Enjoy your new life with Jesus until we meet again. All our love from your family, friends, co-workers and all who knew and cherished you. Thank you for 47 years."
This tribute may be viewed and condolences sent to www.higgins-reardon.com.