COLUMBIANA — Anthony Walter Roncone, 81, passed away peacefully at his home Saturday, March 21, 2020, with his family at his side.
Anthony was born July 16, 1938, in Struthers, a son of Italian immigrants, Antonio and Florence LaLama Roncone.
He married the love of his life, Patricia Brahney, on Jan. 27, 1962; she passed away Nov. 28, 1998. They together raised six children in a home built upon a foundation of love, respect, laughter and faith.
Anthony was a graduate of Boardman High School and a graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He started his 46-year career at Cardinal Mooney High School at the age of 19 years old, where he became the head of the industrial arts department. He taught automotive, electronics, mechanical drawing, ceramics, wood shop, welding, art and photography.
His unique passion for science and art was an inspiration for his many thousand students, to whom he devoted his life’s work. In his classroom, he was a pioneer, teaching his students to build fiberglass boats, hot-rod cars, furniture, clocks, electronics and many other crafts.
Entering grade school not knowing how to speak English, he understood the unique challenges that many children face and was known as an “advocate for the underdog.” Even in retirement, Anthony gave his time coaching local high school students to design and build robots for US FIRST national robotics competition. To this day, students share stories of how Mr. Roncone changed their lives, inspiring them to follow their dreams.
A man of many talents, Anthony was also a renowned musician, entrepreneur, artist and inventor. He was a gifted saxophone player and played professionally for over 50 years nationwide with the Mike Roncone Band, together with his brothers Mike and Gino, and was a studio musician under contract with Capitol Records. He was also the owner of Roncone Studio, a successful photography business, which has been in operation since 1969.
His creativity and vision earned him nationwide acclaim and he is the owner of several United States patents for optics and lens technology. For his contributions as an educator, entrepreneur and innovator, Anthony was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Kent State University in 2006.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and enjoyed other hobbies such as woodworking, metalworking, painting, building hot rods and playing jazz, but no time was more precious to him than that spent with his family and friends.
He was uniquely present in all the lives of his children and grandchildren, bestowing his wonderful gifts that will be cherished forever. Some of Anthony’s greatest joys with his family were Sunday dinners, summer vacations, sporting events, weekend getaways with Patty, tractor rides, laughing every day, Lake Erie fishing trips and Christmas Eve. “Papa Tony’s” legacy will live on forever through the lives of all those he touched.
Cherishing his memory are his brothers, Mike (Rita) Roncone of Boardman and Gino Roncone of Huntersville, N.C.; his six children, Christine (Tim) Steigerwald of Cincinnati, Anthony (Kathy) Roncone of Columbiana, Terri Roncone of Columbiana, Trish (Chris) Reider of Canfield, Cindy (John) Toohey of Canfield and Dan (Jen) Roncone of Columbus; and his 19 grandchildren, Anthony (fiancee Danielle Young), Nick, Lindsey, Matt and Patricia Roncone; John, Jaclyn, Joe, Jake and Jason Steigerwald; Kelsey, Gianna and Sydney Reider; Cailan and Kiera Toohey; and Sofia, Danny, Isabella and Lucia Roncone.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and by his beloved wife, Patricia.
The Roncone family would like to express their sincere gratitude to Dr. Sandy Naples, his wonderful staff and Dede McGlone for their care and love. And heartfelt thanks to the Akeso Home Health Care family, especially Rita, Chrissy, Pam and Margaret. Their gentle compassion was deeply appreciated by Anthony and the entire family.
A celebration of Anthony’s life and memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Arrangements handed by Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes.
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