YOUNGSTOWN — Joseph Colonna, 90, died peacefully late Thursday evening, Feb. 6, 2020, at Hospice House, surrounded by his family.
Joseph was born Aug. 5, 1929, in Youngstown, the youngest of 10 children to Pasquale and Marie Antoinette Pachell Colonna.
He was a 1949 graduate of Chaney High School, where he was a three-year letterman in football, basketball and baseball. Joseph earned All-City in 1948 and All-County in both 1947 and 1948. Because of his outstanding athletic achievements, Joseph was inducted into Chaney’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.
Joseph attended the University of Akron for one year, where he played football, before enlisting to serve his country in the U.S. Army. He served as a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., where he also played football.
Joseph worked as a Boilermaker at U.S. Steel Ohio Works for 30 years and General Motors as a millwright for 10 years. He was a member of the local union 1714.
He often fished the waters of Mosquito Lake and Pymatuning. Joseph and enjoyed creating his own lures in the workshop of his basement. In his later years, after he sold his boat, he would drive himself to Mill Creek Park to fish off the banks of Lake Glacier.
Joseph also enjoyed hunting. He and his son would head to the camp they shared with their friends at the Short Horn Lodge in Summerville, Pa., for deer season after Thanksgiving each year.
His greatest pride was his home garden. He started many of his plants from seeds in his basement’s makeshift greenhouse. Joseph was famous for homemade brandy made from his blackberry crop.
Joseph loved making music at home. He enjoyed playing his harmonica, accordion, washboard and the spoons. He could make music on anything!
He was a charter member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and served as an usher.
Joseph is survived by his wife and the love of his life, Helen Tavolario Colonna, whom he married June 6, 1953; three daughters, Theresa (Pat) Iudiciani of Columbiana, Denise Sybelnik of Austintown and Diane (Tom) Walters of Canfield; his son, Joseph (Patty) Colonna of Hubbard; grandchildren, Ray (Kim) Diamond, Audrey (Richard) Leach, Dominic Iudiciani, Heather Ramsey, Melanie Lozier and Scott Lozier; and great-grandchildren, Brittany and Alexys Diamond, Lachlan Leach, and Hope, Robert and Shawn Ramsey.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Tony, Frank and Phil Colonna; sisters, Rose Fusco, Mary Ferraro, Carmel Colonna, Teny Phillips, Claire McCaughtry and Jenny Trebella; and son-in-law, Frank J. Sybelnik Jr.
Family and friends may call 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Austintown Chapel.
Prayers will begin 11:30 a.m. Monday at the funeral home, followed by a noon Mass of Christian burial at St. Joseph Church, celebrated by the Rev. Edward Noga.
Visit www.higgins-reardon.com to send condolences to the family.
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