BOARDMAN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – On Sunday, December 18, 2022 while surrounded by her family, a woman of character, intellect and humor, Antoinette Lonardo, 97, passed into the hands of our Savior.
Antoinette or “Tony” as her friends called her, was born on June 8, 1925 in Girard, Ohio. As demonstrated by so many in “The Greatest Generation”, her life story is an example of a wonderful life!
While economic conditions at the time denied “Tony” of an advanced education and her family of material things, her colorful stories of the greater Youngstown community’s strength during the Great Depression and throughout the horrible losses during WWII, inspired all those she met to be thankful for what we have and to try to be better people who forgive all. And to dress yourself every day with a smile and a song in your heart.
She was a tireless worker and housewife of boundless energy. She met everyone with unconditional love in endless heaps via smiles, songs and great food. She walked or rode the bus to her job at McKelvey’s Department Store in downtown Youngstown during the city’s economic peak. Her circle of friends walked to places like Idora Park and they attended many colorful dances during the big band era. Mom clearly communicated to us exactly where she was at the moment the war ended and how joyful residents in the valley felt at that moment.
When her children “carped” about some little issue, she reminded them of tough times and how the Rag Man literally came through Girard collecting rags and how her mom and dad let a local man stay in their basement and about the pain of families on her street receiving telegrams of, yet another son lost in the war. Antoinette led by example and she provided both young and old a deep perspective on a live well lived. God was her foundation and she regularly attended parishes such as St. Rose, Sacred Heart and St. Charles. “Tony” often gave more money to charity than she could afford. Her wisdom to her countless grandchildren included such quotes as “Never forget where you came from” and “There by the Grace of God go I.” She dearly respected her parents and siblings, who were her best friends, in addition to Mary Lou Beraduce.
Antoinette was a voracious reader and espoused hard work and education. Like so many of her generation, she reminded us of the obligation to vote no matter what the weather or who was the candidate. She persistently supported her husband, Art Lonardo, for over 62 years of marriage before his passing in 2009. Antoinette and Arthur had nine children together. She was adept at cooking for a large Italian family on a limited income as Art and his brothers worked hard to run Lonardo and Son’s Greenhouse, now in its third generation of operation.
Antoinette is preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Rafael Caputo; her husband, Art; an infant son, Dominic; a grandson, John Arthur; her daughter, Annette; her two brothers, John and Ralph Caputo; two sisters, Mary Cretella and Philomena Bush and a son-in-law, Frank Quinlan.
Antoinette leaves behind her sister, Helen Robinson; her children, Vito Lonardo, Mary Quinlan, Arthur (Jane) Lonardo, Howard Lonardo, Frank (Donna) Lonardo, Mark Lonardo and Richard (Debbie) Lonardo; 20 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren and countless nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends and relatives from 1:00 – 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, December 22, 2022 at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Boardman, with a 2:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial to follow.
We are thankful for those who supported her long-term care including the tireless efforts of Art, Jayne, Mary, Vito and Howard as they led the entire family in providing end of life care. We are indebted to Dr. Conti and his staff at Mercy Health and the selfless caregivers and volunteers at the Hospice of the Valley.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the professional care of the Rossi Brothers and Lellio Funeral Home, 4442 South Avenue in Boardman. Family and friends are encouraged to offer prayers for the family and support via phone call, text, email or may visit the Book of Memories at www.rossifunerals.com.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, December 21 at the following approximate times: 6:47 a.m. on WYTV, 9:43 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.