NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Joseph “Joe” A. Tonya of New Middletown passed away on Monday, May 8, 2023.

Joe was born on March 18, 1929, in Bessemer, Pennsylvania, a son of Andrew and Jenny Slapnicher Tonya.

He graduated from Bessemer High School.

After graduation, he served two years in the Army in Germany. 

Following his return stateside, he was employed at Bessemer Cement and retired after 30 years.

He married the former Anne Crnarich on July 14, 1951 and would have celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary.

He was a member of St. Paul the Apostle Church in New Middletown and participated in the Pierogi Ministry for 25 years.

He celebrated his Slovenian culture and heritage as a member of the SNPJ (Slovenian National Benefit Society) Lodge 776 and the Bessemer Croatian Club.  

Joe enjoyed hunting, gardening, cooking, making wine, smoking meats, playing bocce and pitching horseshoes. He won several first-place awards pitching horseshoes in the Senior Olympics.

Joe leaves his wife, Anne; daughter, Cathy Kalenits; son, Stephen (Linda) Tonya; daughter-in-law, Judy Tonya and sister, Amelia Deniakis. He also leaves four grandchildren, Justin (Amber) Tonya, Louise Crespo, Brandon (Nicole) Tonya and Lauren (Stephen) Atwood and six great-grandchildren, Mikayla (Ryan) Lutsch, Jackson and Jonathan Tonya, Ava, Zoe and Gia Crespo and Melinda Tonya, due to arrive in June.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by Anne’s parents; his son, David; two brothers, Mike and Paul and two sisters, Doris Lancy and Frances Juran and Cathy’s husband, Ernie Kalenits.

Donations may be made to St. Paul the Apostle Church, 10143 Main Street, New Middletown, OH 44442.

Private visitation and a Funeral Mass was held for the family.

Arrangements are made by Terry Cunningham Funeral Home in Bessemer.

A television tribute will air Sunday, May 14, at the following approximate times: 6:27 p.m. on WYTV and 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.