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Charles Louis Tona  WWII


April 15, 1922 - May 27, 2006.

Charles (Charlie) L. Tona passed away peacefully on May 27, 2006 after a short illness. His wife of 57 years, Angie, and two sisters, Millie and Nickie, preceded Charlie in death. He is survived by his older brother Carmen of Buffalo, New York; his children, Juanita Romance of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Frank Tona of Ocala, Florida, Marianne and Leo Cook of Dunwoody, Georgia, and Charles F. Tona of Sunrise, Florida; grandchildren Mark and Connie Romance of Coral Gables, Michael and Elaine Romance of Plantation, Melanie Romance of Davie, Bradley and Jeffrey Cook of Atlanta, Georgia, and Katie and Sara Beth Tona of Ocala, Florida. Charlie was born in Buffalo, NY on April 15, 1922 to Frank and Jenny Tona, and he was the youngest of 5 children. Charles Tona enjoyed a proud record of service to his country. In early 1938 at age 15 he joined the New York National Guard's 174th Infantry regiment serving in a machine gun company. He was honorably discharged the following December when it was discovered that he was underage. The following year he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and served in Grants Pass, Oregon until 1940. In November 1942 he volunteered to serve in the Army of the United States and completed his basic training for the Army Air Corps in San Antonio, Texas. The following June he shipped out for overseas duty at Hickham Field, Oahu, The Hawaiian Islands. In January 1945 he embarked for Iwo Jima. He arrived on Iwo in March 1945 witnessing the final Japanese attack on the airfield. He served with the 15th and then the 20th Air Force until November, 1945 when he finally shipped home to Buffalo. He was honorably discharged in December, 1945 after serving 29 months of overseas duty. In January, 1946 he married Angeline Farrauto of Hamilton, Ontario. After living in Buffalo for a year, they moved to Williamsville, NY where Charlie purchased acreage, built a home, and raised four children. He led a very successful career as a commercial construction contractor in Buffalo, retiring to Florida and his Sunshine Ranches acreage in 1972. Retirement was short-lived when Charlie decided to build houses and invest in real estate, after which he built several houses throughout Southwest Ranches. Charlie also built the first Davie Volunteer Fire Station in Sunshine Ranches, which was also the first home for St. Mark's Church, of which Charlie was a founding member. After several years as a Volunteer Fireman and Rescue Diver, he became President of the fire department. Charlie kept two fire trucks at his home to shorten the response time, and he was instrumental in shaping the fire department which is now a part of the Broward County Fire Rescue system. He also organized the first annual Volunteer Fire Department home-to-home Santa Claus toy delivery run throughout Sunshine Ranches. Charlie was an active member of the Board of Directors of the Sunshine Ranches Homeowners Association, later becoming the President. His involvement in the community was instrumental in protecting and preserving the integrity and lifestyle of the Sunshine Ranches community Whether hosting annual Easter Egg Hunts or any of the many "Hoe-downs" at his home, the Tona ranch was always a beehive of community activity and visitors. Visitation Tuesday, May 30th from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the Tona Family Home. The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 31st at 10:00 AM at St. Mark's Church, 5601 South Flamingo Road, Southwest Ranches. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sister Mary Francis c/o Monastery of St. Claire, 1271 Langhorn Newtown Road, Langhorene, PA 19047-1297. Arrangements entrusted to: Barbara Falowski Funeral & Cremation Services, (954) 462-4262. Published in Sun-Sentinel from May 29 to May 30, 2006.

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