Frank J. Tonella
March 30, 1924 - April 18, 2001
Frank J. Tonella, 77, of Marquette, died at 3:20 a.m., Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans where he had resided since October of 1998.
Mr. Tonella was born March 30, 1924 in Marquette to the late Frank J. and Mildred (Frei) Tonella, Sr. and had been a lifelong Marquette resident. He was a 1942 graduate of Bishop Baraga High School and then served with the United States Navy during World War II with the Seabees. He spent 29 months in Alaska and the Phillipines.
Frank then attended the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science where he graduated in 1949, returning to work at Tonellas Funeral Home, the family business founded by his grandfather, Carl Tonella in 1893. Altogether, he was employed for over 40 years at the funeral home, sharing ownership with his father and late brother, John Tonella, until assuming full ownership of the funeral home in 1960. He retired on December 31, 1985, but stayed on at the funeral home, serving as a consultant and director until September 1, 1998.
Frank was a member of St. Michael Catholic Church where he was an usher for many years, was a member of Monsignor Nolan B. McKevitt Council 689, Knights of Columbus with honorary life status, was a member of Marquette Elks Lodge #405, a life member of American Legion ost #44, AMVETS and also the Michigan Funeral Directors Association.
Survivors include his wife, Alice L. Tonella of Marquette whom he married on August 2, 1969 in Marquette; three children, James Tonella, Mary Jane Tahlier and Kathleen Boex, all of Green Bay, WI; three step-children, Karen Johnson of Brandon, FL, Peggy Metz of Marquette and Fred (Nancy) Evenson of Holt, MI; 10 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren; also surviving are several nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death besides his parents were siblings, Robert, John Jack and Carl Tonella and Carol Leary.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday at 1 p.m. in St. Michael Catholic Church with the Rev. Msgr. Jed Patrick officiating. Rev. Nancy Amacher of Messiah Lutheran Church will also participate by offering some personal remarks. Interment will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery. Friends may call at the Canale-Tonella Funeral Home on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. where members of the Knights of Columbus will recite the rosary at 5:30 p.m., members of Marquette Elks Lodge #405 will conduct a funeral ritual at 6:30 p.m. and a parish prayer service will be recited at 7:30 p.m.
Pallbearers will be Jeff Finger, Travis Evenson, Dan Evenson, Scott Johnson, Jere Stafford, James Laurinaho and Mark Canale. Members of Michigan Funeral Directors Association District 10 will act as honorary escorts.
Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Jacobetti Home for Veterans Activity Fund at 425 Fisher Street, Marquette, MI 49855 or St. Michael Catholic Church Memorial Fund, 401 W. Kaye Ave., Marquette, MI 49855.