Struthers -Tony F. (March) Marchionda, Sr., 96, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 28, 2022.
Tony was born on December 19, 1925 in Pacentro, Italy, the youngest son of Vincenzo and Fiorentina (Di Mattei) Marchionda.
He came to the United States in 1937, was a lifetime Struthers resident, and attended Struthers High School. He left school to find work in order to help support his family. Later on, he went back to school and earned his GED. He was a member of St. Dominic's Church.
Tony was a self-made man. He felt that if you wanted to make something of yourself you had to pursue what you believed in.
He had many ventures throughout his life from business owner to landlord to union carpenter to inventor to singer/songwriter to union musician to record publisher to talent manager.
Music played an important role in Tony's life. At age twelve, he taught himself to play guitar on an old instrument that had only two strings. By the time he was sixteen, he had his own band and was playing local venues.
He served in the U.S. Navy Seabees during World War II, where he was stationed in Okinawa. Initially, he was assigned to drive hot meals to the Marines at the front lines. Several months later, Tony was transferred to the camp orchestra, where he played guitar six nights a week.
After his service in the Navy, Tony married the former Rose Mary Mele on April 14, 1950. He owned and operated multiple businesses over the years, City Taylors and Valeteria Cleaners, both in Struthers, and Discount Records in Youngstown. As the years went by, he continued his love of music. Tony had his own record label, Tammy Records, and a publishing company, Fiore Publishing. He had his own orchestra and would play in various local bands. Tony wrote, performed or produced more than 60 records. He managed such bands as the Del Rays, the Edsels, Mike Roncone and Del Sinchak. He brought the Edsels to Dick Clark's American Bandstand multiple times and he booked James Brown to perform at the Struthers Field House. In 2016, the TV show Aquarius used the song Crying Guitar, which Tony co-wrote and performed, as background music for one of their episodes. Throughout his life, he kept inventing things holding eight U.S. Patents.
Of all the things that he accomplished in life, Tony was proudest of his family. He so loved being surrounded by them all. He was a loving, devoted, and supportive husband, father, and brother. He lived by the motto, "I Did It My Way."
Tony is survived by his daughter, Marlane (Andrew) Marapese of Struthers; his son, Anthony, Jr. of Struthers; two granddaughters, Michelle, and Lisa; and two great-grandsons, Brian and Benjamin. Tony was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Rose Mary (Mele); his brother, Frank "Cheech" Marchionda; his sister, Violet Sebastian; and his parents.
A private viewing for the immediate family was held at the Davidson-Becker Funeral Home in Struthers on March 31, 2022.
The Marchionda family would like to thank the staff of Maplecrest Nursing Home and Chris at Becker Funeral Homes for their care, compassion and support during this time.
Please visit www.beckerobits.com to send condolences.