Anthony "Tony" Michael Fontana, 66, of Carbondale, passed away on April 19, 2023 in Du Quoin. Tony was born on September 4, 1956, in Pinckneyville, Illinois, the third child of Lillian Irene (Dempsey) and Albert Fontana. During his childhood, Tony's maternal grandmother, Pearl (Keller) Dempsey, lived with his family.
In 1979, Tony met Kathryn Jenkel, the love of his life, and they were married on a beautiful day for their outdoor ceremony at Giant City State Park, Makanda, Illinois. Tony graduated from Pinckneyville Community High School and SIU-Carbondale with a bachelor's degree in product design and an electronics degree from John A. Logan College. He worked as an electronic technician for 28 years until, at age 55, he became ill with early onset Alzheimer's Disease.
Tony was an accomplished, self-taught musician for 48 years, beginning with guitar at age 15. Tony played in local bands for 44 of those years, beginning with rock and ending with bluegrass and folk. He knew hundreds of songs and their lyrics. Tony enjoyed recording his music, singing, and playing on his guitar, bass, mandolin, and drums, layering each instrument and vocals to record his music. Also, he enjoyed attending music concerts, bird watching, watching movies and spending time with family and friends including his canine family, Pepper and Lily.
Tony is survived by his wife, Kathryn Jenkel, siblings; Dennis (Jane) Fontana, Donna (Pete) Watson, Rita (Joel) McIntyre, and his nieces; Sarah (Jeff) Fontana Lee, Tara (Nick) McIntyre Lelonek, Noelle McIntyre, plus many cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A private graveside service was held at Mueller Hill Cemetery in Pinckneyville with Reverend Sarah Richards officiating. "The Long Goodbye" was read by sister-in-law, Marilyn Jenkel Pick. "Time Will Ease the Hurt" was read by niece, Tara McIntyre Lelonek. Life reflections were given by niece, Noelle McIntyre and sister, Rita McIntyre. A true celebration of life for a beautiful life lived.
In memory of Tony, donations may be made to St. Francis Care Animal Rescue, 6228 Country Club Road, Murphysboro, IL 62966, or your favorite animal rescue. Maxton-Rosado Funeral Home in DuQuoin is assisting the family with final arrangements.
For more information, or to leave an online condolence for the family, please visit www.maxtonrosado.com or call 618-542-2020.
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