AUBURN — William J. Tonzi, 89, of North Lewis Street, Auburn, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, at the Bishop Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Syracuse.

Mr. Tonzi was born in Auburn on May 8, 1930, to the late John P. and Catherine Vanderloo Tonzi. Over the years William was a salesman for P&R company, he co-owned Eastern Pipe and Valve, and then retired from Cayuga County Environmental Health Department. William was an avid SU and Yankees fan and was even a referee for NCAA Basketball. He enjoyed spending his time fishing and golfing. For more than 25 years, William and his friends went on their annual golfing trip to Myrtle Beach; these were some of William’s best memories. Not only did he enjoy golfing, but he was an exceptional golfer with three holes-in-one. William’s poker skills were undeniable; he would win time and time again at the casinos. Even when Mr. Tonzi was having trouble with his health, he would go to the casino with the help of his family. Once he sat down at the table, you could see the sparkle in his eye; he became alive. For more than 15 years William along with his late wife, Irene would go to Las Vegas twice a year; they had the time of their lives on these trips. As soon as they returned home they began to plan their next trip back.

William is survived by his loving and devoted children, Peggy (Fred) Kruger, Terri Levine, Susan (Byron) Dungey, and Michael (Michelle) Tonzi; his daughter-in-law, Ann Tonzi; his 11 grandchildren, Mike, F. John Jr., Katie, Jeff, Brianna, Alex, Beth, Kristen, Kyle, Samantha, and Jacob; his four great-grandchildren, Amelia, Aiden, Lyra, and Faye whom fondly referred to him as Gumpy; his sister, Catherine Woodlock; his brother, Jack Tonzi; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, William was predeceased by the love of his life, Irene J. Tonzi, in 2015; his son, William Tonzi; and his two brothers, Richard and Don Tonzi.

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Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, at White Chapel Funeral Home, 197 South St., Auburn. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. Interment will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Fleming.

In lieu of flowers, donations in William’s name may be made to Bishop Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, 918 James St., Syracuse, NY 13203.

The family would like thank the loving staff at Bishop Rehabilitation & Nursing Center for the excellent and supportive care they provided for their Dad.

To plant a tree in memory of William Tonzi as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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