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Anthony F. Dzwonkes

1924-2017

Anthony (Tony) F. Dzwonkas passed away peacefully on December 28, 2017 after a brief illness.

Tony was born in his family home on Furnace Street in Westmoreland, NY. He was the fourth of ten children born to Anthony and Antoinette (Gregas) Dzwonkas, both Lithuanian immigrants. He married Janet "Judy" Armstrong in 1951 and has two children, Joanne {James) Acee and Peter (Brenda) Dzwonkas. He has four grandchildren - Jim and Joey Acee, and Hannah and Nathan Dzwonkas. Judy passed away in October 2009.

Tony was always generous with his time and talents and loved helping others. He was known for his bone-crushing hugs and had a great sense of humor. His working-man's hands, which were rarely idle, were a testament to his metal-working, carpentry, and all-round handyman skills. His ingenuity, resourcefulness and creativity were unsurpassed. From building canoes and pool tables to crafting copper artwork to constructing entire houses, Tony was always up for the challenge. He often attributed his "can-do" attitude to his childhood mentor, John Maw - the local blacksmith - who encouraged him to develop his own solutions to any problems rather than looking for answers from others.

After graduating from Westmoreland High School in 1941, Tony began working in the Research and Development Division of Revere Copper and Brass in Rome, NY. In 1943 he was drafted into the Army and attended aircraft metal workers school where he graduated in the top ten of his class. At the age of 19 he became Crew Chief at Air Force Base Depot 2 in Wharton, England where he modified and repaired B-24 Liberator Bombers. After D-day he was reassigned to bases in France, Germany, Austria and Belgium and he often commented that he "was born in the U.S. but grew up in Europe."

In 1946 he returned to Revere where his work consisted of testing the effects of temperature changes on joining methodologies of copper flashing and he developed training aids for the practice of joining roofing and flashing materials. His efforts lead to the publishing of the Copper and Common Sense manual that is in its eighth edition and still used to date. He had two patents in his name pertaining to through-wall flashing and, at the request of many, traveled around the country solving flashing issues on locations such as the US Capital building and Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Waters house. He also developed a solar heating panel that Revere deemed worthy of a new start-up division for the company and was made Plant Manager. His 39 years of employment came to end in 1980 when he refused to relocate to the Carolina's. He then began a second career and partnered with his friend Lamont Smith to form D&S Builders to remodel kitchens and baths and install siding on homes.

In 1984 Tony and Judy moved to their lake house in Brantingham, NY where he continued to be a valuable asset to his new neighbors, community and church.

Tony was very active in his community and held many leadership roles. He was Chief of the Westmoreland Volunteer Fire Department, elected as town councilman, and Post Commander of the Clark Mills American Legion Post 26. He also served as Building Inspector and Zoning Enforcement Officer, was instrumental in establishing a community pool in Westmoreland, and was an active member of the Church of Annunciation in Clark Mills.

Confined to a wheel chair in a Pennsylvania nursing home during his final years, Tony was no longer able to tinker in his workshop or spend time with his beloved siblings and friends. As always, he kept a cheerful outlook and made the best of the situation by entertaining the staff and residents with his jokes, limericks, songs and humorous observations of his surroundings.

Tony left a lasting impression on his community and on the hearts of his family and friends and will be sorely missed. Calling hours will be at Owens-Pavlot & Rogers Funeral Service in Clinton, NY on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 10:00 AM at the Church of the Annunciation in Clark Mills.

To leave an on-line message of sympathy, please visit www.owens-pavlot.com

 

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