James S. Tonyan, age 68, of McHenry, died Feb. 25 at his home.
He was born July 4, 1945 in Chicago to Sylvester "Wes" and Elsie (Stebley) Tonyan. On Dec. 21, 1974, he married Laurie Mitchell at the chapel of Monroe Hospital in Monroe, Wis. Mr. Tonyan was a lifelong resident of the McHenry area. He graduated from McHenry High School with the class of 1963, and from Marquette University in 1968 with a B.S. degree in business administration.
After graduation, Mr. Tonyan entered the U.S. Army as a 1st Lt. in 1969, and achieved the rank of captain during two tours of duty in Vietnam. Upon his discharge in 1971, he returned home to work alongside his father, Wes, at the family business, Tonyan Bros., founded in 1928. He was fortunate to work in a career he loved and always enjoyed going to work. Mr. Tonyan strongly believed in education. He served 12 years on the McHenry Community High School Board of Education from 1974 to 1986, and held several offices during that time.
Mr. Tonyan's family always came first and foremost in his life. Traveling was also one of his greatest enjoyments. He enjoyed trips with his family, and also with his good friend, Ed, who accompanied him to many Civil War memorial sites as well as to the WWII site of the Normandy landing.
Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Laurie; two children, Lindsay Tonyan of Evanston and Wesley (Rebecca) Tonyan of Spring Grove, two grandchildren, Makaelyn and Rylinn; brothers-in-law, John Regner, Thomas (Jennifer) Mitchell, and Daniel Mitchell; sister-in-law, Michele (Ted) Moore; a niece, Sara (Franz) Kuehnrich; nephews, John Regner Jr.