Michael Roncone 1936-2021
BOARDMAN — Michael “Mike” Roncone, 85, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021.
Mike was born May 27, 1936, in Struthers to Antonio and Florence LaLama Roncone. He was a 1954 graduate of Boardman High School. He received his BS and BA degrees from Youngstown State University in 1958. Mike served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1958 to 1964.
Mike married Rita K. Ellis on May 27, 1961, and they were blessed with two daughters, Karen (Scott) Gentile of Nolensville, Tenn., and Lory Roncone of Canfield; and four wonderful grandchildren, who affectionately knew him as “Papa,” Alyssa, Austin, Jimmy “Jeep” and Nicolina. Mike is also survived by a brother, Gene Roncone.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Anthony Roncone.
Mike’s musical career started at age 14 as guitarist with the “Twilight Serenaders” and an appearance on “Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour” in Radio City. Mike appeared on Wilkin’s Amateur Hour in Pittsburgh, winning three consecutive weeks. Not long afterwards the “Mike Roncone Band” evolved. Mike was leader, guitarist and lead singer. The Roncone Band performed at numerous dances, weddings, proms and dance clubs. Mike was signed by Capitol Records and performed on other recording labels, including Checker and Tammy. The Grammy-nominated Roncone Band has been a mainstay in the Youngstown area for over 60 years, having touched the lives of many by performing at Idora Park, Elms Ballroom, Kove, Living Room, Cherry’s, VIP, Kuzman’s and numerous other establishments featuring live dance music. The Roncone Band appeared in an television episode of “Route 66” in 1961.
Mike retired in 1999 after 40 years with the Ohio Department of Taxation. He started as a tax agent in 1960, became supervisor in 1978 and district manager in 1981. He participated in many business workshops throughout the state of Ohio.
He was a longtime member of the downtown YMCA and enjoyed racquetball very much. He also enjoyed bowling. He enjoyed all sports and was an avid and lifelong Cleveland Indians, Ohio State and Cleveland Cavaliers fan. One of Mike’s favorite hobbies was meeting and photographing Major League Baseball players, getting their autographs and, for many years, attending the Indians spring training games in Florida.
Mike was a member of Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity at YSU and served as treasurer and dinner dance chairman. He was awarded the A.B. Flask Outstanding Alumni award from Youngstown Alumni Association of Phi Alpha Delta in 1995.
Mike was a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 86-242, serving as vice president, board member and delegate to five national conventions.
Family will receive friends from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, at St. Christine Church in Youngstown, followed by a 11 a.m. Mass of Christian burial, with the Rev. John Jerek presiding.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the professional care of the Rossi Brothers and Lellio Funeral Home, 4442 South Ave. in Boardman.
Family and friends may visit the Book of Memories at www.rossifunerals.com to view this tribute and send condolences to Mike’s family.