Bruce Arnold Tona of Rimbey, Alberta passed away peacefully at the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre on Sunday, April 10, 2022 at the age of 87 years.
Bruce was a loving man who possessed strength of character that inspired those around him. He was charmingly articulate, and he eagerly spoke his mind – there was a harmony in the way he carried himself – it’s no wonder he had a natural talent for melody.
Bruce was born and raised in Rimbey, growing up on the family farm. At a young age, he left home to work in the Alberta oilfields. Three years later, Bruce traveled to B.C. where he found a job working on road construction in the B.C. interior. This is where he met Lucille “Lee” Plamondon at a dance, and the two were united in marriage on August 30, 1958 in Trail, B.C. The young couple made their home in Rossland, B.C., and welcomed three children to their family: Tammy, Kim, and Derek. A job promotion in 1962 to foreman for the Department of Highways resulted in a move to Creston, B.C. A few years later, Bruce’s father had decided to retire from farming, and this presented the opportunity to move his family back to Rimbey and continue the family farm with his brother Jim. So in 1967 with a truck full of their possessions, they were Rimbey bound! An additional son, Darren, was born in Alberta, and the excitement to create a family legacy began to take shape. Bruce loved farming – he loved the land and everything it embodied. He had an ingenious mind, with an enthusiasm to innovate and successfully modify the machinery he used. Tona Corp. was formed in 1990 with his sons, Derek and Darren. His grandsons, Dagen and Ethan, will proudly be carrying on Bruce’s farming legacy into its fifth generation. Until his passing, Bruce was always thinking about the farm.
Over the years he was also very involved in the community, spending time with Blindman Valley Surface Rights, the Rimbey Agricultural Society, the Knights of Columbus, GLDC Gas Co-op, and the PC Party. That natural talent for melody also ensured that Bruce was a musical man. He played accordion with his mother in a band when he was younger, and in Rimbey he was a member of a dance band. Skilled at both the accordion and piano, Bruce played by ear only. This joy for music was still present as recently as January, 2022, where he entertained patients at the manor and in long term care once a month for the past eight years.
Throughout his life, farming and family were Bruce’s true passions. In his own words …
“It is not what you have in life, but what you leave behind.”
Bruce leaves behind a family that loved him dearly and will miss him greatly. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 63 years, Lucille “Lee”; and his children: Tammy (Peter) Salvalaggio; Kim (Mark) Trautman; Derek (Olga) Tona; and Darren Tona; as well as twelve grandchildren: Paul (Amanda) Salvalaggio, Luke (Pam) Salvalaggio, Michael Salvalaggio, Elle (Mark) Lyrette, Amy Nunweiller, Ashlee (Jesse) Underwood, Alysha (Garret) Hoppins, Camille (Nick) Jenkins, Dagen Tona, Patrisha Manuel, Lyniah Tona, and Ethan Tona; and eighteen great grandchildren: Aiden, Levi, Chloe, Layla, and Isla Salvalaggio; Gio and Vinny Lyrette; Andrew and Julia Seiller; Sarah, Jake, Simon, and Veronica Underwood; Isaac and Scarlett Hoppins; and Coy, Rory, and Olivia Jenkins. He will also be lovingly remembered by his sister, Marylin (Eugene) Kuzub; sister-in-law, Joyce Tona; and brother-in-law, Bud Tupper; in addition to many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and a host of cherished friends. Bruce was predeceased by his parents, Peter and Fara Tona; his brothers, Kenny and Jim; and his sister Goldie Tupper.
Bruce’s Family would like to extend their heartfelt “thank you” to the wonderful staff at the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre for their amazing and compassionate attention to Bruce while he was in their thoughtful care.
Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church, Rimbey on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. with the Reverend Father Les Drewicki, Celebrant. Cremation followed. Bruce was laid to rest in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Bluffton at a later date. If friends desire, memorial tributes in his memory may be made directly to St. Margaret’s Catholic Church, Box 8, Rimbey, Alberta T0C 2J0. Condolence messages may be forwarded to the family by visiting: www.ofc-ltd.ca
Service and Cremation Arrangements for the Late Bruce Arnold Tona entrusted to the care of