Theodore “Popeye” Rondinella, age 90, a lifelong resident of Dover, passed away Sunday, September 27, 2020, in Mercy Medical Center, Canton, following a brief illness.
Born February 2, 1930, he was a son of the late Basilio and Benigna Pace Rondinella. In his youth - really all of his life - Popeye belonged to the Seventh Street Tigers. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in Dover, and went on to serve honorably with the United States Army during the Korean War. Following his discharge, Popeye married the love of his life, the former Mary Rossi, on June 13, 1953; the couple had two daughters and shared nearly 64 years of marriage prior to Mary’s passing on May 12, 2017. He was employed by the Union Camp Chemical Company, Dover, for 40 years, retiring in 1993.
Popeye was a member of St. Joseph Church, Dover, as well as the Knights of Columbus and the Dover post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a great sports enthusiast, following all teams, but especially the University of Notre Dame and the Cleveland Browns and Indians. Popeye coached when he was younger, and enjoyed watching his grandchildren’s sporting activities. Two of his favorite pastimes were playing golf and bocce with his friends.
Popeye is survived by his daughters, Adeline (Clifford) Baker of North Canton, and Christine (Rob) Carter of Upper Arlington; his grandchildren, Eric Baker of Pittsburgh, Amanda Carter of Upper Arlington, and Tim (fiancee, Riley Kiesling) Carter of Akron; Betty Jane Antonelli, who was like a daughter to Popeye; and his sister-in-law, Irene Cercone; and his many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, and his beloved wife, Mary, Popeye was preceded in death by his siblings, Margaret Conidi, Erma Monticelli, Viola Vierheller. Clara Casimir, Palmerino “Pammy,” Umberto “Lou” and Anthony “Chick” Cercone, Vincent “Flash” and Ross “Skip” Rondinella.
Family and friends are invited to call Wednesday, September 30, 4 - 7 p.m., in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory, Dover; a Christian wake service will be conducted at 6:45. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, October 1, at 10:30 a.m. in St. Joseph Church, with Fr. Jimmy Hatfield officiating. Those planning to attend are instructed to go directly to the church the morning of the Mass. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Calvary Cemetery. In the interest of public health during this COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is to be observed and masks worn throughout. To sign an online guestbook and share a fond memory of Popeye, please visit the Obituaries link on the Toland-Herzig website.
The family suggests that donations in Popeye’s memory be made to St. Joseph Church, 613 N. Tuscarawas Ave., Dover, OH 44622, or, Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School, 777 Third St. N.E., New Philadelphia, OH 44663.