Leo Gonia Jr.

Obituary of Leo Marion Gonia Jr.

Leo Marion Gonia Jr. was born on July 13, 1945 in Monroe, Michigan. He was one of three children born to the union of Leo Marion Gonia Sr. and Margaret (Bomia) Gonia. Leo was among the first class to graduate from Jefferson High School in 1963.   Upon graduation, Leo, began working at Dana Corporation where he remained until the plant closed in the late 1970’s. On April 26, 1969, he wed the former Dolores Palmer at St. Anne Catholic Church in Monroe. The couple enjoyed fifty-three years of marriage and were blessed with six children whom Leo loved more than anything.   Leo later was employed as an assembler at Detroit Stoker Company for many years before retiring in 2003.

Leo had a deep appreciation for music, he was especially fond of the Irish singing group, Celtic Thunder.   At times, much to the chagrin of his family and neighbors, he didn’t hesitate to turn up the volume to feel the melodies deep in his soul.   Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock n’ Roll” was sure to get Leo out on the dance floor at every family party. He was an Amateur Radio operator, a hobby he loved and inherited from his father.

An avid sports fan, Leo, enjoyed watching all the Detroit teams, Lions, Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons.   Many years, he held season tickets for the Detroit Lions with his brother; and loved attending Red Wings, Lions, and Tigers games with his family. Before his retirement, Leo often hit the links with his friends and co-workers. He enjoyed visiting the family property in Lewiston in Northern Michigan, any chance he had to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. He also took a special trip out West to South Dakota, a place he had wanted to visit for a very long time. A fan of science fiction, Leo enjoyed watching the Star Wars series and reading sci-fi classics such The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Dune, and Isaac Asimov books.

Leo Marion Gonia Jr., age 76, of Monroe, Michigan passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday; January 19, 2022.   His passing was preceded by his parents; infant twin daughters; and a sister-in-law: Mary Gonia.

To cherish his memory, he leaves his wife: Dolores; four children: Brian (Kathi) Gonia, Annette (Jeff) Payment, Jason Gonia, and Erin Gonia-Rosenberg (Michael Miller); eleven grandchildren: Rebecca Sullivan, Shelby (Aaron) Goodrich, Christina Gonia, Colin Gonia, Ashley Payment, Hunter Payment, Alexis Payment, Myles Gonia, Quinten Elek, Nathanial Rosenberg, and Conner Miller; three great grandchildren: Fallon Sullivan, Norah Goodrich, and Grant Goodrich; one sister: Denise (Alvin) Palmer; and one brother: Ron Gonia. 


Friends may gather on Friday; January 21, 2022 from 2:00pm until 7:00pm at Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe; 14567 South Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan 48161 (734) 241-7070. A Worship Service Celebrating Leo’s Life will be held on Saturday; January 22, 2022 at 10:00am also at Merkle’s followed by a procession to Roselawn Memorial Park in LaSalle, Michigan for burial.

Donations are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association (act.alz.org/goto/mmim) Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.


Gathering for Leo Gonia Jr.

2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, January 21, 2022
Merkle Funeral Service - South Monroe
14567 South Dixie Highway
Monroe, Michigan, United States
(734) 241-7070

Worship Service Celebrating the Life of Leo Gonia Jr.

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, January 22, 2022
Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe
14567 South Dixie Highway
Monroe , Michigan, United States