William Joseph Tonzi

November 19, 2019


AUBURN — William Joseph Tonzi, 72, of 21 Liberty St., Auburn, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, at his home.

Bill was born in Auburn, the son of Emily Tonzi Knaus and the late George Tonzi. He was a devout Catholic and life-long parishioner of Holy Family Church. He especially loved taking part in the Mass as Eucharistic Minister and sacristan. Bill retired after 35 years as a lieutenant for the NYS Department of Corrections. After retiring, he worked part-time at Holy Family Church taking care of the church, school, and grounds, one of his favorite places to spend time.

Throughout his life, Bill enjoyed coaching CYO basketball and Little League baseball, hunting, fishing, golfing, riding his Harley, baking bread and pizza, woodworking, playing softball and tennis, and watching his children and grandchildren at their sporting and music events. His family was his pride and joy and his motto was faith, family, and friends. Bill never missed an opportunity to share his many talents from handyman to gardener to bread maker and great listener.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Sandra (Scomber); mother, Emily (Rudy) Knaus; two children, Jason Tonzi and his wife, Sarah, and Jennifer Furnia and her husband, Patrick; his brother, Peter (Joanne) Tonzi; two sisters, Patricia (Joe) O’Mara, and Andrea (Richard) Cosentino; six grandchildren, Jack, Addison, and Cole Tonzi, Billy, Joey, and Jude Furnia.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at Pettigrass Funeral Home, 196 Genesee St., Auburn. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated by the Rev. John Gathenya at 10 a.m. Saturday in Holy Family Church, Auburn. Burial will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Fleming.

Contributions may be made to St. John Paul II Academy.

Our family is very grateful to our many family and friends who encouraged Bill and provided him with loving care. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Joseph Tonzi, please visit our floral store.


November 22, 2019

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Pettigrass Funeral Home
196 Genesee Street
Auburn, NY 13021

Mass of Christian Burial
November 23, 2019

10:00 AM
Holy Family Church
85 North St
Auburn, NY 13021

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