Gene Simon Salamony, 76, passed away May 20, 2013, surrounded by loved ones in his home after a two-year journey battling pancreatic cancer.
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Gene was born to Edward Paul Salamony and Egle (Parenti) Salamony on Feb. 23, 1937, in Canonsburg, Pa. He grew up in Bridgeville, Pa., and earned both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in music education from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
In 1961, he married Karen Silfven, and they had two daughters, Sandra Noel and Gina Marie.
Gene began his teaching career in the Mackinaw City school system and he continued teaching at Atlanta Community Schools. He then spent many years inspiring band students at the Tawas Area public schools, leading numerous ensembles in championship performances both on the concert stage as well as on the marching band field. He ended his career as supervisor of the Morris County School of Technology, N.J.
He enjoyed gardening, and was a master gardener as well as the gentleman farmer and proprietor of Va Via Farm. He loved hosting tours of the farm and appreciated visits from his loyal egg and produce customers throughout the years. He enjoyed opera and music of all kinds.
Gene was a past president of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, and a respected field judge of marching bands. He was also a long-time volunteer fireman in Tawas City and Glen Ridge, N.J. and he also collected a vast "museum" of vintage fire truck models and fire department memorabilia.
He was admired for his candor and strength. If he told you something once, you were expected to remember it. He endeavored to make his students not just better musicians, but better people.
He is survived by his partner and love, Sally Garrett; his daughters, Sandra Salamony of Traverse City and Gina (Scott) Brown of Lansing; his sisters, Lynn (Rich) Scherff and Mary Jo Gaitens, both of Pittsburgh; and several nephews and nieces. He will also be well missed by his grand-dogs Zinger, Officer Mike and Frances, all of whom never heard him say, "no."
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He continued his love of teaching music by founding the Tawas Community Concert Band for beginning and continuing adult musicians. Memorial contributions may be made in Gene's name to the Tawas Community Concert Band Endowment Fund, administered by the Iosco County Community Foundation (cfnem.org/ICCF/Funds.aspx). This endowment fund will provide scholarships for music programs to middle and high school students from Iosco County.
Gene would like to thank all of the doctors, nurses and medical professionals who assisted along his journey, especially Alicia, Dee, and Carla from Reverence Home Health Care & Hospice in Tawas City.
There will be no public service. Instead, he choreographed a private family ceremony that will be held in the summer.
Published in Iosco County News-Herald from May 23 to June 4, 2013