Joseph Anthony Ondus, 53, of Quincy, Mass., and formerly of Amherst, died Monday, March 18, 2013, at the Cleveland Clinic, following a sudden illness.
He was born May 16, 1959, in Longmont, Colo. Joseph was raised in Amherst, graduating from Marion L. Steele High School in the Class of 1977.
He had lived in Detroit, Chicago, Canton, Cleveland, and New York before moving to Boston, where he had made his home for more than 20 years.
Joseph earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Borromeo Seminary in Euclid, Ohio. He made himself available for the Lord's work with the Jesuit order. He furthered his education at Loyala University of Chicago, receiving a bachelor's degree in philosophy; at New York University
, receiving a master's in educational theater; and Harvard University
, where he received a master's of divinity.
Joseph was serving on the faculty of Syracuse University as an adjunct professor. He worked as a high school teacher
, administering classes in religion, foreign language, English, and speech for St. Ignatius High School and Walsh Jesuit High School in Canton, as well as Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, Mass., where he served as the campus minister.
He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Quincy. Joseph was very active with charity work throughout the communities where he had lived and had a servant's heart, working at Christmas in the City for homeless children in Massachusetts and the Convenant House for runaways in New York.
He was known to many for his great sense of humor and humanitarian works. His hobbies included cooking, theater, and art. Joseph was very musical and played five instruments including the piano, and was active with the community theater.
Survivors include his mother, Nancy Ondus (nee Knappage) of Amherst; sisters and their husbands Ann V. and James Lisi of Avon Lake and Emily A. and Christopher Ambrosio of Avon; brothers Gregory Michael Ondus of Vermilion, Matthew A. Ondus and his wife Laurie of Rock Hill, S.C., and Peter A. Ondus and Philip Edward Ondus, both of Amherst; 16 nieces and nephews; and three great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Albert Ondus on March 14, 1997; and sister, Jennifer Ondus in 1959.
Services were held privately by his family.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Archbishop Williams High School, c/o Joseph A. Ondus Scholarship Fund, 40 Independence Ave., Braintree, MA 02184-0218.
Hempel Funeral Home of Amherst is honored to serve the family of Joseph Ondus.
Additional information and online register book are available at www.hempelfuneralhome.com.