Joseph H. Lonas

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    - William Ackerman
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Professor Joseph Henry Lonas, renown sculptor, painter and former professor at the University of Fine Arts in Berlin, Germany died on August 3, 2011 of respiratory problems at his home in Berlin.
He was born in Manassas, VA on January 4, 1925 to Leonard and Margaret Lonas. At 14 years of age, he started his formal training in art at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC. Immediately after his completion of high school, he served in the Army of the United States' 987th Field Artillery Battalion as a gunner during WWII. He fought in Normandy, Ardennes(Battle of the Bulge), Rhineland and Central Europe.
After WWII, he graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. degree. His studies were interrupted by a call to serve his country again in the Korean War. Later he continued his studies at the University of Iowa earning a Master's degree in Art History. Upon his completion at Iowa, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholorship to study at the University of Fine Arts in Berlin, Germany where he later held a position as professor.
His large body of work (sculptures, paintings and drawings) include many free standing sculptures in and around the city of Berlin; one notable being the Kurt Schumacher Platz memorial. His career included many one man show exhibitions and publications in Europe and the United States.
He was married to Edith Wieneke Lonas for 50 years who is also deceased. He is survived by his adopted children; Mary and Michael Friedrichs, his brother and wife; Jo and Leonard Lonas, Jr., his sister and husband; Dolly and Bill Thrift and their children.
To respect the wishes of the deceased, no services will be held and the burial will be private.
The family and all of those who knew "Joe" will greatly miss his talent and positive outlook on life.

Published in The Washington Post on Sept. 29, 2011
bullet Korean War bullet U.S. Army bullet University of Iowa bullet World War II