Joseph L. (Joe) Gonda, 56, has gone fishing.
The son of William and Patricia (Battick) Gonda, Joe was born October 7, 1964 in Indiana. He was a 1982 graduate of Homer-Center High School and the owner of the popular Homer City tavern, Captain Curly’s Pub, named for his father, best friend, and first fishing buddy.
If you were lucky enough to know Joe, you know that you had a friend for life in him. He was the first to lend a hand and the last to sit in judgment of another. His middle initial of "L" (or Leonard, for our beloved Uncle Leonard... "Tex") might just as easily have stood for “loyalty.” As crafty and creative as his mother, as witty as his sister, Cindy, Joe was always ready for a good time. The world already feels a little less joyous—without him in it.
In addition to his father, Bill, and wife, Pat (Shandick), Joe is survived by his fiancé, Sheri Henry, of Homer City and four siblings: sisters Patty Drew (Nick Bernat), Laurie Gonda, and Jennifer English (John Kardell), all of Indiana and brother Bill Jr. (Allen Bonace) of Erie. He is further survived by three nephews, David Gonda (Patrick), Kenny Drew (Maria), and Michael Drew (Chloe); niece Lilly English, and eight great-nephews and great-nieces. He also leaves behind a circle of friends way too big to describe and his faithful pup, Rogue.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Pat; his sister, Cindy Kelly; and his nephew, Jason Drew. We’d like to think that, right about now, Joe is giving his mom three kisses on her cheek; telling Cindy, "I got an idea” (something that will likely get them both into trouble); and squeezing Jason’s shoulders, saying, “Hey, buddy.”
Until we meet again, Joey, we’ll imagine you with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, hoping you finally catch the big one.
Friends will be received Wednesday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Bowser Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc., Homer City.
Friends will also be received Thursday from 9 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m. at the funeral home.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph L. (Joe) Gonda, please visit our floral store.