Age 54, of Buffalo, NY. Beloved son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend, passed away unexpectedly at home on July 6, 2022. Born December 13, 1967, in Buffalo, NY, Tony was the youngest child born to Anthony John and Evelyn (nee Figler ) Friona. He graduated from North Tonawanda Senior High School in 1986 and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Buffalo. He performed his graduate studies in Environmental Science at Buffalo State College. Tony began his career as a physics teacher and a business entrepreneur. However, he soon found his true calling with the US Army Corps of Engineers, where he spent the remainder of his career (21 years). He is best known for his work for the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, where he was a physical scientist and the liaison to the Great Lakes. Also, Tony was a Regional Working Group Co-Lead for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), an interagency partnership focused on efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes. Tony was instrumental in several GLRI’s initiatives; it was his life’s work. Tony’s presence was larger than life and always lit up a room. His gifts included bringing people together, bridging gaps, and seeing things from a different perspective. He will be greatly missed by many and long remembered for his fierce loyalty, sharp wit, generosity of spirit, kind heart, and for always being the friend you could count on when you needed one. He is survived by two brothers, Michael Friona (Michelle Weinstein) of Clarence, NY, and Joseph (Paula) Friona of Steubenville, OH; his nieces and nephews, Lauren Fales (Hakim) Thompson, Stephen (Kate) Fales, and Lettie Eve Friona; his aunt and uncle, Rose Marie Friona Stack and Kevin Stack, as well as many cousins, close friends, and colleagues whom he considered family. His parents predeceased him; his sister, Maria Friona (Ralph) Fales; his grandparents; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Tony’s family will welcome relatives and friends at a Celebration of Life on the weekend of August 26 through 28th; the exact time, place, and date TBD. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Alliance for the Great Lakes at https://greatlakes.org/about/.
Published by Buffalo News on Jul. 17, 2022.
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