Leslie R. Tolonen, age 80, peacefully passed away on Thursday, May 12, 2022. He was born on July 2, 1941, to parents Leslie and Bernice (nee Mettner) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Les was a self-made businessman and a self-taught mineralogist and gemologist. He was also a self-proclaimed Yooper who spent many formative years in the Upper Peninsula, owned the Keweenaw Agate Shop in Copper Harbor, and owed his own slice of heaven right on Lake Superior in Baraga. One of his favorite pastimes was sitting on his deck watching the sun rise and set over Superior with a good bottle of wine and some popcorn. His love of rock collecting came from his parents and continued throughout his life. Agates, Copper, and Datolite were prized specimens in his collection. He spent many years exhibiting at gem and mineral shows around the country and was President of the Cincinnati Mineral Society. He freely shared his vast knowledge and was an inspiration to countless aspiring collectors.
Les is survived by his beloved children Dawn Marie (Dale), Anthony, Leslie (Tabitha), Christopher, Joseph, and Noah Tolonen; beloved brother Kenny (Noreen); dear uncle Larry Mettner; loving grandchildren Jessica Pendergrass, Fenwood and Lake Tolonen; cherished great-grandchildren Mackenzie and Carter Pendergrass, and Remington Freeman; step-grandchildren Ryan and Ashley Podracky; step-great-grandchild Blaik Podracky; Elsa and Bob Jacklich (in-laws); Sandy Tolonen (mother of Dawn, Anthony, Leslie, and Christopher); and many nieces, nephews, cousins and Rock Hound friends.
Les was preceded in death by his beloved wife June Gracyk (mother of Joseph and Noah), his parents, and dear siblings Paul and Elaine Tolonen.
A celebration of Leslie's life will be held at 10am on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at the Busch Funeral Home, 7501 Ridge Rd., Parma, OH 44129. Interment at Lakewood Park Cemetery, Rocky River, OH. Friends may call from 4-8pm on Friday, May 20 at the funeral home.