Oct. 7, 1961 – March 2, 2013

Gary T. Roncone, of Lancaster, a Scout leader for 16 years and a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician, died Saturday in Roswell Park Cancer Institute after a five-year illness. He was 51.

A Cheektowaga native, Mr. Roncone attended Maryvale schools. It was in ninth grade at Maryvale High School where he met Katie Schoenle, the girl who would become his high school sweetheart and, 10 years later, his wife. They would have celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary May 24.

Mr. Roncone began his career at Mel Schmidt Heating and Cooling, then worked at Phillips Sheet Metal and most recently at Complete Heat in Depew until his cancer left him unable to work.

He was active with the Boy Scouts from 1997 until the time of his death and led the groups of which his sons were members: Cub Pack 57 at Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Cheektowaga, and later, Troop 601 in Bowmansville. He enjoyed participating in camping trips with the Scouts at Camp Scouthaven and Camp Schoellkopf.

He also was a soccer coach for his children’s teams with the St. Barnabas Athletic Association in Cheektowaga from 1993 to 2010.

Mr. Roncone enjoyed taking annual fishing trips with his family to Parry Sound in northern Ontario’s Georgian Bay.

One of his special loves was playing the role of Santa Claus each year at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens.

Mr. Roncone was a member of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, where he was an usher, a bingo volunteer and a member of the Holy Name Society.

He was known in many circles for his wacky sense of humor, his generous spirit and his courage and persistence during his battle with cancer.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Roncone is survived by a daughter, Kayleigh; two sons, Vincent and Anthony; his mother, Nordessa; and three brothers, Pat, Richard and Jim.

Prayers will be said at 9 a.m. Thursday in Sliwinski Funeral Home, 5090 Transit Road, Lancaster, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 in Our Lady Help of Christians Church, 4125 Union Road at Genesee Street, Cheektowaga.