Anton “Tony” Thomas Cerny, Jr., of Spring Grove, was born April 5, 1940, to the late Anton Sr. and Antoinette (nee Klecan) Cerny and passed away June 19, 2019.
Tony grew up on Chicago’s Southwest side, in a Bohemian/Polish neighborhood on Sawyer Avenue. He was a 1954 graduate of McCormick Grade School and a 1958 graduate of Harrison High School. His family moved to Ingleside in 1961, realizing their dream of living in the country on Wooster Lake, where they had spent their weekends and Summers.
He was drafted into the US Army in 1963 where he completed bootcamp in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and mastered the rifle range as expert marksman. He went on to Fort Hood, Texas, a member of HHC 2nd Battalion 66th Armor Division, before serving 12 months in Korea and Japan. Tony was awarded Sharpshooter Rifle, Sharpshooter (99MM Tank Gun), Marksman Pistol, and a Good Conduct Medal. He was a member of American Legion Post 703, Fox Lake.
Tony worked as a Chemical Blender for 42 years at Central Solvents and Chemicals, in Chicago and Bedford Park.
When he returned from the Army in 1965, Tony met the love of his life, Pauline Krasny, and they married on October 12, 1968. In 2016, only three days after Pauline passed, Tony suffered one of many strokes. She was the wind beneath his feet and, once gone, he stopped soaring.
Tony enjoyed hunting and fishing all year long. No matter the weather, he would sit for hours in a tree stand waiting for a big buck to come his way. Tony was proficient with bow and arrow, crossbow, shotgun, or rifle. His pride mounting was a 16-point buck. Each year Tony filled his freezer with venison cut to his favorite steaks, chops, or processed sausage. He would stand for hours at his neighbors’ pond catching large and small mouth bass. In his boat, on the Chain of Lakes, he patiently waited for walleye, bluegills, perch, crappy, and catfish to bite. When the lakes froze, Tony was back out in his ice shack with tip ups doing the same thing—waiting for the fish to bite. Fish were stocked in the freezer for meals year round—and Tony even shared some with his beloved cats.
He was an avid, gardener extraordinaire as there wasn’t a fruit or vegetable he couldn’t grow. The green thumb was inherited from his father, Anton, Sr.
Before becoming ill, Tony’s mornings were spent with the “Breakfast Club” / “Coffee Buddies”, first at the Marine Grille on Route 12 and, once it closed, at the Whistle Stop in Fox Lake. These favorite times were spent around “The Table of Knowledge” and were filled with fun, laughter, and guy-type lies.
Tony loved his pets, having raised golden retrievers for 25 years and later loving cats. He always had three cats in his home with several living over 20 years. He and his wife strongly believed in rescuing pets.
The last three years he had the care of a dedicated aid, Linda Hourihan of Angel 4U365. She visited him several hours each week bringing him little treats, having him exercise, playing games, going to doctor visits, decorating his room, and going outdoors (weather permitting) to enjoy the patio and sun.
Tony’s family sincerely thanks Wauconda Care, The Cottages of Fox Lake, and JourneyCare Hospice for their kindnesses and professional care.
Survivors include Tony’s sister, Diane “Dee” (Jack) Frost; nieces and goddaughters, Debbie (Keith) Olsen and Jacque D. (Jim) Spohr; and great-nephews and great-niece, Garrett (Katelyn) Olsen, Delanie Olsen, A.J. (Daniella) Spohr, and Brent Spohr.
Tony’s sister, Dee, said “Tony was born 200 years too late, as he would have fit right in with Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone—a king of the wild frontier.”
Services will be private.
Memorials in Tony’s name may be made to the JourneyCare Foundation, 405 Lake Zurich Rd., Barrington, IL 60010, www.JourneyCare.org/donate, or 847-467-7423.