MANSFIELD: James A. "Tony" Dorsey passed away in the presence of family on July 31, 2011.
Tony or "Big Tony," as he was known by family and friends, was born in Chicago, Illinois and had lived in Mansfield, Ohio for close to 30 years.
Growing up in Chicago he attended Catholic schools and was a gifted athlete known as a defensive specialist in basketball and for hitting a 16-inch softball out of the park on multiple occasions.
Following high school he served his country in the U.S. Navy after which he began a long career in manufacturing, particularly the packaging and corrugated paper business. It was that career path that brought him to Ohio in the early 1980's.
He retired from Smurfit-Stone in Mansfield as a Quality Control Manager.
He was a man of many passions and talents. Although he did not play a musical instrument, he had an ear for good music, particularly jazz, R&B, and blues.
Tony was known for making great music mixes that his friends and family enjoyed to the fullest.
He was a phenomenal cook who could work wonders on a barbeque grill, often having friends and relatives "drop by" on holidays to see what he was fixing.
Tony also was an active civic leader in urban renewal efforts and youth sports and a member of the American Legion Post #5676.
His greatest passion, however, was his family and friends. Whether attending the sporting events of his children, providing guidance to life's challenges, or sitting on his front porch talking about world and local events, he was the ultimate "go-to guy". In addition to his own children he was "Dad" to scores of young people often bringing them into his home when they needed a refuge. Although tall in stature, his heart and capacity to love unconditionally were his biggest assets.
He is survived by his wife Karla; brother Victor (Kevin) Chears; children Deveri (Cody) Batts, Danielle Thomas, Kelli Israel, Anthony (Chesney) Dorsey, Ryan (Summer) Dorsey, Chneil Murphy; dearest aunt Johnnie "Tee Tee" Ramsey; mother-in-law Clarine Murphy; sister-in-law Kimberly (Ricky) Minard; devoted friend Eugene Sewell; 14 grandchildren;1 great-grandson; and hosts of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father - James Dorsey, mother - Velma Chears, and dad - Earl Chears.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. at the Diamond St. Home of Wappner Funeral Directors, 98 S. Diamond St., Mansfield.
Online guest registry at www.wappner.com
Published in the News Journal on August 4, 2011