Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Anthony C. Boland?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Anthony's memory.
Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter
your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you
can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Anthony C. “Tony’ Boland passed away on October 23, 2023, after living an 89-year life filled with love, laughter, and selflessness.
Services will be on Saturday, October 28, at the Church of the Nativity in Dubuque. The visitation will be from 9-11, with the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 with Fr. Andy Upah officiating. Interment will be at Mount Calvary Cemetery with military honors by the Dubuque Marine Corps League. Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, Dubuque, Iowa is assisting the family.
Tony was born on June 14, 1934, in Freeport, IL, to Joseph & Fern (Cheeseman) Boland. Tony was the 8th of 15 children. He grew up in Freeport and Dubuque and spent seven years serving his country in the U.S. Navy. He was very proud of his Navy service and often shared stories of his adventures and travels. After returning home, he met Elizabeth A. (Betty) Kohnen through a blind date set up by his brother Jack’s wife, Marlene. They married on September 14, 1963. They celebrated 60 years together as best friends as well as husband and wife. They welcomed two children into their lives, Marianne (Ken) Fiedler, and David (Lisa) Boland. Tony was a maintenance welder at John Deere for 30 years, retiring in 1994.
Tony was a life-long learner. At the age of 35, he got his GED and taught himself to play the piano, convincing Betty to let him buy one at that point. Music was a very important part of Tony’s life. In addition to the piano, he learned to play the guitar, and took flute lessons after he retired, playing with the New Horizons Band and the Kennedy School band. He also loved to whistle and sing and sang in Nativity’s choir for 58 years.
Tony’s learning took many forms. He took painting lessons, taught himself woodworking and bread-baking. He learned to play cribbage in retirement and then taught countless others to play the game as well. He didn’t learn to read until high school when an older student tutored him. His passion for helping others learn to read was evident in his 19 years of volunteering at Kennedy School in Dubuque, working with kindergarten and second grade students on their letters and reading. He always said, “If you can read, you can do anything.” He lived by that advice.
Tony was a devoted family man. His wife, children, and grandchildren meant the world to him and he would do anything for them. He spent countless hours at his grandsons’ baseball games, scouting events, school concerts, graduations, etc. If there was an event in their lives, “Grandpa Tony” was there. He supported his family through health crises, moves, you name it. If they needed help, Tony was there, with a smile on his face.
“Everybody loves Tony” is something that we said often. He never met a stranger. If you met Tony, you loved Tony. He had many friends through Nativity Church, the Tri-State Travelers Camping Club, square dancing, ham radio group, John Deere, and cribbage at Roberta Kuhn Center.
Celebrating the life of this amazing man are his wife of 60 years, Elizabeth (Betty), his daughter Marianne (Ken) Fiedler, his son David (Lisa) Boland, grandsons Jacob (Megan), & Josh (Stephanie Dahl) Fiedler, Carson & Maximus Boland, and great-grandson, Colter Fiedler. He is also survived by his brother Barney (Char) Boland, and sisters-in-law Marianne Boland, Dolly Boland, Charlotte Boland, Shirley Boland and Lois Boland, as well as numerous nieces & nephews, including a very special godson, Mike (Deb) Boland.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers Charles (at birth), Leo (Gloria), Joe (Irene), Bill (Vi), Kenny, Mike, Danny (Pat), Bob, Brian, Jack (Marlene), and sisters Mary (John) Fangman, Pat (Tony) Pfab, and Ann (Joe) Doyle.
To honor Tony’s memory, we encourage you to read a book with a child, play a game of cribbage, learn something new, or do something nice for someone else. Memorials may be given to Hospice of Dubuque, Birthright of Dubuque, or Dubuque County Right to Life.
We extend our deepest thanks for the wonderful care given to Tony by the staff at Cozy Corners, Grand Meadows, and Hospice of Dubuque. We also want to thank the members of the dementia support groups at Resurrection and Stonehill, and The Woodlands community for their support of Betty during these difficult months.