Tonia Anne Milhoan

AKRON — Tonia Anne Milhoan, 66, of Akron, passed away peacefully at home on January 1, 2022. She was born in Youngstown, Ohio on March 25, 1955 to Anthony “Tony” and Margaret (Jones) Leone. After attending Cardinal Mooney High School, Tonia earned an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Youngstown State University. She eventually fulfilled her life goal of earning a Bachelor degree in Special Education from Cleveland State University in 2013. Tonia spent 24 years as a paraprofessional serving students with special needs with Parma City Schools, Independence Local Schools, and the Geauga County Educational Service Center.

Tonia had a lifelong love of the theater. At a young age, she participated in the Children’s Theater in Youngstown. As an adult, she was a member of the Geauga Lyric Theater Guild in Chardon, Ohio. It was there, while performing in Dark of the Moon, that she met Bill Milhoan. They played husband and wife. They married on September 15, 2007 and continued to perform in the Cleveland area, most notably in a production of The Music Man at the Near West Theater.

Tonia and Bill also shared a love of old music and hiking. Hocking Hills was a favorite getaway. They also shared their home with several dogs and cats, who were like family. Tonia could often be found feeding the wildlife outdoors. She also enjoyed browsing at flea markets and antique stores. She was proud of her 122 year old home and planning its renovation.

Tonia will always be remembered for her ability to connect with children. Her students loved her and often called her “Mama Marshmallow” or “M”. She was one of a kind and will be truly missed by everyone who knew her.

Tonia was preceded in death by her father, Tony.

She is survived by her loving husband, Bill; mother, Margaret “Peggy” Leone; children, Joe Cappello Jr., Tony Cappello, Matt Milhoan, and Kay Milhoan; brothers, Paul (Lindia) Leone, and Mike (Missy) Leone; many other relatives and friends.

Per Tonia’s wishes, there will be no formal services. Her life will be celebrated by her family at a later date.