Longtime Omahan Tony Cyronek was known for his devotion to family, church, country and career.

He and his wife, Helen, were married for 61 years and raised three children. He prepared the altar for 7 a.m. Mass weekdays and Saturdays for 27 years at St. John Vianney Catholic Church.

He served 10 years in the Navy, including World War II and the Korean War. And he worked 35 years for Northwestern Bell/U S West, retiring as an installer and a lineman.

Anthony Paul “Tony” Cyronek, 89, died Tuesday at Hospice House-The Josie Harper Residence. He recently was diagnosed with heart problems, said his wife.

“His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the love of his life,” his wife said. “Of course, I think I was, too.”

In 1964, Tony Cyronek was diagnosed with cancer. Doctors removed one lung lobe and half of his larynx.

The nuns at the now-closed Duchesne College, which Helen attended, prayed for him and “gave him a relic of St. Philippine Duchesne” to wear, she said. He was a 49-year cancer survivor and still wearing the relic when he died, his wife said.

Cyronek was born in Grand Rapids, Minn., moving to Omaha with his family when he was 11.

He quit Omaha South High School to join the Navy, serving on the destroyer USS Bell during World War II and the troop transport ship USS Mitchell during the Korean War, his wife said.

When he left the Navy, “He took a bunch of tests on one day and passed them. 'You can graduate with the next class,' they told him. They gave him his diploma” from South in January 1954, she said.

He was a member of Millard American Legion Post 374 and the Pioneers, a volunteer group linked with Northwestern Bell and its successive owners.

Besides his wife, other survivors include children Dave Cyronek of Gilbert, Ariz., Debra Hungerford of Omaha and Daniel Cyronek of Huntington Beach, Calif.; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

His funeral Mass will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John Vianney, 5801 Oak Hills Drive.

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