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Stephen H. Roney, 68, of Grafton

Grafton – Stephen H. Roney, 68, passed away peacefully September 24, 2017 in the warm embrace of the family that meant everything to him. He was diagnosed with Bile Duct cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma) just 5 weeks before his passing. He leaves his loving wife of 39 years, Diane G. (Dauphinais) Roney, his children Edward O’Toole and his wife Michelle, Cheryl Faucher and her husband Keith, Christopher Roney and his wife Tina, Timothy O’Toole and his wife Erin and Stephen Roney, his grandchildren Connor, Makenzie, Cameron and Molly O’Toole, Kyle, Colin and Brendan Faucher, Grace, Lilly, Anne and Alice Roney, Cailey and Abby O’Toole, Monica Rodriguez and Christian and Cole Roney. He also leaves his brother-in-law Roger Dauphinais and his wife Cindy, his sister-in-law Susan Boucher and her husband Aime and many loving nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Robert C. Roney and Edna M. (Judge), his brother-in-law Edward Miner and sister-in-law Beverly Miner.

Steve was born October 7, 1948 in Milford, MA but his life-long home was Grafton, the town he adored and dedicated a life of service to. From an early age Steve had a yearning for fire service, having joined the Grafton Fire Department in 1967 where he served for 45 years retiring as Captain of his beloved Engine 2. He also served on the Worcester Fire Department for several years before transitioning to running Roney Funeral Home in Grafton which he did until his passing alongside his son Chris.

He was a graduate of Grafton High School class of 1966, earned his Associate’s degree in Business Administration in 1968 from Becker Junior College in Worcester and graduated from New England Institute of Anatomy Sanitary Science, Funeral Directing and Embalming in 1970 with highest honors. Steve and his wife Diane built a legacy of family together which remains as strong today as it has ever been. His children have always been brothers and sister despite having different last names. He served his town with humility and pride, both as a firefighter and a funeral director. For decades he answered the call to help those in need and was a source of strength and compassion for thousands of families who called Roney Funeral Home but were always looking for Steve. His faith sustained him during difficult times and he was a steward of his beloved church of St. Mary’s, a devoted parishioner who also happily gave his time as a Eucharistic Minister. Many of his former Little League baseball players have fond memories of being coached by him as they learned the game.

Steve was also a member and former Chairman of the Board of Cemetery Commissioners in Grafton, member of the National Funeral Directors Association and founding member and past President of the Greater Worcester Area of Funeral Directors Association. Away from work and fire service he touched so many who were blessed to know him through quiet acts of kindness and generosity and for many younger people he became a mentor figure even if that was not his intention. The town of Grafton has lost something valuable with his passing. Our hope as his family is that those who knew him find ways to benefit the town through volunteering, community service or even a role in town government to honor his legacy.

More recently Steve cherished time with his grandchildren who will miss their beloved Pepe immensely, always making their games and school events and giving his love and support to everything they did. Steve was a fierce supporter of Sutton High School Basketball in particular. He balanced his time for the past couple of years at the funeral home with driving fire trucks and other public safety vehicles for Bulldog Fire and Emergency Apparatus in Hopkinton where he quickly became a close knit member of their family as well.

Steve’s family extends its heartfelt thanks to the nursing staff on 6 West at UMass Memorial, his primary care physician, Clifford Behmer, and also his oncologist Dr. Venu Bathini, whose care and compassion delivered moments of grace which will never be forgotten. In lieu of flowers please honor Steve with a donation to UMass Medicine Development Office c/o Pancreatic Research Dr. Venu Bathini 333 South St. Shrewsbury MA 01545.

Please join Steve’s family to honor his life at calling hours on Thursday September 28th from 3pm to 7pm and Friday September 29th from 3pm to 7pm at Roney Funeral Home 152 Worcester St. N. Grafton, MA 01536. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated for Steve on Saturday September 30th at 11:00am at St. Mary’s Church 17 Waterville St. N. Grafton, MA 01536. For all attending the Funeral Mass please respect his family’s request for privacy by proceeding directly to the church. He will then be laid to rest at Pine Grove Cemetery in North Grafton. A Book of Memories to share a story, memory or photo of Steve is available in a Book of Memories online at: www.RoneyFuneralHome.com. 

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=93809

Posted by on Sep 25 2017. Filed under Byline Stories, Grafton, People and Places, Police & Fire. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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