Cover photo for Tonya Katrika Guesman's Obituary
1954 Tonya 2024

Tonya Katrika Guesman

April 12, 1954 — April 17, 2024

Tonya K. Guesman (70) passed away April 17, 2024, at her home in Stow, Ohio, surrounded by family.

 

The mother of three and grandmother of two was an avid gardener & cook who found joy in the natural world & purpose in her love of children.  Born in Harrisville, West Virginia to Betty & Virgil Hardbarger, Tonya & her family made their way to Northeast Ohio in the early 1960s.  After graduating from Labrae High School in Leavittsburg, Ohio, Tonya would marry Tom Guesman of Champion, Ohio. The pair had a daughter, Tommie S. Guesman of Las Vegas, Nevada & son Terry N. Guesman(wife LeAndra Guesman), also of Las Vegas, Nevada.  Tonya’s third child, Nicholas R. Cleer (wife Despina Shiepis) of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, would come after Tonya met her second spouse, Donald W. Cleer of Champion, Ohio who precipitated her in death on February 24, 2002.  Tonya’s death was also precipitated by the passing of her younger sister Treva Dangerfield of Newton Falls, Ohio in July, 2023.  Tonya is survived by her younger brother Terry Hardbarger of Newton Falls, Ohio.

 

Tonya enjoyed a long & full career in food service, most notably during her tenure as chef while at Kent State University, overseeing student menus at their many cafeterias and grand events on campus, hosting international dignitaries & community leaders.  Everyone knew her to be a culinary master, & indeed she was as she was one of the inaugural recipients of the 1995 international Cully Award for an original dessert recipe, a mouthwatering creation known simply as Gala Apple Cake.

 

With a green thumb that could seemingly create plant life from thin air, Tonya fed her family organically grown vegetables for all 47 years she spent as a parent.  While Tonya loved the culinary & agricultural arts, she loved nothing more than her kids and especially her grandkids: Ariella M. Cleer, age 4 & Aidan N. Cleer, age 2 of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  Her favorite moniker in life was “mom” until she was christened “grandma,” her greatest joy and honor. 

 

In lieu of gifts of flowers or food, the family asks that either a donation be made in Tonya’s name to Prevent Child Abuse America or that a flower or tree be planted in her memory. 

To order memorial trees in memory of Tonya Katrika Guesman, please visit our tree store.

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