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Joseph A. Vardon

June 17, 1953 ~ April 18, 2017 (age 63)

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April 21, 2017

4:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Donovan Funeral Home
17 Southwest Ave
Tallmadge, OH 44278

Funeral Service
April 22, 2017

10:30 AM
Our Lady Of Victory
73 North Ave.
Tallmadge, OH 44278

Joseph Anthony Vardon, a beloved husband, father, and grandfather who cherished life and lived his to the fullest, died peacefully at his Tallmadge home early in the morning on April 18. He was 63.

Joe is survived by his wife of 37 years, Melody (Talbott) Vardon, whom he met by selling her a fence for her dog. They started dating when she ordered a second fence, and there hasn’t been a dull moment since. Together they have two children: Joseph Aaron (wife, Erin), and Jessica (husband, Dewey). “Little” Joe, who was raised by his father on the Cleveland Browns, is a reporter for and the Plain Dealer, covering the Cavaliers. Jessica founded Sugar High Bake Shop. In a way, she followed in her dad’s footsteps. “Big” Joe has five adoring grandchildren: Aryanna, Samuel, Ella, Misa, and Maxton. To them, he is, was, and ever shall be a giant.  

Joe devoted his professional life to Sentry Fence Co. in Akron, which he co-founded with Ed Fogarty in 1979. His social life, well, it spanned five decades and was a little more spread out.

From the nightclubs of 1970s Akron, to Delanie’s Bar and Grill in Tallmadge today, where he and his closest friends gathered every Tuesday, Joe’s wit, charm, and piercing sense of humor warmed any room.  Always quotable, Joe often said “live music is the essence of life.” He never said why. Close your eyes the next time you hear some. You’ll see he was right. Joe is already missed at the Tallmadge-area golf courses he frequented, and at Dontino’s on North Hill. He’s with Jesus now, swilling a glass of red, a couple dollars in the juke box, readying his next joke.

Born June 17, 1953 to Joseph and June (Neiswonger) Vardon, Joe was a 1971 graduate of Akron North High School. He attended the University of Akron, but work and life got in the way.

Decades later, Joe would tell anyone listening -- usually, many were -- that the most successful people in life never graduated college. Who are we to argue?

Joe is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Mary Reed. Angeline Pagna, a loving sister, survives him.

Visitation will be 4:30 until 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Donovan Funeral Home, 17 Southwest Ave. (on the Historic Tallmadge Circle).

Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22,2017 at Our Lady of Victory Church 73 North Ave., Tallmadge with Rev. Michael Matusz officiating. PROCESSION TO FORM AT THE CHURCH.

Interment will be at Chestnut Hill Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The American Kidney Fund, 11921 Rockville Pike #300, Rockville, MD 20852 or The American Diabetes Association, Cleveland Office 4500 Rockside Road #400, Independence Oh 44131.

Charitable donations may be made to:

American Diabetes Association Cleveland Office
4500 Rockside Rd, Suite 440, Independence OH 44131

American Kidney Fund
11921 Rockville Pike Ste 300, Rockville MD 20852

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