We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Barnett Funeral Home
Steven S. Troncone, 97, of 585 E. Second St., Emporium, PA passed away at Penn Highlands-Brookville, Brookville, PA on Monday morning (May 30, 2022). He was born December 7, 1924 in Emporium, PA a son of the late Steven and Frances Troncone. He married the late Naomi Jenkins who passed away in 1994.
Steve was a WWII Veteran POW. He was a bombardier and radio man on a B24. He was shot down just outside Graz Austria on December 25 1944. He bailed out and survived but was captured. When he bailed out he was spinning in a forward roll fashion so fast that the wind pressure held his arms up near his head. He was a bit late getting to the release of his parachute causing him to lose his shoes, socks and almost his pants. Steve landed in a foot of snow bare footed. He walked to a nearby barn but the German soldiers where soon there. They yelled “Get Out” and shot gun fire through the doors. Steve laid flat on the ground and crawled to the doors. He pushed the door open, stuck his arms through and was dragged out and kicked. Steve was forced to walk, still bare footed, to a place of holding. There they put him into a cellar room and fed him only one potato a day. Steve heard Italians talking and asked a guard about them. They were a work crew for the facility. Steve asked if he could work with them figuring he would have more food. The guard took him to a German commander to ask for permission to work with the Italian workers. The commander aimed a gun at Steve and yelled at him. Steve could not understand any of it. After, the guard told Steve that he was told he could work with them but if he tried to escape in any way he would be killed, that’s it. Steve did work with them and he was right as he had much more food to eat. Quite resourceful. Steve was officially discharged from the Army Air force on Nov. 27, 1945.
After his military career Steve worked at Sylvania in Emporium for a few years. He bought the land where he soon built his home in Feb. 1950. He had wanted to be a train engineer when he was young but never perused that dream. Steve was an excavator from 1951 to 2010. Loved his career. Steve did not know anything about excavating at the time. Steve wanted to buy a piece of property and coincidentally noticed that a man was shoveling dirt into a pickup truck off the land there and that this man did not own it. Steve confronted the land owner, Rose Heath, and tasked her to sell him the land. Steve told Rose that there is a man stealing her dirt to sell and he wanted to tell him to stop it. Steve did buy the land. Very soon after Steve saw the man stealing more dirt and told the man to put the dirt back and stay off the land. This was a major inspirational moment to Steve’s life. Steve realized that you could make money selling dirt. A man named Brake Slyder that knew Steve in the late forties and on told me that Steve consistently came home from work and shoveled dirt into an old truck to sell. While delivering the dirt to a client the client asked him “Why don’t you get a machine ? – There are machines to help with this” Steve was inspired and did pick up an old dozer. If you ever dig dirt off the ground you will soon notice that the hard part is removing the weeds and root mass off the top to get to the dirt. Steve was amazed when he used his bulldozer to move the dirt into a pile to make it easier to fill his truck. Steve could haul over 5 times more dirt in an evening or weekend day. Soon after people would ask him to excavate the dirt he was hauling. Steve purchased a dump truck, a backhoe and a career was born.
He is survived by a son, Timothy, daughter, Genevieve, son, Ronald, son, Daniel and a step-daughter, Mary along with several grandchildren.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and a daughter, Stephanie.
Viewing and Services were held privately at the Barnett Funeral Home, Emporium, PA. Burial was in the St. Mark Catholic Cemetery, Emporium, PA.