Arthur Winston Gonia, 93, of Cleveland, TN, died Tuesday morning, January 22, 2013.
He was the son of the late Isaac Barksdale Gonia and Dorthula Bain Gonia; and was also preceded in death by his spouse of 69 years, Wilma Christina Gonia; brother, I B Gonia; sisters-in-law & brothers-in-law, Frances & Elmo Harmon and Reba & Erwin Dorn; brothers-in-law, Joe Blocker & Lamar Parton; and nephews, Clayton Womack & David Harmon.
He was one of the first men to paint the ROCK CITY SIGNS on the roof of barns for many years. After coming home from the War he promised God he would do what God called him to do. He was a minister for over 65 years in the Church of God of Prophecy. He pastored in Tennessee, North Carolina and Maryland until he retired in 1984. He loved to preach even when he no longer could. He loved golfing, deep sea fishing and woodworking. At the time of his death he was a member of Hickory Valley Church of God of Prophecy in Chattanooga.
He entered the Military March 27, 1943 & was a member of the 892d Chemical Company and served overseas in New Guinea, Philippines, Okinawa, and Ie Shima Islands as a toxic gas handler. Stored and loaded gas unit tanks with smoke gases and other chemical warfare gases. He filled airplane chemical spray tanks with various toxic gasses, and armed tanks for detonation. Decontaminated spray tanks. Took dry naplam and mixed with gasoline to make napalm incendiary bombs. He was schooled in chemical warfare technique. Citations-World war II Victory Ribbon, Good conduct medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and one Bronze Star GO 23 Hq USAFFE 56 AP Ribbon and One Silver Service Star. Discharged on Nov 24 1945.
Survivors include his daughters, Rama Christina Gonia of Cleveland and Norma Laverne Bryant and her husband James E of Cleveland; grandsons, Dean Bryant and wife Dana, Shane Bryant and wife Tabitha of Cleveland, Barksdale Bryant and wife Crystal of Macomb, IL and Andrew Bryant and wife Pam of Douglasville, GA; great-grandsons, Cameron Tyler Bryant, Tanner Ashlin Bryant of Cleveland, and Cadence Arthur Bryant of Douglasville; great-granddaughter, Trinity Malei Bryant of Douglasville; sister, Charlotte Blocker of Chattanooga; sister-in-law, Frances Gonia of Florida; sister-in-law, Bettye Parton of Kannapolis, NC.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Joyce and Don Womack of Chattanooga; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Iris and T H Parton of Alabaster, AL; many cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; and special friends, Jim and Ernestene Whittaker and Beverly and Alvin Davis.
The Remembrance of Life Service will be conducted Sunday, January 27 at 3 p.m. from the Peerless Road Church of God of Prophecy with Reverend Duke Stone and Bishop E. C. McKinley officiating. Interment will follow in the Hilcrest Memorial Gardens with grandsons, Dean, Shane, Barksdale and Andrew Bryant, great-grandsons, Cameron, Tanner and Cadence and great-granddaughter, Trinity Bryant serving as pallbearers. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Retired Ministers.
The family will receive friends from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, January 26 at the North Ocoee Chapel of the Jim Rush Funeral Homes who has charge of the arrangements.