In Memory of




Obituary for Dr. Francis Harold Tonkonow

Dr. Francis Harold Tonkonow died on October 7, 2020 at the MidState Medical Center in Meriden, Connecticut. He was predeceased by his wife, the love of his life, Janet Doris (Sepersky) Tonkonow to whom he was married for over 67 years.

Born in Meriden on January 1, 1926, he was the son of the Honorable Benjamin Tonkonow, Judge for the City of Meriden and Minority Leader in the Connecticut State Legislature during the 1930s, and Ethel (Allen) Tonkonow. Following the premature death of his father in 1940, Dr. Tonkonow relocated with his mother to Plainfield, New Jersey and thereafter to Cambridge, Massachusetts where he completed high school while his brother, the late Attorney Sherman M. Tonkonow, was a student at Harvard Law School.

While attending Harvard College, he enrolled in the U.S. Navy's V-12 program, completing his education at Boston University Medical School. After an internship at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Tonkonow served as a Navy Lieutenant, based with the Marines at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Upon finishing his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Monmouth Memorial Hospital in Long Branch, New Jersey, Dr. Tonkonow returned to Meriden in 1956 to establish a solo practice, later co-founding the Meriden Orthopedic Group with two partners. Known in the community as a highly skilled and respected surgeon, he retired in early 1991.

Dr. and Mrs. Tonkonow also maintained a residence in Delray Beach, Florida where they shared a passion for golf and enjoyed the company of innumerable friends.

Dr. Tonkonow is survived by his beloved family: daughter Leslie Tonkonow and her husband Klaus Ottmann of New York, New York; son Attorney Bruce Tonkonow of Middletown, Connecticut; daughter Amy Tonkonow Kohan and her husband Richard Kohan of Coconut Grove, Florida; grandchildren Rebekah Kohan Siemann and her husband Carson Siemann of New York, New York; Benjamin Kohan and his wife Hannah Limov of Asheville, North Carolina; Lydia Tonkonow of Baltimore, Maryland; and his great granddaughter Nelle Charlotte Siemann, born March 7, 2020.

He is also survived by his devoted niece Barbara (Tonkonow) Kendzior and her husband Lawrence Kendzior of Meriden, Connecticut, and several other nephews and nieces.

Devoted as he was to medicine and to the many patients under his care, his first priority always was his immediate and extended family to whom he left an extraordinary legacy in leading his life as a highly ethical, compassionate, generous, and loving person.

Dr. Tonkonow’s funeral was private under the direction of the John J. Ferry Funeral Home. Contributions may be made in his memory to the charity of one's choice in order to help people in need.

For information about a virtual memorial service to be held in the near future, please contact: For online condolences, please visit