Stephen Gabriel Gonda, 44, of Palm Bay, Florida, passed from this life and into the presence of Jesus in eternal glory Sunday, June 18, 2023. He was born in Erie, PA October 1, 1978, the son of Roilee Amanda Defonsey and the late John Joseph Gonda. As a child his creative and active imagination was contagious. He enjoyed adventures with his siblings as they frequently explored their neighborhood and spent many weekends exploring their grandparents 160 acre farm. He attended Saint Stanislaus Catholic Elementary School and served as an altar boy for a few years at Saint Stanislaus Catholic Church. Stephen was very active in many sports, but he had a deep love for baseball. He practiced for hours a day and competed in Little League. As a young teenager, Stephen turned to skateboarding where his talent and dedication soared. It was during these years that he also picked up the bass and acoustic guitars. He had a love for music and wrote a few of his own songs. During his later teenage years and into his twenties Stephen worked hard learning different trades such as block laying, electrical, carpentry, welding, stadium seating installation, sign installation, and more. He was a true entrepreneur by heart and eventually started his own sign design and installation business with his younger brother John. He moved to Melbourne, Florida in 2003 and continued working with sign installation companies. While working hard in Florida Stephen learned how to sail on his own. He loved playing chess, bowling, camping, fishing, surfing, shooting pool, canoeing, and sailing. Stephen loved spending time with his children, his nieces and nephews, his siblings, his parents, and his many friends. He deeply impacted everyone he knew with his sincerity, his kindness, his loyalty, his compassion, his work ethic, his adventurous spirit, his infectious humor, and his vibrant personality. He was a master storyteller and natural comedian with incomparable charm. Above all, Stephen was dedicated to Jesus Christ whom he loved with his whole heart. He attended Church on the Rock, in Melbourne, FL. Stephen has left this world leaving a void in the hearts of everyone that loved him, but he is now in the presence of his Savior Jesus Christ where death and pain have no victory. Stephen, we will love you forever and we will see you again in the kingdom of heaven.
Stephen was preceded in death by his father John, his brothers Scott and Max, and his brother-in-law Keith Alloway. He is survived by his wife Roxanne, his children Gabriel and Eden, his mother Roilee, and his siblings Michael, Donna, Jeremiah, John, Amelia, Stephanie, and Melanie.
A celebration of Stephen’s life will be held on Saturday, July 29th at Church on the Rock, Melbourne, Florida at 2:00 PM.