STRONGSVILLE — Louis Szalontai, 78, of Strongsville, passed away Aug. 9, 2017, following a lengthy battle with bone marrow cancer. He was born Feb. 27, 1939, in Gyor, Hungary, to Andrew and Vilma Szalontai, deceased. His family escaped Russian Communism in December 1944, and fled to Austria and shortly thereafter to southern Germany to the American Occupation Sector. His family immigrated to Cleveland on May 3, 1949.
Louis attended Cleveland public schools and graduated with honors from the University of Akron in May, 1965, after receiving the “outstanding student from the Akron Chapter of the National Association of Accountants” on April 21, 1965. He subsequently received an MBA degree from Ohio University. After graduating from the University of Akron, he accepted a position at the Cleveland office of Price Waterhouse & Co., an international CPA and accounting firm, where he quickly rose to a senior CPA accounting position.
In 1969, Louis joined Kenyon College in Gambier as a comptroller and in 1978 began a 17-year career in private and state higher education as chief business and financial officer (vice president for Business Affairs and Treasurer) at Ashland University, Southern Connecticut State University and Ohio Wesleyan University. He was credited with stabilizing the financial operations at these institutions during his tenures. He left Ohio Wesleyan University in 1995 and joined Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he was vice president for Finance and assistant to the president for Special Needs Projects. Louis served as an officer in several professional organizations and on the boards of several not-for-profit service organizations. He retired in 2002 and was a resident of Fort Myers, Florida, during the winter months.
Louis was predeceased by his parents, and an infant sister, Charlotte. He leaves behind a sister, Violet Picone, of Strongsville, and three children, Elizabeth (Tom) McDonald of Medina, Juliana Szalontai (Allan Cooper) of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Dana Szalontai, also of Chapel Hill, N.C.; six grandchildren; and three nephews. He is survived by his life-partner, Anne Fischer, and her son and family of Wadsworth.
Louis often noted to friends and family his gratitude to America for accepting his family so cordially. He also expressed to his grandchildren be ever thankful to their great grandparents for their sacrifices and hardships fleeing their home land and providing them the gift of living in a great democracy with bountiful opportunities to become productive citizens.
A graveside service will be held on Monday, at noon, at Woodvale Cemetery, 7535 Engle Road, Middleburg Heights. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Seidman Cancer Center for Bone Marrow Transplantation, University Hospital, P.O. Box 94554, Cleveland, 44101. Visit dostalbokas.com.