It is with a heavy heart that we announce the loss of our son, brother and friend, Antwan Thadison Unander (Tony) of Champaign.
Tony was a bright light in a broken world, a loving family member and a man determined to find a path toward charity and personal success. Recently, he worked at Cold Stone Creamery and in housekeeping at Carle Foundation Hospital. He was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Urbana.
Antwan (Tony) was born on Sept. 19, 1985, to William Rogers and Virginia Thadison. He was the oldest child of his birth family and leaves behind several brothers and sisters whom he loved and sought after in the past year to assure himself that they were safe and cared for.
At age 7, he was adopted by Stan Unander and Eileen Mathy. He was gifted with stepparents Ruth Unander and Jean-Philippe Mathy. He leaves behind nine brothers and sisters, Michael (Allyson), Stephanie, Kristine (Ryan) Elwell, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Alexis, Andrew, Patricia (Alex) East and Isaiah (Jennifer). He was loved by his grandparents, including Elizabeth Beck. He had wonderfully supportive uncles, John (Stacey) Rutledge and Steven (Sarah) Rutledge, Jim (Laura) Unander and Steven (Joyce) Unander; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by grandparents Edna and Harry Unander, Albert Rutledge and Catherine Rutledge, and his aunt, Marianne (Richard) Jones.
Tony was a vivacious and energetic child with a contagious laugh and zest for life. He was a gifted athlete, competing on a state level in gymnastics and track and field. He played Little League baseball and enjoyed riding bikes and roller skating with his siblings. Tony worked hard at every challenge he took on, from cleaning his home to helping serve at a food pantry. He spent several of his adult years living in the St. Louis area, returning to C-U a year ago to reconnect with family. While in St. Louis, he received care from Catholic Charities and was touched by the love he was shown and desired to give back in some way. We have deeply treasured the short time we have had with our friend, brother and son. For the past year, our family has felt complete. Hearts were mended, grievances released, love and laughter shared. He gifted us with that. It feels as if his bright smile is just around the corner and about to come through the front door with a cup of coffee in hand and a desire to talk and spend time together.
Oh, dear Tony, you left us too soon. But we know you are watching over us now. And your spirit is finally free.
In recent months, Tony asked family to gather at Lake of the Woods so that he could express his desire to start a new life with God. His Uncle Steve baptized him in Christ in the lake, and it is at that place that his family will gather on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. to release him into the arms of our loving God. Friends and family are welcome. Masks are requested.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to DREAAM, a program headed by Tracy Dace, to inspire young African American men to achieve their highest potential.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Antwan Thadison Unander, please visit our floral store.
403 S Wright St, Champaign IL 61820