Tony Komadina, II

Class of 1986

ony Komadina, Jr. died peacefully on May 7, 2011, he was 83. The youngest of five children born to Anton and Kata Komadina, Tony was raised in Oatman, AZ, a gold mining town in the Black Mountains, southwest of Kingman. Tony graduated from AZ State Teacher’s College (ASU) in 1951. His first job in teaching was at Litchfield H.S. ’51-’56, later becoming Superintendent of Schools in Sanders, AZ from late ’56-’59. With a Masters Degree, Tony became Principal of Marana H.S. near Tucson, and later Supt. of Schools there until 1976. Before retiring at the age of 59, Tony was Executive Director of the Arizona Interscholastic Assoc. in Phoenix for 11 years, until 1987. The Tony Komadina Award, given each year to the top girl’s athletic program, is displayed in high school gymnasiums all over Arizona. As a two-sport letterman in football and basketball at ASU, Tony was an avid Sun Devil fan, attending most-all football and basketball games for over 30 years. He loved watching the Devils beat the Cats from Tucson, yet he rooted for the UA when they played anyone else. Not many people know that. Since 1962, summers were spent in Pinetop with wife, Barbara where he taught sons, Tony, Kevin and daughter, Cathy how to “pound nails” building the cabin, and catching trout by the stringer-full. He was making his plans to go back again this summer, prior to his passing. Tony was known for his direct and straight-forward style; you always knew where you stood. Honest, punctual, practical, and compassionate only start to describe him. He was a big man, with a bigger heart for the children of Arizona. He worked hard to improve the level of education and life-success of every child entrusted to his care. He was a true professional as a teacher and an administrator.

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