IN MEMORY: TONY SMAHA JR.
TONY SMAHA JR.
TONY SMAHA SR.
Antonin Joszi Vinicky 'Tony Smaha'
Antonin Joszi Vinicky "Tony Smaha," of Baraboo, passed away on March 6, 2008 at the University Hospital in Madison after a long illness. Tony was born on May 21, 1949, in Shrewsburg, England, the son of Antonin and Ingeborg (Luda) Vinicky of the Bertram Circus. He received 20 pounds from Queen Elizabeth because of him being born around the same time as Prince Charles. Tony was raised in the circus life, and in 1950, he and his family moved to Australia and performed with the Wirth Circus. There, Tony began performing as a clown at the young age of 2 1/2 years old. In 1955, the family came to the United States with the King Brothers Circus and in 1961, arrived in Baraboo through Wilbur Deppe and his "Old Time Circus." Tony became a fifth generation performer and began showing horses and elephants at the Circus World Museum. Throughout his life, Tony performed with circuses in the United States, Canada and Mexico with many of his highlights being presented on the Jackie Gleason, Ed Sullivan and the Royal Lipizzan Stallion Show. He made Baraboo his home when not performing on the road. His hobbies included the outdoors with hunting, fishing and visiting with friends. Tony was a member of the Baraboo Masonic Lodge #34 and honorary member of the Midian Shrine Temple. He was well liked by everyone who knew him and he will be dearly missed.
Survivors include his mother, Ingeborg Vinicky of Baraboo; ex-wife and friend, Susan Hillmer of North Freedom; his Lipizzan Stallion, Maestoso II Dixie, and his Yorkie dog, Tiffany. Tony was preceded in death by his father, Antonin; and two brothers, Pero and Jenda.
In celebration of his life, a memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at Circus World Museum, 550 Water St., Baraboo. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Circus World Museum. The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at St. Clare Hospital, St. Clare Meadows and the University Hospital in Madison for the wonderful care given to Tony during his illness. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.