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Tributes 2007-09-25


Catherine Ambrose, 83

GIRARD – Catherine Ambrose, 83, died Wednesday, Sept. 12, at O’Brien Memorial Health Care Center in Masury.

She was born June 23, 1924 in Youngstown, the daughter of the late Michael and Anastasia (Hefko) Platenak.

She was a member of St. Rose Church in Girard and was a homemaker.

She married Louis Ambrose on July 3, 1948, and he died May 24, 1995.

She is survived by a son, John Ambrose of Girard and a granddaughter, Angela.

There will be a memorial Mass at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at St. Rose Church in Girard.

Arrangements are being handled by the McClurkin Funeral Home.


Emelia M. “Millie” Aurandt, 92

BOARDMAN – There will be services at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Anstrom-Velker Funeral Home for Emelia M. “Millie” Aurandt, 92, who died Sunday morning at Shepherd of the Valley.

Mrs. Aurandt was born March 22, 1922 in Alquippa, Pa., a daughter of Adam and Adeline Portofe.

Millie came to the Youngstown area as a young girl to be a nanny for a local businessman’s children. She was a graduate of South High School and worked for many years at Hartzells, Rose and Sons clothing store.

She was a longtime member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church and her life centered around the love of her family.

Her husband of 47 years, William W., whom she married June 23, 1934, died Aug. 26, 1981.

Millie leaves her son, Bob (Mary Grace) of Poland; her daughter-in-law, Carol A. of Boardman; her grandchildren, Brenda Thorpe, Sara Griffin and Brian and Daniel Aurandt; and her great-grandchildren, Natalia Griffin and Rowan Thorpe.

Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her son, Donald W., who died May 29, 2005; her sisters, Lillian Hirsch, Martha Stasun and Dorothy Davis; and a brother, Edward Portofe.

Friends may call today from 5 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home.


Lunette M. Battaglini, 88

POLAND – Lunette M. Battaglini, 88, departed this life at 11:45 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007 Mrs. Battaglini made her home with her daughter Patricia in Poland.

Lunette was born, Sept. 14, 1919, in Campbell, a daughter of Anthony and Christina Danchise. She lived in Struthers, Ohio prior to her Poland residence.

Lunette was employed at Hills Department Store in the Lincoln Knolls Plaza from 1963 to 1993. As a sales clerk, she was known for serving her customers with pride and enthusiasm. She received numerous Service Awards throughout her years of employment at Hills. The customers she served will cherish her with fond memories.

She was a founding member of the Women’s Auxiliary Pacentrano Club in 1960 and was an active member from its inception in 1960 to 2006. She enjoyed trips, meetings, and activities with her club members and was proud of her Italian heritage. She was awarded a Certificate of Honor for her long lasting contribution.

Lunette enjoyed cooking, baking, cross stitch and crochet. She was an avid gardener. She loved baking for family parties and weddings. Her cookies and baked goods were always so delicious. She always had fun in shopping sprees with her three daughters.

She was renowned for her remarkable beauty and grace. The essence of her beauty emanated from within through her kind, nurturing and loving spirit. She was the family matriarch. Her family was the core essential of her journey throughout life.

Her husband, Patsy Battaglini, whom she married on her birthday, Sept. 14, 1935, passed away on Aug. 7, 1979.

Lunette will be sadly missed by her three daughters, Anna Marie (Patsy) Pacella of Canfield, retired teacher from Kirkmere School in Youngstown City Schools, Yolanda (Michael) Nicholudis of Boardman, fourth grade teacher at St. Nicholas School in Struthers, and Patricia (Fred) Scalzo of Poland, guidance counselor at Taft Elementary in the Youngstown City Schools; three grandchildren, Robert Anthony Pacella, Debra (Erich) Scheetz of Dublin, and Thomas (Tracey) Nicholudis of Poland; great-grandchildren, Lauren Elizabeth and Nicholas Leo Scheetz, Olivia Lucia and Gioia Maria Pacella, and Alea, Ava, and Michael Nicholudis; and a sister, Rose Altiero of Lowellville.

She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother Joseph Danchise; and sisters, Anna Miconi and Mary Galtiero.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Rossi Brothers Funeral Home, 4442 South Ave., Boardman.

Services will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the funeral home followed by a 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Nicholas Church in Struthers where Lunette was a member.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Robert Spratt and his staff for the excellent care received and also to the staff at Briarfield Manor where she received physical therapy since August. The Antonine Sisters Day Care are also to be commended for their loving care of Lunette throughout the years she attended the day care. Thanks also to her caregivers, Patricia Van Jura, Shirley Straka, Beverly DiSalvo and Cheryl Thorne.

Rossi Brothers – A Family Owned Funeral Home

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Edward John “Eddie” Bielecki, 54

WARREN – Edward John “Eddie” Bielecki, 54, entered into eternal life Saturday, Sept. 22, after a long hard-fought battle with COPD. His trademark smile exemplified his joyful, loving spirit, which endured through his final days at the Regency Hospital in Ravenna. He endeared himself to the nursing staff who was often heard to remark about his warm, affectionate smile and relentless positive attitude.

Eddie shared his Warren home with his cousin, Andrew Bielecki.

He was a devoted son of Edward Carl and Helen Ledna Bielecki, both deceased.

He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1971, where he played first saxophone and enjoyed all musical genres from classical rock to rhythm and blues and jazz. He retired in 2005 from Packard Electric in Warren.

Eddie was a lifelong parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Warren. He spent tireless hours volunteering at the Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine in North Jackson, where he assisted during Holy Day observances and Lenten fish dinners.

He took immense pride in his Polish and Slovak heritage and he often delivered pirohy to local nursing homes. He formed lifelong friendships, loved to travel and attend concerts. He was an avid New York Yankees and Cleveland Browns fan.

He leaves behind two sisters, Mary Emily (Joseph) Hornung of Niles and Diane Bielecki of Chambersburg, Pa., and a brother, Joseph (Deirdre) Bielecki of Cortland.

Besides his parents, Eddie was preceded in death by his uncles Walter Misiolek, Raymond Makosky and John Ledna; his aunts, Annie Ledna and Margaret Lambert; and his cousins, Paul Thomas Lambert and Anthony Bielecki.

His most treasured role in life, however, was that of “Uncle Eddie‚” as he was referred to by his seven nephews and three nieces.

He will be greatly missed by his aunts, Leah Misiolek, Margaret Bielecki, Virginia Makosky, Ann Ledna and Emily Magusiak; his uncles, Frank Bielecki, Paul Lambert and Henry Magusiak; his numerous cousins; and the many, many friends he met along life’s way. Their companionship with Eddie was precious and never taken for granted by Eddie or his family, all of whom are eternally grateful.

Calling hours will be Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 27, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Sinchak & Sons Funeral Home.

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, Sept. 27, at 11 a.m. at the Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine in North Jackson with Fr. Charles Crumbley officiating.

Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery in Champion.

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Sarah R. Ely, 92

NEW MIDDLETOWN – Sarah R. Ely, 92, passed away Saturday morning at Greenbriar.

She was born July 6, 1915 in Rose Valley, Pa., a daughter of William A. and Louise Smith Roberts. She lived in Lambertville, N.J. for 50 years before moving to New Middletown 12 years ago.

She worked for the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company for 20 years. She was also a member of the Quaker’s Society of Friends.

Sarah leaves behind two sons, James B. Ely of New Middletown and George Ely of Shorham, Vt.; a daughter, Christina Simon of Indianapolis; a brother, Alex Roberts of Okeechobee, Fla.; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a son, David Ely.

Material contributions can be made to the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals N.E., Ohio, 9555 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44129.

There will be no calling hours or services.

Arrangements are being handled by the Clemente Funeral Home in New Middletown.


Robert O. Fraley, 66

AUSTINTOWN – Robert O. Fraley, 66, died at 4:50 p.m. Sunday at the Mahoning Valley Hospital.

Mr. Fraley was born May 13, 1941 in Beallsville, a son of Nelson O. and Jessie Secrest Fraley.

Robert graduated from Timken High School. He served in the U.S. Army until he was honorably discharged in 1969.

Mr. Fraley worked as a clerk in the U.S. Postal Service in Canton for 27 years.

Robert found a fond passion for bowling, fishing, hunting, college basketball, and was an avid Browns and Indians fan. His greatest joy in life was spending time with his loving family.

Survivors include his wife, Betty Woodworth Hannis Fraley, whom he married June 22, 1992; four children, Carrie and her husband Chris Roth, Monica Bretz, Robert D. and his wife Tammy Fraley, and Nathaniel and his fiancée Erin Wirtz, all of Canton; five stepchildren, Charles and his wife Debbie Hannis, Debbie and her husband Robert Moynihan, Jim and his wife Annie Hannis, Janet and her husband Jason Hollobaugh, all of Austintown and Kelly and her husband Alesio Guerrieri of Boardman; three sisters, Donna Fraley of Canton, Patty Hoke of Kentucky, and Nora Fraley of Beallsville; a brother, Kevin Fraley of Panama; 13 grandchildren; 14 step grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and six step great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Linda Fraley.

There will be funeral services at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Lane Funeral Home, Austintown Chapel.

Calling hours will be one hour prior to the service on Thursday.

Family and friends may visit www.lanefuneralhomes.com to send condolences online.



Agnes Marie Ritter, 78

“Together Again Forever”

STRUTHERS – Agnes Marie Ritter, 78, passed away peacefully Sunday while a patient at St. Elizabeth Health Center, Boardman Campus with her family by her side.

Agnes was born Oct. 3, 1928 in Youngstown, the daughter of Joseph and Agnes Zelinsky Delach.

Before her marriage, she worked at St. Elizabeth Hospital in nutrition services and at Penn-Ohio Towel Supply. She married Paul S. Ritter Sr. on Oct. 23, 1948, and moved to Struthers in 1955.

She was a member of St. Nicholas Church in Struthers. For many years she enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles and crocheting baby afghans, but her greatest joy was spending time with her family.

Agnes leaves behind her children, Patricia Ritter Thompson, Paul S. (Wendy) Ritter Jr., John J. Ritter, Michael S. Ritter, Timothy (Kathy) Ritter and James C. (Barbara) Ritter; her beloved grandchildren, Sharon Ritter, Rod Ritter, Paul S. Ritter III, Timmy Ritter, Kara Ritter, James Michael, whom she helped rear, Joey Ritter and Julie Ritter; and her great-grandchildren, Thomas James, Jessica and Rod. She also leaves two half sisters, Mary Bendel of New Springfield and Kay Frankford of Girard; her sisters-in-law, Gladys Buksar, Dorothy Fox, Helen (Ted) Nogay and Margie Ritter; and a brother-in-law, William (Louise) Ritter. She also leaves behind her beloved dog, Rufus.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and a brother, Joseph, who died at birth.

Family and friends may call Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Kirila Funeral Home Inc., 258 Poland Ave. in Struthers.

Services will be Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Nicholas Church in Struthers.

Visit www.kirilafh.com to view this obituary and send condolences.

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R. Boyd Sellers, 86

BOARDMAN – There will be services at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Westminster Presbyterian Church for R. Boyd Sellers, 86, of Shepherd of the Valley, formerly of Oregon Trail, who died Monday morning at the nursing home.

Mr. Sellers was born June 5, 1921 in Sidney, a son of Jess and Leona Irwin Sellers and came to this area from Macon, Ga., in 1953.

He was a 1939 graduate of Sidney High School. After graduation, he joined the Army and served during WWII as a flight engineer. He fought in the Battles of Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Normandy, Northern France, Southern France, Air Offensive Europe, and Air Combat in the Balkans. He received many decorations, including the EAME Theater Ribbon with seven Bronze Stars, the Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Distinguished Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster.

After serving in the Army, he attended Bluffton College and graduated from the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and also attended the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. He worked as a sales representative for Merchants Industries for 20 years, retiring in 1973. He also served as part-time Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church of Macon, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Pilgrim Collegiate Church, and St. John’s Episcopal Church, all in Youngstown and the Boardman United Methodist Church.

His wife, the former Ruth Fridley, whom he married April 28, 1946, died April 2, 2002.

He leaves a daughter, Rebecca Vanlieu of Ft. Wright, Ky.; a son, Eric (Cathy) Sellers of Evans City, Pa.; a sister, Jane Abbott of Manitowac, Wis.; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Besides his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Marcus Sellers and Rev. Darrell Sellers.

Friends may call from noon to 1:45 p.m. Wednesday at the church.

A committal service with full military honors will take place Thursday at National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, Pa.

The family requests that material tributes take the form of donations to the Memorial Fund of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 119 Stadium Drive, Boardman, OH 44512.

Arrangements are being handled by the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel.


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Kenneth Wade Witt, 82

COLUMBIANA – Kenneth Wade Witt, 82, of 811 South Main St., died at 12:20 p.m. Sunday at the Parkside Health Care Center.

Mr. Witt was born Nov. 14, 1924 in North Lima, a son of Roland C. and Sevilla Davis Witt and had lived in Columbiana most of his life, coming from North Lima.

He served in the U.S. Army during WWII, and attended Youngstown Business College.

He was employed as an accountant in the construction industry, last working with Poling & Bacon in North Lima and Commercial Piping. He also did income tax work in the area for many years.

He was a member of the First Christian Church, Columbiana, was an avid reader and loved to play the organ.

He is survived by his wife, the former Myrtle Ovada Gassett, whom he married June 6, 1948; three sons, David (Judy Mileti) Witt of North Royalton, Ohio, Randall Witt of Powder Springs, Ga., and Alan (Joyce) Witt of Columbiana; two grandchildren, Devin Witt of Columbiana and Tina Alvarez of Atlanta, Ga.; and two great-grandchildren, Collin Witt and Paige Witt.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Warrick-Kummer Funeral Home, Columbiana, with Mr. Clarence Mansfield, Minister, officiating.

Burial will follow in Columbiana Cemetery.

Friends may call at the funeral home from 1 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to either Meals on Wheels or Hospice of the Valley.

Please visit www.familycareservies.com to send condolences to the family.




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