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Tributes 2007-12-20

John A. Balog, 88

BOARDMAN — There will be services at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Charles Church for John A. Balog, 88, who died Tuesday morning at Caprice Health Care Center.

Mr. Balog was born Jan. 22, 1919 in Jessup, Pa., a son of Andrew and Mary Hotovy Balog.

He was employed by General Motors and retired in 1984 as a general foreman after 38 years with the company.

John was a member of the Retirees Golf League and served as its president for 15 years. He was also a life member of the American Legion Post No. 15 and a member of the Greater Mahoning Valley Parkinson’s Support Group.

A veteran of WWII, John served with the 44th division infantry and participated in landings at Sicily, Salerno, and Angio, and was in the battle of Casino.

John enjoyed singing and belonged to the choir at St. Charles for more than 30 years. He was also a member of the Diocesan Choir at St. Columba Cathedral.

He leaves his wife, Barbara, whom he married Aug. 20, 1955, and their four children, Beth (Andy) Price of Hoover, Ala., James A. Balog of Indianapolis, Janet (George) Aliff of Boardman, and Amy (Chad Kapfhamer) Balog of Atlanta; a brother, Michael Balog of Baltimore; four sisters, Pauline Weinstein of Queens, N.Y., Elaine Orleski of Endicott, N.Y., and Audrey Hanusick and Irene Dembosky, both of Peckville, Pa.; and 10 grandchildren, Emily Price, Matthew Price, Kent Householder, Katie (Steve) Coley, Adam Kapfhamer, David Waltrop, Eric (April) Aliff, Brian Aliff, Jill (Rick) Johngrass, and Tricia (Ed) Patterson.

He was preceded in death by three sisters, Mary Carlton, Betty Becker, and Ann Geaslen; a brother, Albert Balog; and his first wife, Edith Bell Balog, and their daughter, Camilla Balog Waltrop.

Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Fox Funeral Home.

Interment will be at Resurrection Cemetery.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the St. Charles Church Choir Fund, 7345 Westview Drive, Boardman, OH 44512.

Family and friends may visit www.foxfuneralhome.org to view this obituary and send condolences.

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Donald Berry, 75

YOUNGSTOWN – There will be a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the F.D. Mason Memorial Funeral Home for Donald Berry, 75, who departed this life Monday at Guardian Health Care Center.

He was born Dec. 3, 1932 in Youngstown, a son of Mary Elizabeth Johnson Chambers Berry.

Mr. Berry was a steelworker for the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. He was of the Muslim faith. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict.

He leaves a brother, Harold Berry of Youngstown.

His mother; five sisters, Nola Bobson, Mary Woodridge, Hattie Clark, Helen Humphrey-Dukes and Ethel Ashmore; and five brothers, Leonard and James Chambers, Robert and Milton Berry and Paul Pennington, preceded him in death.

Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.


Jeffery L. Chagnot, 57

YOUNGSTOWN – There will be funeral services at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Faith Community Church for Jeffery L. Chagnot, 57, who died Wednesday morning at Hospice House.

Jeff was born Oct. 11, 1950 in Youngstown, a son of Ralph and Nancy Thomas Chagnot Jr.

He was employed by the City of Youngstown for nearly 30 years, retiring as the director of Economic Development this past June. During his years with the city, Jeff navigated his way through various departments including the Health Department and Community Development.

He was a 1968 graduate of The Rayen School. He was an avid golfer and won the Northeast Ohio Golf Junior Championship at age 18 and was known as the barefoot golfer. This passion continued throughout his adult years.

Jeff continued his formal education at Youngstown State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a Cum Laude graduate from Akron University Law School.

He was a member of the church and served on the Youngstown Federal Credit Union board. Jeff coached various little league sports and was a serious Cleveland Browns fan.

He leaves to mourn his passing, his mother of Youngstown; his son, Thomas B of Jupiter, Fla.; a daughter, Celeste J. (Jake) Kasten of Salem; a grandson, Nathan T. of Salem; and a host of friends and relatives.

Besides his father, he was preceded in death by a brother, Ralph III.

Friends may call Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Davis Funeral Home and one hour prior to the services at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice House, 5190 Market St., Youngstown, OH 44512 or to the Faith Community Church, 1919 E. Midlothian Blvd., Youngstown, OH 44502.


Carl A. “Corky” Chance, 61

BROOKFIELD – Carl A. “Corky” Chance, 61, died at 00:19 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the Hospice House in Poland following an extended illness.

Mr. Chance was born June 29, 1946 in Youngstown, a son of Carl A. and Florence (DeMaio) Chance Jr.

A 1964 graduate of Chaney High School, Carl went on to serve our country in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.

Carl was self-employed, operating Carl’s Home Improvement, Carl’s Mobile Home, Carl’s Snow Plowing, and he had previously owned C&B Auto Body in Brookfield.

He was Catholic by faith and a member of the AMVETS in Warren. In his spare time, he enjoyed camping, cooking, riding motorcycles, and cheering on No. 24 Jeff Gordon in NASCAR.

Survivors include his wife, Karlene “Karli” (Harker) Chance, whom he married Oct. 14, 1988; his children, Carrie L. Hurd and her husband Aaron of Boardman and Brian A. Chance and his wife Lisa of North Jackson; his sister, Diane Eakin and her husband James of Champion; his three granddaughters, Lauren and Taylor Hurd and Briley Chance; his nephews, Jim Eakin, Matt and Dan Jamison; his niece, Bobbi Jamison; and his dog, “KC.”

He was preceded in death by his parents and by his nephew, SGT. Kevin Jamison.

Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Madasz Funeral Chapel, Brookfield, with Rev. Timothy O’Neill, Pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hubbard.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Burial will be at Brookfield Township Cemetery.

As an expression of sympathy, the family suggests contributions be made to the Hospice House.

Visit www.madaszchapel.com to send condolences.


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Candice Marie Cole, 33

POLAND – Candice Marie Cole, 33, of Poland, died of complications due to an automobile accident Tuesday afternoon in St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Candice was born June 19, 1974 in Youngstown, a daughter of Carl J. Price and Pamela Cole.

She attended Woodrow Wilson High School and was a free spirit. She loved her family and friends and was there for anyone who needed her.

Besides her mother, Pam, and her stepfather, who raised her, Donald Durkin of Struthers, she leaves her two sons, Michael J. and Douglas D. Cole; three sisters, Amanda Durkin of Struthers, Gloria Price of Campbell, and Chrissy Price; three brothers, Donald Durkin Jr. of Poland, Tommy Price, and Robby Price of New Castle, Pa.; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews; and her partner in life, Drake Duvall.

Her father, Carl Price, preceded her in death.

Candice will be greatly missed by those she touched throughout her life.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, Dec. 22, at 11 a.m. at Simon Church of God.

Please visit www.beckerobits.com to send condolences.



Louise E. D’Orazio, 88

BOARDMAN – There will be services at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Patrick Church for Louise E. D’Orazio, 88, who died Wednesday morning at Hospice House.

Louise was born Oct. 11, 1919 in New Rochelle, N.Y., a daughter of Alfonso and Livia Tammaro D’Orazio, and came to Youngstown as a child.

She was a 1937 graduate of South High School and attended night classes at Youngstown College’s Secretarial School.

During WWII, she worked at Truscon Steel as a riveter and as a tester for Army Ordinance. For several years, she was an employee of Strouss-Hershberg in sales and unit control. For 28 years, she was employed as a secretary for Marks Tractor. After retiring in 1983, she worked part-time for 12 years for Beard Pension and Financial Services.

She leaves a sister, Eva Battafarano of Girard; several nieces and nephews; and great-nieces and great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Orlando and Ralph D’Orazio.

There are no calling hours.

Material tributes may be made to St. Patrick Church, 1420 Oak Hill Ave., Youngstown, OH 44507.

Arrangements are being handled by the Fox Funeral Home.

Family and friends may visit www.foxfuneralhome.org to view this obituary and send condolences.

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Riley Alexis Davis, 22 months

YOUNGSTOWN – Riley Alexis Davis was called home suddenly on Sunday, Dec. 16, after blessing “us” with her presence for 22 months. Although her time with “us” wasn’t long, it was full of love and joy, and she will always be remembered as a very happy baby. Riley was a fighter who didn’t let her physical limitations keep her down. Riley was a very treasured baby and she will be missed by all.

Riley was born Feb. 13, 2006 in Youngstown, but spent the first three months of her life at the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.

Her bright and sunny personality was apparent even then, and she received excellent and loving care from the doctors and the wonderfully special nurses who took care of her. She came home in May of 2006 to bask in the love and care of her family. “She enjoyed many wonderful experiences during the all too brief time we had to love her.”

Riley leaves behind her father, Richard Davis Sr. and mother, Cynthia Grier, both of Youngstown; a sister, Lyric Davis of Youngstown; a sister and brother-in-law, Krystina Montero and Neal Kortes of Warren; five brothers, Tjawonkher Davis, Christopher Davis, Donte’ Davis, Pierre Davis, all of Warren, and Richard Davis Jr. of Toledo; her grandparents, Hedy Grier of Youngstown, Francis Ewing of Detroit, Gloria and Gary Hall of Warren, and Roosevelt Davis of Warren; and three great-grandmothers, Cora Rushton of Youngstown, and May Frances Gore and Retha Davis, both of Warren. She will also be missed by her aunts, uncles, and cousins, and many others.

The family would like to thank Dr. Stephanie Dewar, Dr. Paul Rich, Dr. Michael Saalouke, the caring nurses and therapists at Forum Health at Home, Professional Medical Equipment, OptionCare, and Boardman Medical Supply, for all of their assistance.

Friends may call from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the L. E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home, 1951 McGuffey Road, where funeral services will follow immediately at 10 a.m.

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Theodore L. “Ted” Dellesky Jr., 60

YOUNGSTOWN – There will be funeral services at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Vaschak-Kirila Funeral Home for Mr. Theodore L. “Ted” Dellesky Jr., 60, who entered into eternal rest this past weekend.

Ted was born May 7, 1947 in Girard to Theodore and Mary (Balog) Dellesky Sr.

He was a graduate of Girard High School and completed courses at both Youngstown State University and Kent State University. As a retired teacher through the Youngstown City Schools, he spent many years of his teaching career instructing special needs children at the Choffin Career Center in custodial maintenance. He also taught at Tod School and most recently at Hillman.

A veteran of the U.S. Marines, he had been a seasonal worker and previous pyrotechnician at Zambelli Fireworks. He enjoyed traveling.

Ted is survived by his mother; his children, Ted (Jamie) Dellesky and Carrie Dellesky, both of Columbus; grandchildren, Parker, Carson, and Lukas; sisters, Mary Ann Dellesky of Seminole, Fla., Gloria Cellio of Youngstown, and Rose Marie Olesky of Cary, N.C.; his former wife, Barbara Dellesky; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father.

Family and friends may attend calling hours from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Please visit www.vaschak-kirilafh.com to send condolences.

** Vaschak-Kirila Funeral Home, Dedicated To Caring Since 1907 **



Angeline DiRienzo, 92

RAVENNA – There will be services Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the Clemente Funeral Home and at 10 a.m. at St. Nicholas Church, both in Struthers, for Angeline DiRienzo, 92, of Woodlands at Robinson, formerly of Struthers, who passed away Tuesday afternoon.

Angeline was born Dec. 1, 1915 in Sulmona, Provincia Aqula, Italy, a daughter of James and Jane Tirabasi D’Alesandro.

She was a homemaker and a member of St. Nicholas Church.

Angeline married Pat DiRienzo on May 11, 1935 and he passed away Sept. 28, 1983.

She leaves two sons, Pat (Toni) DiRienzo of Helendale, Calif. and Richard (Nancy) DiRienzo of Kent; two brothers, Sam Delsandro of Struthers and John Delsandro of Boardman; three sisters, Antoinette Leardi of Struthers, Edith Marchetti of Florida and Mary Abate of Centerville; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Pete D’Alesandro.

Friends may call one hour before the service on Friday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the RMH Visiting Nurse & Hospice, 6847 N. Chestnut St., Ravenna, OH 44266 or to the donor’s charity of choice.


Anna H. (Hammond) Dornfeld, 86

POLAND – There will be services at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, Poland Chapel for Anna H. (Hammond) Dornfeld, 86, formerly of Pittman, N.J., who passed away Tuesday afternoon at the Greenbriar Care Center.

Anna was born Jan. 20, 1921 in New Jersey, the daughter of Jacob and Anna Garrison Hunt.

She was a graduate of Glassboro High School in New Jersey and had worked as a teller at the former Fidelity Bank in Pittman for more than 25 years, retiring in 1986.

She had been a member of the Pittman United Methodist Church and the Pittman order of the Eastern Star chapter No. 57, where she had been a past Worthy Matron. She was an accomplished artist and seamstress as well as a talented cake decorator.

She is survived by two sons, Dr. Lonnie Hammond and his wife, Dr. Cathy Hammond of Poland and Ed Hammond of Waretown, N.J.; two grandchildren, Jake and his wife, Gretchen Hammond of Columbus and Seth Hammond of Poland; and two great-grandchildren, Maya and Kyla Hammond.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Edwin M. Hammond and Albert C. Dornfeld; a brother, Russell Hunt; a sister, Virginia Pitts; and two grandchildren, Jesse and Eva Hammond.

Friends may call from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Visit www.higgins-reardon.com to view this tribute and to send condolences to the family.

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Emmajean B. Gorman, 83

HUBBARD – Emmajean B. Gorman, 83, died Tuesday morning, Dec. 18, at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

She was born Feb. 7, 1924 in Clarion County, Pa., a daughter of Russell L. and M. Blanch Mortimer Priester, and lived in Hubbard for 5 years, coming from Lexington, Ohio.

Mrs. Gorman, a homemaker, was of the Methodist faith, and enjoyed needlepoint.

She leaves two sons, Richard A. Myers of Nesbit, Miss. and Gary D. (Carol) Myers of San Diego, Calif.; a daughter, Patricia D. Carlyle of St. Charles, Mo.; three brothers, Lloyd Priester of Hubbard, R. Dean Priester of Port Charlotte, Fla., and William R. Priester of Columbiana; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Evelyn F. Maynard; and a brother, Vaughn R. Priester.

There will be private funeral services and calling hours.

Arrangements are being handled by the Kelley-Robb Funeral Home in Hubbard.

Please visit www.kelley-robb.com to view this obituary and send condolences to the family.


Monica U. Hernan, 73

CANFIELD – There will be a Memorial Mass at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at St. Christine Church for Monica U. Hernan, 73, who died Tuesday, Dec. 18, at University Hospital in Cleveland.

Mrs. Hernan was born June 3, 1934 in Youngstown, a daughter of Stanley and Anna Miller. She graduated from Ursuline High School on 1952.

She is survived by her husband, Daniel J. Hernan, whom she married Oct. 27, 1962; two daughters, Lisa A. (Rod) Laird of Mentor-on-the Lake and Susan M. (Ray) Butcher of Warren; and six grandchildren, Lauren and Justin Laird, Sarah, Jeffrey, and Olivia Goodman, and Joshua Butcher.

Mrs. Hernan’s body has been donated to the Northeast Ohio Medical School.

The family requests that memorial tributes take the form of donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Arrangements are being handled by the McVean, Hughes, and McClurkin Funeral Home.


John Willie “Pete” Johnson, 84

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. – There will be funeral services at 11 a.m. Friday at the Third Baptist Church for John Willie “Pete” Johnson, 84, formerly of Youngstown, who departed this life Sunday, Dec. 16, at Villa St. Joseph Nursing Facility.

Mr. Johnson was born Dec. 25, 1923 in Abbeville, S.C., a son of Willie and Mary Smith Johnson.

He sang with the Dixie Hummingbirds and the Golden Gate Quartet. He worked for Republic Steel for 30 years. After retiring, he worked for the Youngstown Area Community Action Counsel for 12 years before moving to Kansas in May of 2006.

Mr. Johnson was a longtime standing member of the church.

His wife, the former Louise Ravenel, died Dec. 26, 2000.

He leaves two sons, William (Debra) Ballard of Redwood City, Calif. and Steven Johnson, with whom he made his home; two daughters, Sylvia (Bernard) Dozier of Michigan City, Ind. and Mildred (Andy) Croake of Gary, Ind.; a sister, Frances (Rufus) Lynch of Philadelphia; two sisters-in-law, Mildred Bush and Alma (J.W.) Revis, both of Youngstown; a brother-in-law, Charles Wilson of Youngstown; 17 grandchildren; 46 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; seven nieces; and a nephew.

Besides his wife, a son, Bruce Johnson; and two grandsons, Sulvester Porch and Nathaniel DuBose preceded him in death.

Friends may call one hour prior to services at the church.

Arrangements are being handled by the F.D. Mason Memorial Funeral Home.

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Lois B. “Bonnie” Jones, 60

LAKE MILTON – There will be a funeral service at 11 a.m. Friday at the Lane Funeral Home, Austintown Chapel, for Lois B. “Bonnie” Jones, 60, who passed away Tuesday evening at her home.

She was born Dec. 22, 1946 in Salem, a daughter of the late William and Lois (Justison) Smith.

Bonnie was a school bus driver for the Jackson Milton Local School District, retiring after 30 years. She was a member of OAPSE serving as treasurer, a member of the Jackson Milton Band Boosters, the Boomer Club of East Palestine, several bowling leagues, and was an avid reader.

She is survived by her husband, Glen Jones, whom she married Aug. 27, 1972; four children, Edie Jones of Troy, Mo., Tina (Paul) Ray of Lake Milton, Jeff (Davine) Sickle of New Waterford, and Chuck Jones of Lake Milton; two sisters, Patty Johnson of North Canton and Necia Hall of Boardman; two granddaughters, Michelle and Geraldyne; three grandsons, Keith, Phillip, and Jeffrey; and a great-granddaughter, Kennedy Noelle.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lake Milton Public Library, or to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in Bonnie’s name.

Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. today and from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Family and friends may view this obituary at www.lanefuneralhomes.com and send condolences.

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William David Kirkpatrick, 85

NORTH JACKSON – There will be funeral services at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Lane Funeral Home, Austintown Chapel, for William David Kirkpatrick, 85, who died late Tuesday evening at his home.

Bill was born July 20, 1922 in Dayton, Pa., the son of the late Arthur Verlin and Mamie Ellen (Anderson) Kirkpatrick.

He had retired in 1980 from Youngstown Steel Door where he had worked for 42 years as an electrician. He was a member of the General Assembly of God Church in Newton Falls and had served in the U.S. Army during WWII.

William is survived by his wife, the former Alberta Miller, whom he married Oct. 22, 1953; four children, Berlin D. Kirkpatrick and his fiancée, Roxanne Johnson of Youngstown, William E. (Christine) Kirkpatrick, Richard A. (Sherri) Kirkpatrick, and Judy A. (William) Snowden, all of Berlin Center; his siblings, Margaret Orr of Dayton, Sally Kawalcyk of Baden, Pa., Mary Norton of Arlington, Va., Shirley McEntire of Dayton, Dorothy Smith of Nu-Mine, Pa., Arthur Kirkpatrick of New Park, Pa., Donald Kirkpatrick of Kittanning, Pa.; and ten grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters, Florence VanHorn and Lillian France.

Friends may call from 1 to 3 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and one hour prior to the services Saturday at the funeral home.

The family requests that material contributions be made to Hospice of the Valley.

Family and friends may visit www.lanefuneralhomes.com to view this obituary and send condolences.

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Robert Lee McKinney, 85

YOUNGSTOWN – There will be services Saturday at 11 a.m. at the L.E. Black, Phillips and Holden Funeral Home for Mr. Robert Lee McKinney, 85, who departed this life Sunday, Dec. 16, at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Mr. McKinney was born June 30, 1922 in Manchester, Ga., a son of Willie and Addie Parker McKinney, and came to this area many years ago.

Mr. McKinney was employed as a truck driver with the Mahoning Lumber Co. He was a member of the Antioch Baptist Church and enjoyed gardening, baseball, and was an avid reader. He especially found joy in conversation with others and was an U.S. Army veteran.

He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, the former Jean “Tip” Sutton, whom he married Nov. 19, 1975; his caregivers, Charles and Jerry Sutton, both of Youngstown; a host of nieces and nephews; and other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Willie G. and James McKinney; and six sisters, Lena Stevenson, Josephine Sibley, Ida Black, Estelle Cheney, Eugenia Adams, and Janie Huff.

Friends may call from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

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Victor Joseph O’Block, 87

VIENNA – Victor Joseph O'Block, 87, passed away Monday, Dec. 17, at his residence.

Mr. O'Block was born Feb. 7, 1920 in Cliff Mine, Pa. to the late Ernest and Mary Podobnik O’Block.

He worked for more than 42 years as an assembler for General Fireproofing in Youngstown. He was a member of the Queen of Holy Rosary Church in Vienna and served with the U.S. Army during WWII. He enjoyed Polka dancing and music.

Mr. O’Block is survived by his wife, Anne Gladd O'Block, whom he married Sept. 15, 1951; two children, Anne Marie (Michael) Birskovich of Bedford and Linda (Daniel) Armeni of Liberty Township; a sister, Katherine O’Block of Youngstown; and two grandchildren, Andrea and Allison Armeni.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Christine Maretich; and five brothers, Frank, Louis, Ernest, Joseph and John.

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. today at the Queen of Holy Rosary Church, preceded by a prayer service at 10:15 a.m. at the Blackstone Funeral Home in Girard.

Interment will be at Hillside Cemetery.


Marissa Jeanne Plakosh, 18

POLAND – Marissa Jeanne Plakosh, 18, passed away in the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 15, after an accidental shooting at her home. She was rushed to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Marissa was born on June 22, 1989 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown, the daughter of Jeanne (Salata) and Michael Plakosh.

Marissa attended Poland schools through the years and had touched many hearts along the way. She was a 2007 graduate of Poland Seminary High School where she amassed numerous accomplishments. She worked very diligently to excel in school as she was a member of the National Honor Society. She was also a member of the Spanish Club, a participant in Student Leadership, and a recipient of the award for Excellence in Scholarship for the years 2003 to 2007. In addition to Marissa’s academic accomplishments, she was a very talented athlete as she played softball, lettered in golf for three years and also achieved two letters in track her junior and senior year.

Thriving in school and in sports wasn’t enough for Marissa as she maintained two part time jobs at Handel’s and at Fonderlac Country Club during her last two years of high school.

It was Marissa’s dream to attend The Ohio State University as she applied to the school on the first day that they began accepting applications. She was ecstatic when she received the acceptance letter confirming her admission into Buckeye Nation.

Marissa successfully completed autumn quarter 2007 at The Ohio State University while carrying on her scholastic prosperity. She had aspirations of majoring in human nutrition, and despite her short time there, she managed to make many good friends.

Marissa was a Buckeye through and through, and she idolized Coach Jim Tressel. Some of her finest memories took place on fall football Saturdays at Ohio Stadium.

If Marissa knew from birth that she would only have 18 years to enjoy her life, she would have behaved no differently. She had no regrets as she lived everyday to the fullest. She always made the most productive and efficient use of her time. She made it a point to work out every day at the Boardman YMCA, and if the sun was shining, she was outside enjoying every ray.

Marissa was privileged enough to travel extensively throughout her life, and she loved to vacation near any beach, including her aunt and uncle’s homes in Keuka Lake, N.Y. and Ft. Myers, Fla.

Above everything else, Marissa cherished the time that she had with her friends and family. She had an endearing affection for her best friends with whom she would spend countless hours joking and having fun. Marissa’s quick-witted sense of humor spared few from laughter. Even in school, Marissa lived to make people laugh, blessing everyone around her with her radiant smile that could light up a small country.

Marissa leaves behind her mother, Jeanne; her brother, Michael; her father and stepmother, Mike and Debbie (Gentile). She was also beloved by her grandparents, Florence and Mike Plakosh; and her grandfather, Joseph Salata. She will be sadly missed by her great-aunt, Mary Zivchak, who was like a grandmother to her. Two special people, who were an essential part of Marissa’s upbringing, were Donna and Bob Simerlink, who babysat Marissa and Michael from birth. Marissa had several aunts and uncles who have been an integral part of her life, including her godparents, Rick and Bonnie Salata, Joe and Martha Salata, Judy and Tim Babnich, Dr. Robert and Jody Salata, Carol and Gary Bertnick, Dean and Diana Colaianni, and Joe and Michelle Plakosh. Marissa also leaves 14 cousins, with whom she was very close. The holidays will not be the same without her.

Besides the loved ones that she leaves behind, “we also remember the ones that went before her; most notably her two grandmothers, Margaret and Celestine Salata. We hope that they are holding Marissa in their arms, comforting her in heaven.”

Calling hours will be today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Kubina-Yuhasz Funeral Home, 5925 Market St. in Boardman.

There will be a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Matthias Church, 915 Cornell St. in Youngstown where additional calling hours are planned from 9 to 10 a.m. at the back of the church just prior to the Mass.

As an alternative to flowers, material contributions can be made as donations to St. Matthias Church or to the Youngstown YMCA, Att: Ken Rudge. In addition, a memorial scholarship fund has been established in Marissa’s name. For more information, please contact Francesca Kosec at 330-565-3857.

Friends and family may visit http://missyou.last-memories.com/ to pay further tribute to Marissa.

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Robert T. Pucak Sr., 83

BROOKFIELD – Robert T. Pucak Sr., 83, passed away Sunday, Dec. 16, at his residence.

He was born Aug. 12, 1924 in Coalburg, a son of George and Mary Turk Pucak.

He was employed as a layout man for 27 years at Wean United in Warren, retiring in 1983. He was a WWII veteran, serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iwo Jima and Saipan. He greatly enjoyed fishing and playing golf.

He is survived by his wife, Marvelle Johnson Pucak, whom he married Oct. 12, 1946; two sons, Robert “Thomas” Pucak and his wife Debie of Hartford and Rodney Pucak and his wife Vicki of Wasilla, Alaska; two brothers, William and Richard Pucak, both of Ft. Myers, Fla.; six sisters, Helen Ferradino of Youngstown, Margaret Hoff of Niles, Dorothy Paul of Lewiston, Mich., Elizabeth Yourchisin of Conneaut Lake, Pa., Antoinette O’Bruba of Ft. Myers and Barbara Best of Warren; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Mr. Pucak was preceded in death by three sisters, Mary Delory, Viola Guest and Emily Evans and four brothers, John, Emil, George and Carl Pucak.

There is no visitation.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Contributions may be made to Forum Health at Home Hospice, 8747 Squires Lane, Warren, OH 44484.

Arrangements are being handled by the Galloway-Onstott Funeral Home in Hartford.


Marietta “Birdie Vince” Skoloda, 81

STRUTHERS – There will be services at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Clemente Funeral Home, and at 10:30 a.m. at St. Nicholas Church, both in Struthers, for Marietta “Birdie Vince” Skoloda, 81, who died Tuesday at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Boardman.

Birdie was born May 13, 1926 in Girard, a daughter of Carl and Rose Carson Vince, and was a lifelong area resident.

She was a 1945 graduate of Girard High School and had worked for Packard Electric in the harnessing department.

A member of the church and its Altar and Rosary Society, she was an avid bowler belonging to several local leagues. She also was a member of a women’s card club.

Besides her husband, Edward J. Skoloda Sr., whom she married Oct. 29, 1949, she leaves her son, Edward Jr. (Nancy) of Struthers; a daughter, Cindy (Bruce) Mannasmith of Marysville; and six grandchildren, E.J. and J.J. Skoloda, Carlye Rose, Jarrod, Devon and Aubri.

She was preceded in death by her brother, George Vince, and two sisters, Dolly Smallwood and Babe Colantouni.

Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.


Mary Ann Tubbs, 50

YOUNGSTOWN – There will be funeral services at 11 a.m. Friday at the F.D. Mason Memorial Funeral Home for Mary Ann Tubbs, 50, who departed this life Monday, Dec. 17, at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna.

Ms. Tubbs was born May 31, 1957 in Youngstown, a daughter of William “Willow” Thomas and Marcella Tubbs.

A homemaker and a member of the New Beginning Church, she enjoyed cooking, playing bingo, and spending time with her grandchildren. She graduated from Choffin Center as a certified practical nurse.

She leaves her children, Crystal J. and Marilyn Tubbs; two sisters, Ella Tubbs and Pearl Scissom; two brothers, Matthew and John Tubbs; and four grandchildren, Sarina and Marina Chatman and Felicia and Quayshaun Tubbs, all of Youngstown.

Her parents; a daughter, Alicia Tubbs; and a brother, Gary Tubbs, preceded her in death.

Viewing will be from noon to 4 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Friends may call one hour prior to the services Friday at the funeral home.

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