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Tributes 2008-11-06

Donna Jean Bryson, 66

POLAND - Donna Jean Bryson, 66, died Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008 at her home.

Mrs. Bryson was born Nov. 20, 1941 in Youngstown, the daughter of Edward and Olive Lundy Toy.

She was a graduate of Struthers High School and worked as a clerk for the title department at the Annex, retiring in 2003. Mrs. Bryson will be missed by many for her outgoing personality and good sense of humor.

She leaves her mother, Olive Toy of Poland; her son, Jerry Bryson of Poland; two daughters, Terri (Tim) Kilgore of Lordstown and Sherri Bryson of Boardman; two brothers, Bill (Sylvia) Toy of California and Jim (Beverly) Toy of Poland; six grandchildren, Katelyn Bryson, Stacie Kilgore, Trace Kilgore, Amanda (Jason) Ostavitz of Georgia, Brent Daugherty, and Renee (Robert) Sass of Boardman; two great-grandchildren, Remi and Riley; and her former husband, James Bryson of New Middletown.

She was preceded in death by her father.

Donna Jean will be lovingly remembered for her comforting voice, warm smile, and loving heart. Her passion for life was always heard in the beauty of her words. Her laughter will stay behind in our hearts everlastingly as will her immeasurable strength and determination.” Love you Mom.”

A memorial service will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home, 270 N. Main St. in Poland.

Family and friends will be received Saturday from 1 to 2 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.

Please visit to send condolences.

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George A. Burich, 64

STRUTHERS - George A. Burich, 64, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack while vacationing in Sarasota, Fla.

George was born May 9, 1944 in Youngstown, a son of Andrew and the late Peggy Blasko Burich. He was raised in Campbell and lived in Struthers.

He was a 1962 graduate of Campbell Memorial High School, where he played on the 1960 Steel Valley Conference football team and he was an All Steel Valley Selection in basketball in 1962.

George received his Bachelor’s Degree in education from Youngstown State University in 1972. He later received his Master’s Degree in physical education from Ashland University in 1995.

George served in the U.S. Army with rank of Private First Class from 1966 to 1968 and was stationed in Germany.

George was a physical education and health teacher and began his teaching and coaching career at St. Mary’s in Warren. From there, he taught and was head coach at North, South, Chaney, and Wilson High Schools. George also was an assistant coach at Kennedy Catholic, Liberty and presently at the new East High School under coach Mark Cherol. He also assisted under Bob Patton for the Youngstown Pride, during the WBL years. For the past eight years, George was teaching at St. Joseph the Provider in Campbell.

Some of his coaching career highlights were as follows, Coaches Award at North High School 1976, District runner-up 1980 Class A, District Champions 1987 OHSAA, South and Wilson High School City Champs, Metro Index Outstanding Coach 1990, Liberty High School Trumbull AA League Champions, Division II Coach of the year 1993, Mahoning Valley Coaches Association Coach of the Year “South High” 1993, and District 10 Champions at Kennedy Catholic 2002 through 2005. In 2001, he achieved his “200th” career victory and celebratory plaque from the State of Ohio.

As a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, teacher, and coach, he was always kind. He helped so many young people to get on the right path in life. He gave of himself, from letting one of his players live at his house, driving far out of his way to pick up or bring home players for games or practices, buying players the shoes they needed, or even talking to his players' parents about how to help keep the kids on the straight and narrow. Without a doubt, he made a difference in so many lives.

George made life so easy, he had a way of just handling the moment and not sweating the details. If someone needed help, he just did it. No grumbling, no complaining, just done. He was truly a “people” person with a quick wit and great sense of humor. He loved to tease, loved to laugh, and completely enjoyed people. These are just some of the reasons why he maintained so many friends throughout his life.

George loved his family, friends, teaching, coaching, basketball, and traveling. He always looked forward to spending time with his grandson, whether it was on the floor playing cars, going for walks, swimming at the YMCA, visiting his great-grandfather or just running around the yard. He always had time for his grandson, Dillon, who will forever remember his grandfather, “GB.”

Besides his father of Struthers, George leaves his wife, the former Diana Hersman, whom he married Nov. 6, 1970; he also leaves his daughter, Kristina Jean (Patrick) Walsh of Ravenna; his grandson, Dillon; sister, Elaine (Joseph) Simione of Boardman; brother, Stephen “Mickey” (Elaine) Burich of Struthers; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be Saturday at 9:15 a.m. at the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home in Poland and at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph the Provider Church in Campbell, with Fr. Michael Swierz officiating. Interment will follow at the Poland Riverside Cemetery.

Friends will be received Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home in Poland.

Contributions may be made to St. Joseph the Provider School Fund.

Please visit to send condolences.

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Father Gerald X. Curran

YOUNGSTOWN – Father Gerald X. Curran was born in Lorain on Aug. 19, 1922. He was the fourth son of James P. Curran and Martha Wagner Curran.

When he was six, his father was transferred by U.S. Steel to Chicago. He loved singing in the choir, playing in the sands of Lake Michigan and visiting the Chicago museums.

In the summer of 1928, his family motored out west to the Grand Canyon. For Gerry, it was a transforming experience. His love of the West was to continue and influence his burning desire to drive caravans of school age children out west for more than 40 years. He then later retired to New Mexico in 1988, only returning to the family home in Hubbard as his physical disabilities intensified.

In 1929, his family was hit hard by the Great Depression when his father went to work one day and discovered the steel company for which he worked was closing the next day. The family scrambled to survive by selling magazines and baking. Ever after, Gerry always had a soft spot for poor children.

In 1935, his father received a call to come operate the new rolling mill in Youngstown. His father had to leave for Youngstown the day after his new baby daughter was born. The rest of the family arrived in Youngstown the July 4th weekend in 1935 on the B&O train. Until they found a home, they stayed with the Corcoran family, hence the lifelong friendship with Sister Jerome Corcoran.

He worked at Truscan Steel for one year after graduating from Ursuline High School in 1940 and then left for St. Joseph College in Indiana, then the Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and finally St. Mary Seminary in Cleveland. He was ordained by Bishop McFadden on Feb. 2, 1948. He recently celebrated his 60th anniversary in the priesthood.

He served at St. Nicholas in Struthers, St. Rose in Girard, the Immaculate Conception in Wellsville, St. Williams in Champion and retired as Pastoral Administrator at St. Joseph in 1988.

He is survived by his older brother, Paul and his sister, Mary Elaine, both of Hubbard; the children of his deceased brother, James Curran; a nephew, James P. (Carole) and son Jake of Hubbard, Mary Hoard (Jeff) and daughter Kristy and son Josh Liberty, Frank of Niles, Thomas (Maria) and son Michael of Hubbard and Liz Santiago and her daughter, Dawn of Austintown, and her son, Ernie and his wife and son of Washington, but now serving in Iraq.

In addition are many friends who were like family to him.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his infant brother and his brother, James A. of Hubbard.

Please send any contributions to the Mill Creek Children’s Center, 44 Essex St., Youngstown, OH 44502, Kids Grieve Too, 201 Rayen Ave., Youngstown, OH 44503, or Ursuline High School Scholarship Fund, 750 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44505.

Calling hours will be today, Nov. 6, from 6 to 7 p.m. at St. Rose Church in Girard.

There will be a funeral Mass on Friday, Nov. 7, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Church in Mogadore, where calling hours will be one hour prior to the funeral from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Bishop Murray will be celebrant and Father Ray Thomas, one of his former boy scouts, will be the homilist.

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

Velia DeSantis, 86

BOARDMAN – There will be funeral services at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 7 at the Rossi Brothers & Lellio Funeral Home, 4442 South Ave. in Boardman, followed by a 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Dominic Church in Youngstown for Velia DeSantis, 86, who passed away Tuesday evening, Nov. 4.

Velia was born Sept. 13, 1922 in Pacentro, Italy the daughter of Giovanni Angelilli and Fiorentina Ricci.

She was a homemaker and known for making the best homemade pizza. Velia enjoyed crocheting afghans. She was a member of the Pacentrani Club and liked to play bocce.

Besides her husband, Lorenzo DeSantis, whom she married Jan. 26, 1938, whose strength and love kept their marriage together for 69 years, she will always be remembered by her three children, John (Shirley) DeSantis of South Carolina, Frank (Michele) DeSantis of Fairlawn, and Flo (Paul) Harkey of Canfield; nine grandchildren, Debra Peters, Gina Whritenour, John Lorenzo DeSantis, Lori DeSantis, Frank DeSantis, Terri Freeman, Amie DeSantis, Dr. Paul Harkey, and Dr. Greg Harkey; 10 great-grandchildren; a sister, Maria Fabiilli of Canfield; and two brothers, Patsy Angelilli of Poland and Arthur Angelilli of Salt Lake City

She was preceded in death by her parents.

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

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Thelma L. Fields, 82

YOUNGSTOWN – Funeral services will be at noon Friday at the Greater Friendship Baptist Church for Mrs. Thelma L. Fields, 82, who departed this life Monday at Hospice House.

Mrs. Fields was born Oct. 2, 1926 in Youngstown, a daughter of Edward and Janie Campbell Williams.

She was a retired sales clerk for Strouss’ Department Store and was of the Baptist faith.

She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and an avid Cleveland Indians fan.

She leaves her husband, John A. Fields Sr., whom she married Oct. 21, 1946; children, John A. (Carolyn) Fields Jr. of Boardman and Jerry (Marilyn) Fields, two brothers, Edward (Irma) Williams and John Williams; daughter-in-law, Merriam Fields; and a sister-in-law, Dr. Jean Williams, all of Youngstown; 10 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Rodney Fields; a brother, J.B. Williams; and a sister, Vivian Wilson.

Viewing will be from noon to 4 p.m. today at the F.D. Mason Memorial Funeral Home.

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

The family would like to extend special thanks and gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff of the Coronary Care Unit, Cardiovascular Intensive Care, and Select Specialty Hospital of Humility of Mary Health Partners, Park Vista Rehab., and Hospice of the Valley for the exemplory care given to “our wife, mother and grandmother. May God bless each and everyone of you.”

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Michael Forgach, 92

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, 2008, at St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church, 4995 Glenwood Ave. in Boardman for Michael Forgach, 92, formerly of Youngstown, who died Monday afternoon at Mecklenburg Health Care Center.

Michael was born Sept. 25, 1916 in Youngstown, a son of the late John and Barbara Goduscik Forgac.

He had been a machine operator for the Chrysler Corporation for over 20 years and had also worked at the Palace Grill in downtown Youngstown.

He was a member of St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church, AHEPA and a 32nd degree Mason of the York Rite. Michael was an Army Air Force veteran having served in Sicily during WWII.

His wife, the former Anne Chaparas, whom he married June 20, 1946, died Dec. 16, 1975.

He leaves two sons, John M. (Theodora) Forgach of Charlotte and Michael J. Forgach of Phoenix; three grandchildren, Stephanie Hammonds, Michael Forgach and Joann Forgach; four great-grandchildren, Paychense, T.J., Michael and Jewell; a brother-in-law, Nick Bolkovac of Youngstown; a sister-in-law, Rose Tzarnas of Boardman; and nieces and nephews, Ruth Gresh, Ernie Forgac, Eugenia DeRose, Bill Vallos, Deanna Vallos, Nick Tzarnas and Pamela Bolkavac.

Besides his parents and his wife, Michael was preceded in death by three brothers, John Forgac, Joseph Forgach, George Forgac; two sisters, Margaret Reglin and Elizabeth Mattis; and a grandson, Christopher Forgach.

Friends may call from 11:30 until the time of the service at the church.

Arrangements are being handled by the Thompson Funeral Home.

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Louis R. Goler, 63

YOUNGSTOWN – Services will be Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008 at 10 a.m. at the Victory Christian Center for Mr. Louis R. Goler, 63, who departed this life Monday, Nov. 3, 2008, at his home.

Mr. Goler, lovingly known as “Jake” was born Sept. 2, 1945 in Youngstown, a son of Curtis and Marcella Dungee Goler.

He was a 1963 graduate of South High School and attended New York Business College. He had been employed with U.S. Steel and was a system operator at Southern California Edison for over 20 years, retiring in l990. He enjoyed doing yard work at his home and being with his family.

He leaves to cherish his beloved memory, his devoted wife, the former Patricia Hartman, whom he married in June 1965; a son, Louis Patrick (Caroline) Goler of Maryland; four daughters, Toni (Patrick) Pearson of California; Danielle (Krishon) Allen of Norfolk, Va., Crystal (Michael) Lottier of Canfield, and Candice Howell of Youngstown; three sisters, Nina (Sye) Wright and Donna (Thomas) Sprowel, both of California, and Joyce (John) Parks of North Carolina; 13 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; and a host of family and friends.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Curtis Jr. and George Goler.

Friends may call from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the church.

Arrangements entrusted to the L. E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home.

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Paul Michael Graham, 59

BOARDMAN – Services will be at 6 p.m. Friday at the Fox Funeral Home with Reverend Rick Schumaker for Paul Michael Graham, 59, who died Monday afternoon at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

Mr. Graham was born Aug. 4, 1949 in Franklin, N.H., a son of Roy M. and Mary Gayle Moriarty Graham, II.

He was a graduate of Lowell High School in Lowell, Mass. He was a disabled veteran who served in the 101st airborne in Vietnam.

He belonged to the Unity Church in Girard. He was a political activist and an avid motorcycle enthusiast. Paul was a great father who loved traveling, theater, film, history, Rock & Roll and baseball.

He leaves three brothers, Roy M. Graham III of Boardman, Steve M. (Debbie) Graham of Lowell and Billy M. Graham of Miami; a step-mother, Mary Graham of Lowell; and a sister-in-law, Debbie Duritza of Struthers.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Paul Graham; and his ex-wife, Lois Duritza.

Friends may call from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

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

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Robert E. Jones Jr., 90

HUBBARD – Robert E. Jones Jr., 90, died Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008.

He was born May 11, 1918 in Mercer, Pa., a son of Robert E. and Hazel Hovis Jones and lived most of his life in this area.

Mr. Jones worked for Wonder Bread and Hostess Cake for over 40 years, retiring in 1983.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Hubbard, Wick Lodge No. 481 F. & A.M., Aut Mori Grotto, Saxon Club and the American Legion No. 888, all of Youngstown. He also belonged to the Moose Lodge of Niles and the Italian American Club of Sharon, Pa.

Bob was a 1938 graduate of South High School and served with the Navy during WWII in the Philippines.

His wife, the former Ruth Fox, whom he married July 3, 1943, died Feb. 3, 1976.

He leaves a son, William N. (Zarie) Jones of Miami Shores, Fla.; a daughter, Virginia (Donald) Marhofer of Northville, Mich.; his beloved companion of many years, Mary McConnell of Hubbard; and five grandchildren, Eric (Angela) Marhofer, Brian Marhofer, Jason Marhofer, Jennifer Jones and Kevin Jones.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at the First United Methodist Church in Hubbard.

There are no calling hours.

Contributions may be made to the Organ Fund at First United Methodist Church, 48 Church St., Hubbard, OH 44425.

Please visit to view this obituary and to send condolences to the family.

John Mancuso, 71

YOUNGSTOWN – Private funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at the McCauley Funeral Home for John Mancuso, 71, who passed away Saturday at Camelot Arms Care Center.

Mr. Mancuso was born July 30, 1937 in Shenandoah, Pa., a son of Carl and Victoria DeAngelo Mancuso, and came to this area in 1942.

He was a corporal in the Marines serving from 1954 to 1956 and was a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

Mr. Mancuso is survived by sisters, Mary Scarsella of Girard, Jean Mancuso of Youngstown and Marie King of Indianapolis; a brother, Joseph of Conneaut, Pa.; and several nieces and nephews.

The McCauley Funeral Home

Our 106th year

Gerald J. Massie, 93

HICKSVILLE – Gerald J. Massie, 93, died on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008.

He was a 1935 graduate of Struthers High School.

He is survived by his wife, Eleanor (Barner) Massie; daughter, Janet Gordon; and son, James Massie.

Funeral services will be on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Smith & Brown Funeral Home in Hicksville, with visitation one hour prior to service.

Visitation will also be on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. with a Masonic service at 7 p.m.

Please visit to send online condolences.

Dorothy Gilkes Patta

LIBERTY – Services will be at St. Edward Parish at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, for Dorothy Gilkes Patta.

Dorothy was the daughter of the late John and Josephine Kolodziej Gilkes.

She graduated from East High School in 1951 and worked at Youngstown Sheet & Tube for 10 years. Dorothy enjoyed gardening and cooking. She was an avid bowler at Northside Lanes. Mrs. Patta was a volunteer at Focus Group.

Dorothy leaves her husband, Sam J. Patta, whom she married on Oct. 6, 1962; her two sons, John (Georgia) Patta of Brooklyn, and, Mark Patta of Liberty; one grandson; a brother, Stanley Gilkes of Grandville; and a sister, Josephine Johnston of Poland.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and sister, Jeannette Voytko.

Family and friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7, 2008 at Schiavone Funeral Home

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Silver Lining Cancer Fund, 565 E. Main St., Canfield, OH 44406.

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Viola Mae Richards, 87

SEBRING – Viola Mae Richards, 87, of Copeland Oaks, formerly of Poland died Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, at the Copeland Oaks Crandall Medical Center.

Mrs. Richards was born Wednesday, May 4, 1921, in Youngstown, a daughter of the late Carl R. and Eva Marie Lindberg Johnston.

She was a 1939 graduate of Boardman High School. After she had married and raised her three daughters, she followed her dream and became a nurse. She worked as a LPN for the Warren General Hospital for six years until 1977. She was a member of the Evangel Baptist Church and the Harmony Lodge No. 465.

She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Thomas Samuel Richards, whom she married Oct. 14, 1939; three daughters, Janet (John) Innes of Atlanta, Ga., Ruth (Richard) Bromley of Houston, and Becky (Nick) Tymoszewicz of St. Catharines, Ontario; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Richard C. Johnston; and one sister, Carol J. Muntean.

Viola's dedication and unconditional love that she showed her husband, children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be greatly missed.

Funeral services will be at the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home, Poland, Friday, Nov. 7, 2008, at noon with Pastor Randy Brunko officiating. Interment will be private.

Friends will be received at 11 to 11:45 a.m., Friday, Nov. 7 at the funeral home.

Family and friends may visit to send condolences.

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William L. Rupp, 94

LISBON – William L. Rupp, 94, of Steubenville Pike Road, passed away peacefully at 9:35 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, at Essex I of Salem following a recent illness.

Mr. Rupp was born March 15, 1914 in Lisbon, a son of the late John D. and Myrtle (Stockman) Rupp, and had lived his entire life in the Lisbon area.

He had worked as a machinist for 30 years at the EW Bliss Company in Salem.

Mr. Rupp was a 60 year member and Past Worshipful Master of the New Lisbon Lodge No. 65, member and Past High Priest of New Lisbon Chapter No. 92, member and Past Illustrious Master of Omega Council No. 44, member and Past Commander of the Salem Commandery No. 42, member of the Knights of the York Cross of Honour Ohio Priory No. 18, member of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Steubenville, charter member and Past Excellent Chief Killarney Council No. 76 Knight Masons of Ireland, and member and Past Worthy Patron of Iva Chapter No. 311 Order of Eastern Star.

Mr. Rupp was also an active member and Elder at the New Lisbon Presbyterian Church, the Lisbon Grange, the Lisbon Eagles and the Mahoning County Farm Bureau.

His wife, the former Phyllis G. Pannier, whom he married May 25, 1944, preceded him in death, June 2, 1993.

He is survived by his daughter, Mrs. James (Linda) Shurtleff of Canfield; sister, Mrs. Carl (Edith) Crosser of Lisbon; grandchildren, Megan (Bruce) Hamilton of Poland, Steven (Emily) Shurtleff of North Lima, Jordan Hall of Ravenna, and Justin Hall of Astoria, N.Y.; and great-grandchildren, Carli, AJ, and Cole Hamilton, all of Poland.

Mr. Rupp was also preceded in death by his daughter, Suzanne Jane (Rupp) Hall, and his brothers, Cecil and Dallas Rupp.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, at the New Lisbon Presbyterian Church, with Rev. Mark R. Wilds officiating. Burial will follow at the Lisbon Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday at the Eells-Leggett-Stauffer Funeral Home, where a Masonic Service will be at 8 p.m. and from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the church.

The family also suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Suzanne Rupp Hall Book Scholarship, in care of, the Columbiana County Career Center or the charity of the donor’s choice.

Friends and family may visit to view this obituary and send condolences online.

George T. Savnik, 78

YOUNGSTOWN – A Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Patrick Church in Youngstown for George T. Savnik, 78, who died early Tuesday morning at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

He was born July 12, 1930 in Youngstown, a son of Joseph and Milka (Spitko) Savnik, and resided in this area all of his life.

He attended The Rayen School until he entered the U.S. National Guard in which he served for several years. He retired in 1992 from Savnik Cleaning, and also worked as a carpet layer for 35 years. He was a member of St. Patrick Church, St. George Croatian Club, the ACC Club, and was a CB radio enthusiast.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, the former Beverly Netroe, whom he married June 21, 1958. He also leaves behind five daughters, Anne (Bill Frost) Galbraith of Struthers, Theresa (Rich) Cessna of Youngstown, Marlene (Randy) Goss of Petersburg, Lisa (Paul) Hippo of Youngstown and Loretta (Chris) Payne of Poland; a brother, Joseph (Helen) Shaik of Poland; a sister, Mary (Don) Goss of Cortland; 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and his beloved dog, Spot and bird, Jo Jo.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, John and Thomas Shaik and Steve Savnik; and a sister, Katherine Steiner.

Friends may call from 9 to 10 a.m. Friday at the Lane Funeral Home, Austintown Chapel.

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

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Warren J. “Smitty” Smith, 87

WARREN – Warren J. "Smitty" Smith, 87, died Tuesday evening, Nov. 4, 2008, at Trumbull Memorial Hospital.

He was born May 21, 1921 in Frostburg, Pa., the son of the late Jesse B. and Cora Jane (Huffman) Smith. Smitty moved to Trumbull County in the early 1940's from Punxsutawney, Pa.

Smitty served in the U.S. Army during WWII and worked at Packard Electric Corp. for 36 years, retiring as a foreman in 1978. He was a member of the Tod Avenue United Methodist Church and a 47 year member of Carroll F. Clapp Lodge No. 655 F.&AM. in Warren, entering the lodge in 1961. Smitty enjoyed cooking, baking, woodworking, antique cars and vegetable and flower gardening. He especially enjoyed raising and cultivating tomatoes.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary Jane (Enterline) Smith, whom he married June 30, 1943; one daughter, Susan Lynn (Michael) Shader of Cortland; two granddaughters, Megan Elizabeth and Laura Rose Shader; one brother, Wayne Smith of Warren; and one sister, Dorothy Neal of Frostburg, Pa.

Two brothers, Martin and Mervin Smith; and one sister, Mary Depp, all have preceded him in death.

Arrangements are being handled by the Roberts-Clark Funeral Chapel in Warren, where the family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.

Masonic services will also take place Friday evening.

Calling hours will also be one hour prior to the service at the Tod Avenue United Methodist Church, where services will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, with Rev. Anita Rayburn officiating.

Burial will be at the Crown Hill Burial Park in Vienna.

Material contributions may be made to the memorial fund at the church.

Family and friends may visit to send condolences and view the obituary.

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Earcelene Marie Taylor, 89

YOUNGSTOWN – Funeral services will be at noon Saturday at Third Baptist Church for Earcelene Marie Taylor, 89, who departed this life Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008.

Mrs. Taylor was born May 8, 1919 in Talledege, Ala., a daughter of George A. and Winzella Kirkland Hannon.

She was a homemaker, a member of the church, its missionary society, Dorcas Club, Keenagers, the pianist for the male chorus, Sunday school and Circle V. Her ambition was to be a concert pianist.

She was a 1937 South High School graduate and is the lone surviving student of that class.

Her husband, D. Milton Taylor, whom she married Feb. 6, 1942, died April 7, 1998.

She leaves her children, Reginald Hannon Taylor and Valarie Jean Cash, both of Youngstown, and David Arthur (Carol) Taylor of Liberty; five grandchildren, Kahlilah Taylor, Brandi Regina Crum, Gerilyn Taylor, Kelly Williams and Gerald David Taylor, all of Youngstown; and a cousin, Lavonia (Robert) Alexander of Austintown.

Besides her parents, a son, Deweese Milton Taylor Jr.; and grandmother, Emma Kirkland preceded her in death.

Viewing will be Friday from noon to 4 p.m. at the F.D. Mason Memorial Funeral Home.

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

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Ernest “Ernie” Thompson, 85

“Together Again”

AUSTINTOWN – Prayers will begin Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, Austintown Chapel and a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church for Ernest “Ernie” Thompson, 85, who passed away Tuesday evening at Briarfield Manor.

Ernie was born Dec. 28, 1922 in Millington, Mich., the son of Horace and Velma Thompson.

Ernie graduated from Millington High School. He was a U.S. Army Veteran serving in Burma and India during WWII.

Ernie was a truck driver for Tri County Distributing and retired in 1985. After retirement, Ernie and his wife traveled extensively. They visited 49 of the 50 states and in 2002, they made a roadtrip to Alaska.

He was a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and their Senior Citizens. Ernie was a team member of the Senior Citizens Bowling League at Wedgewood Lanes. He was also a member of Austintown AARP and the Teamsters Local 377.

His wife, the former Betty R. Balchick, whom he married April 25, 1946, passed away Sept. 22, 2005.

Ernie leaves his daughter, Donna J. Bevan of Austintown; his son, Robert E. (Melissa) Thompson of Burnsville, N.C.; his granddaughter, Tracy Lowen; and his three greatgrandchildren, Caitlin, Cassidy, and Cody Lowen.

Friends may call Friday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home.

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Phyllis T. Whitacre

WARREN – Phyllis T. Whitacre, passed into eternal life on Nov. 4, 2008 at Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital of natural causes.

On July 1, 1937 in Leavittsburg, George W. and Leoma P. (Bishop) Orndorff were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Phyllis.

Phyllis had lived in the Warren/Braceville area all her life and was a member of the Braceville Christian Church and the MacCallum Highlanders Bagpipe Band.

She married the love of her life Robert S. “Woody” Whitacre on March 18, 1956 and enjoyed 52 years of blessed marriage.

Phyllis enjoyed her old friends and making new friends, she knew no strangers. She enjoyed bagpipes and participating in Scottish events. Some of her hobbies were collecting dolls, beanie babies, jewerly, exotic Santas, and curios.

Memories of Phyllis will be carried on by her loving family, her husband, Robert of Warren; her son and daughter-in-law, George and Gretchen Whitacre of Warren; her sister, Wanda L. Keenan of Charlottesville, Va.; her sister and brother-in-law, Janice and Lee True of Charlottesville; her brother and sister-in-law, Harold and Joyce Orndorff of Manteo, N.C.; and four grandchildren, Sheila and Damian Carmella of Warren, Ian and Sarita Whitacre of Virginia Beach, Va., Jade Whitacre and her fiance, Dennis Wachs of Niles, and Madison Whitacre of Warren; and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at the James Funeral Home in Newton Falls on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008 at 11 a.m.

Friends may call the funeral home on Friday, Nov. 7, 2008 from 6 to 8 p.m. and one hour prior on Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m.

Burial will be at Braceville Cemetery.

Phyllis was preceeded in death by her parents.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Warren Family Mission, 361 Elm Road N.E., Warren, OH 44483.

Arrangements are being handled by the James Funeral Home, 8 East Broad St. in Newton Falls.

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Walter Joseph Wills, 81

AUSTINTOWN – A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St Mary’s Church in Mineral Ridge for Walter Joseph Wills, 81, who passed away Wednesday morning at Select Specialty Hospital, Boardman Campus.

Walter Joseph Wills, son of William J. and Catherine A. (Lowry) Wills was born July 18, 1927 in Youngstown.

He was a carpenter by trade and worked for several contractors before taking a position as a carpenter for the Boardman Local Schools, where he retired from in 1992. He was a 1944 graduate of The Rayen School, and a Marine Corps Veteran of WWII. He was a member and twice past president of Youngstown Aerie No. 213 F.O.E., and was also a member and the first president of Austintown Aerie No. 3298 F.O.E., of which he was one of the organizers in 1966.

It was reported in the Eagle Magazine a few years ago that he was the youngest Eagle member to serve in the Armed Forces. He also held offices in the district, and zone, and was a state officer of the F.O.E. for three years. Walter helped form the Boy Scout Troop No. 56 at the Eagles Aerie No. 213 in 1950, and was a leader there for 29 years, moving to Troop No. 3 in 1979, where he was currently a leader. He is a recipient of “Scouter of the Year” and the St. George Medal from the Catholic committee on Scouting. He was also awarded the District Award of Merit, and the Silver Beaver Award from the Local Scout Council.

Walter was also a vigil member of the Order of the Arrow. He has led a Boy Scout Trek at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and attended training at Philmont twice for “Working with Scouts with Disabilities.” He took wilderness survival training twice at the former scout training center at Camp Schiff in New Jersey. He led a contingent of scouts to a National Scout Jamboree, and was a national staff member at four others working on the “Handicapped Awareness Trail”. Walter led Troop No. 3 at a Canadian National Jamboree, at Guelph, Ontario in 1986, and attended a U.S. Canadian Jamboree in Congden Creek, Yukon Territory for the 50th anniversary of the Alaska Highway. He also led three contingents of American Scouts to Australian National Scout Jamborees in Adelaide in 1973, Melbourne in 1976, and Perth in 1979, and visited World Boy Scout Jamborees in Lillehammer, Norway in 1975, Alberta, Canada in 1983, Sydney, Australia in 1988 and Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1995.

Walter was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mineral Ridge and a was a member of its men’s club. Also he volunteered one day a week at the V.A. Hospital in Butler, Pa.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, the former Velma L. Goddard, whom he married May 31, 1952, she passed away Dec. 23, 2003; a son, Thomas P. Wills; and two brothers, Clarence H. Wills and Edward R. Wills.

Walter is survived by two sons, David E. Wills and William J. Wills both of Austintown; two daughters, Catherine A. Demczyk of Medina and Nancy J. Colbrunn of Spotsylvania, Va.; a brother, David A. Wills of Silver Springs, Md.; and nine grandchildren.

He enjoyed bowling, golf, hunting and traveling the world, having been on all seven continents.

Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Lane Funeral Home, Austintown Chapel, where closing prayers will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Donations may be made to Troop No. 3 of the Boy Scouts, in care of Western Reserve United Methodist Church in Walter name.

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

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