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Tributes 2009-10-27

Vill Samuilavich Chernyak, 85

YOUNGSTOWN – Vill Samuilavich Chernyak, 85, passed away on Oct., 25, 2009.

He was born on April 17, 1924 in Siberia, Russia.

Vill spent the majority of his adult life serving as a Navy officer in St. Petersburg, Russia and immigrated to Youngstown with his family in 1991 by an invitation from the Burdman and Friedkin family.

 Vill was a graduate of the Russian Naval Academy in Vladivostok, Russia and was a World War II veteran, who received many honors and served his country admirably for over 40 years.

He was an outstanding athlete, an avid reader, a great storyteller, and a true survivor during his difficult and fascinating life. He was a brave and intelligent man, a loving son, brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, who will truly be missed.

He was preceded by his father, Samuil Chernyak; mother, Hannah Sadovich; a brother, Salamon; and his sister, Bella Chernyak.

He is survived by his loving wife and Doctor, Bella Davidovna Chernyak, with whom he shared a lifetime of happiness. Last September, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

He is also survived by his son, Vladimir and his wife, Svetlana and their children, Dan of Columbus and his wife, Amanda Luntz Chernyak and granddaughter, Masha of Chicago. During his last two years of life his great-granddaughter, Molly Eliana Chernyak, brought him his last moments of joy and laughter. His passing away is being taken by his family as a reminder of how precious life is and how important it is to enjoy each moment to its fullest. L’chaim.

Funeral services were held Monday at 1 p.m. at El-Emeth Coitsville Cemetery Chapel.

Contributions may be made to Temple El-Emeth.

Arrangements are being handled by the Shriver-Allison-Courtley-Weller-King Funeral Home.

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Jared R. Clay, 34

NILES – Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the Lane Funeral Home, Niles Chapel for Jared R. Clay, 34, who died early Sunday morning at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

He was born March 17, 1975, in Warren, a son of Darrell R. and Sandra M. (McElhaney) Clay, and he resided in this area all of his life.

He was a 1994 graduate of Mineral Ridge High School, where he played basketball among other activities. He had worked as a custodian at the Petro I76 Truck Stop and he also worked for the Blue Beacon Truck Wash.

Jared enjoyed playing basketball, fishing, helping his dad work on cars, and watching NCIS with his mom. He also enjoyed going to Burger King and Taco Bell, and he was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan.

Jared was a kind and loving young man, and he will be sadly missed by all those who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his mother, Sandra, with whom he made his home; his father, Darrell (Carla) Clay of Southington and six siblings, Trina (Gary) Mechling of Warren, Rick (Heather) Telshaw of Edinburg, Christopher Clay of Warren, Corey (Kristin) Telshaw of Boardman, Jesse Clay of Austintown and Jessie Leigh Clay of Hartford. He also leaves behind his grandmothers, Pat McElhaney and Jean Clay, both of Niles, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, John McElhaney and Eugene Clay; a grandmother, Ruby Raschilla; a niece, Kayla Telshaw; and a cousin, Michael Clay.

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

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

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Walter W. “Bill” Johnston, 62

BOARDMAN – There will be services at 11 a.m. today at the Anstrom-Velker Funeral Home, 75 E. Midlothian Blvd., for Walter W. “Bill” Johnston, 62, who died Wednesday afternoon at St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center.

He was born Feb. 27, 1947 in Lowellville, a son of William G. and Mildred Irene Swindell Johnston and moved to Youngstown at the age of five.

Bill was employed by GM in Lordstown with the Bargaining Committee for the U.A.W. He had previously held positions with Volkswagon in Charleston, W.Va. in labor relations, with Stamping Corp. in Michigan, as a human resource manager and at Oxford Automotive in Masury, as corporate manager of Labor Relations.

Bill was a 1965 graduate of South High School and had attended Kent State University. He was a member of the former Central Christian Church, Argus Lodge No. 545 F.&A.M., the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite-Valley of Youngstown, a member of the planning committee for the South High Class Reunion, was an avid NASCAR racing fan and enjoyed working around his home.

Bill was a devoted father, brother and son, who will be deeply missed by his loving family and friends.

He is survived by his daughter, Kelly J. Johnston of Michigan and his brother, David B. Johnston of Boardman.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Friends may call today from 10 to 11 a.m. at the funeral home, prior to the service.

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Sophie Lazorchak, 88

YOUNGSTOWN – A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at St. Mary Byzantine Church, and prayers offered at 9:15 a.m. at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, Austintown Chapel for Sophie Lazorchak, 88, who died Saturday morning at Meridian Arms.

Sophie was born May 5, 1921 in Czechoslovakia to the late Michael and Apalonia (Richanofky) Charnoky and she came to America when she was nine years old.

She attended Holy Name School. Sophie was a member of St. Mary Byzantine Church and enjoyed cooking at church and being a “Pirohi Lady.” Sophie enjoyed nature and working outside. She was happiest with her hands in the dirt of her garden. She and her husband, Alex, enjoyed traveling together no matter how short or long the journey.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Alexander Lazorchak, whom she married Aug. 12, 1941, and he died Aug. 2, 2002. She was also preceded in death by her daughter, Melanie Greco and brother, Joseph Charnoky.

She is survived by her two daughters, Carolyn (Tom) O’Hara of Austintown and Joyce (Frank) Bassetti of California; a son, Alex (Christine) Lazorchak of Youngstown; eight grandchildren, Alex Lazorchak, Catherine Lazorchak, Shannon (Randy) Kusic, Tom (Jennifer) O’Hara Jr., Glendon (Tarra) O’Hara, Dennis (Kristen) O’Hara, Nathan Bassetti and John Greco; six great-grandchildren; a sister, Dorothy (Steve) Glova of Mantua; and a sister-in-law, Elaine Charnoky of Youngstown.

Friends may call today from 5 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home.

A Parastas and Rosary will be said at 4:45 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Mary Byzantine Church.

Please visit to view the obituary and to send condolences.

Jean E. Lucas, 79

BEL AIR, MD. - Jean E. Lucas, 79, formerly of Youngstown, went home to our Lord and Savior on Friday, Oct. 23, 2009.

Jean was born on Jan. 29, 1930, the daughter of the now departed Andrew and Margaret Babincky and was the wife of the departed Charles M. Lucas.

She was the third eldest of five children, Andrew Paul, Olga Margaret, Rita Marie and Julie Louise, all of whom are also deceased.

Mrs. Lucas is survived by her loving children, Stuart M. Lucas of Bel Air and Jeanne M. Lucas of Frederick, Md. Jean also leaves many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends, who dearly loved her and will miss her greatly.

Jean was a devoted wife and mother, who committed her life to serving God, her family, her friends and others, offering loving support, Godly wisdom, and encouragement to all. Jean was also involved with volunteering her services in her community, and will be truly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Family and friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28, (with a celebration of life service at 6 p.m.) at Kinnick Funeral Home, 477 N. Meridian Road in Youngstown.

Family and friends may also call from 10 to 11 a.m. on Thursday at the funeral home, where funeral services will take place at 11 a.m.

A procession will follow to Lake Park Cemetery in Youngstown, where Jean will be laid to rest next to her husband.

Flowers may be sent to the funeral home and/or contributions may be made in memory of Jean to the Highlands School Inc. Scholarship Fund, 2409 Creswell Road, Bel Air, MD 21015.

Visit to view this obituary and to send on-line condolences to the Lucas family.

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Dorothy L. Messer, 80

AUSTINTOWN – Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. at the Lane Funeral Home, Austintown Chapel for Dorothy L. Messer, 80, who died early Sunday morning at her home.

Dorothy was born Sept. 4, 1929 in Barberton, the daughter of the late Howard and Myrtle (Gaugler) Wellons.

She had formerly been a hostess at Dutch Pantry and Perkins Restaurant and had last been employed at Wal-Mart in the jewelry department. She had been a volunteer for the Salvation Army and enjoyed bingo.

Her husband, Robert O. Messer, whom she married June 1950, died June 25, 1973.

She is survived by a son, John R. Messer of Austintown; two brothers, Howard Wellons of Toledo and Robert (Betty) Wellons of Allentown, Pa.; six grandchildren, Amy (James) Spencer, Robert (Angela) Messer, Joseph Messer, Jennifer (Dan) Fu, Justin Messer and Joshua (Brandie) Messer; six great-grandchildren; and her companion, John Aquisto.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her son, Jack; and a sister, Carol Messer.

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

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

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Elaine L. Patrick

PALM HARBOR, FLA. – It is with great sadness that the family of Elaine L. Patrick, announces her passing on Oct. 19, 2009 at her home.

Elaine was born July 2, 1941, in Pennsylvania, daughter of the late John and Florence Stagg Felix.

Formerly of Youngstown, moving to Florida in 1983, she was a switchboard and answering service operator for many years at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater.

Her passion was cake decorating, and many people enjoyed her beautifully decorated creations. She also taught cake decorating and had won many awards for her work throughout the years.

Most important, she will be forever remembered for her deep devotion as a mother and grandmother.

She will be deeply missed by her children, Yvonne (her constant caregiver for the past 15 years) and her husband, Dennis Mayorga, with whom she made her home, Karen (Dean) Adams of Palm Harbor and Raymond (Michelle) Patrick Jr. of St. Petersburg. She also leaves her grandchildren, Derek and Raymond Adams, Ian and Tyler Patrick and Brittani Jarrett; sisters, Margie Lewis of Columbiana, Sharlene Easterday of Struthers and Shirley Douvis of Austintown; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her former husband, Raymond “Jerry” Patrick Sr.; brother, John Felix; and nephew, Keith Bigley.

Her final resting place is Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater. “All that we are or ever hope to be, we owe to our mother, Elaine”

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Virginia Marie (Hritz) Petretich, 60

CANFIELD – Virginia Marie (Hritz) Petretich, 60, passed away peacefully at her home with close family at her side late Sunday evening, Oct. 25, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

She was born Feb. 28, 1949 in Youngstown to Joseph and Agnes (Oravec) Hritz, and grew up on Manor Avenue in Struthers/Poland.

She graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School in 1967, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 1973 from Youngstown State University. Virginia was employed by the State of Ohio at the Youngstown Developmental Center, where she served the families of those with developmental disabilities until the onset of her illness in 2003.

She was married to Frank Petretich on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1973.

Frank and Ginny lovingly raised two children, Jaime (Stephen) Pontius of Austintown and John (Mara) Petretich of Fayetteville, W.Va. She leaves four grandchildren, Catherine and Stephen Pontius and Kyle and Brin Nickolas; and a brother, Terrence (Dorothy) Hritz of Struthers and sister-in-law, Karen (Louis) Cannatti, who Virginia had always considered the sister she never had. She also leaves a niece, Nancy Hritz of Boardman; two nephews, Joseph Hritz of Boardman and Michael Cannatti of Youngstown; and many cousins and close friends.

She was a longtime devoted member of St. Michael’s Parish in Canfield, where she served as a Eucharistic Minister. She was a committee member for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Bowl-a-thon held annually in Warren to raise money for research and awareness. She was also a member of the Jednota Women’s Lodge in Struthers and the Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge 66 in Youngstown. She annually volunteered her time for the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and other illness related charities.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her in-laws, Frank and Ann Petretich; brothers-in-law, John and Joseph Petretich; and several aunts and uncles.

Virginia touched countless lives with her empathy, love and quiet grace, and she will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers at Hospice of the Valley for their compassionate care of Virginia at the Hospice House, and through visits to the family home.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Hospice of the Valley in memory of Virginia.

Friends may call on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Friday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Canfield, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m.

Vaschak-Kirila Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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

Vaschak-Kirila Funeral Home, Dedicated To Caring Since 1907

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Marylee T. “Lee” Whirrett, 73

SHARON, PA. - Mrs. Marylee T. “Lee” Whirrett, 73, of 4938 Maple Drive S.E. in Vienna, died peacefully on Friday at 2:15 p.m. at Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren after a brief illness.

Mrs. Whirrett was born in Sharon, on Nov. 5, 1935, the daughter of the late Granville B. and Dorothy (Ferguson) Turner.

Lee was a 1953 graduate of Sharon High School and went on to earn a degree in mathematics from Hiram College at a time when such degrees were dominated by men.

She had worked as a computer engineer and project supervisor at WCI Steel Ohio for 24 years. After retiring, she went to work as a prescription assistant for S.C.O.P.E., also in Warren. She had previously worked at Lockheed Corporation, where she was the first female computer engineer, and for Republic Steel and LTV Steel.

Active in the community, she was a blood donor for the American Red Cross and volunteered for Rotary, the Vienna Presbyterian Church, and for S.C.O.P.E. of Warren.

Lee will long be remembered by all her family and friends for her optimism and cheerfulness. There are so many words to describe her: compassionate, dynamic, energetic, fun, supportive, intelligent, honest, truthful, analytical, before her time, full of life, stoic, and strong in her beliefs. Everyone who knew her would agree and could tell a story of how each attribute fit her.

Lee excelled at whatever she did. She was a seamstress who enjoyed the art of quilting. She was also very active with aerobics, tap dancing, ballroom dancing, and traveling. Even in her last days, she was focused on what she wanted and did not want with her concerns for her family and friends. Lee was a wonderful mom, grandmother, aunt and friend.

She was a member of the Vienna Presbyterian Church, where she had served as an elder.

She was the widow of John David “Dave” Whirrett, whom she married on Nov. 18, 1961. He died in 2005.

Her survivors include her daughter, Susan Pedan of Joshua, Texas; her son, James M. “Jamie” Whirrett of Columbiana; a granddaughter, Dana Hilty; three grandsons, Michael and Bret Pedan and Macen Whirrett; and a great-granddaughter, Piaton Pedan. She also is survived by her sister, Barbara Case of Visalia, Calif., and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Friends are invited to call Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Harold W. Stevenson Funeral Home, 264 East State St. in Sharon.

Funeral services will be at the Harold W. Stevenson Funeral Home in Sharon, at noon on Thursday, Oct. 29, with the Rev. Henry Pierce of the Vienna Presbyterian Church officiating.

Interment will be at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Hermitage, Pa.

Visit to emailed condolences to the family.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Howland Branch Library, 9095 East Market St., Warren OH 44484 or to S.C.O.P.E., 220 West Market St., Warren, OH 44484.

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Jewel J. Wrench, 91

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP – Private services where held for Jewel J. Wrench, 91, who died Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, at her home.

She was born on March 9, 1918, in Youngstown, the daughter of the late Joseph and Margaret (Wighton) Herman.

She was a 1937 graduated of East High School, and worked many years as a dental hygienist for Dr. Albert Kovic.

She married Robert Wrench in April 1962 and he passed away March 11, 2004.

She is survived by a daughter, Patricia R. Price of Liberty Township; two grandchildren, Jewel (Frank) Benson and David (Sue) Price; seven great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Bill Wighton.

Arrangements were handled by the McClurkin Funeral Home, Girard.

Interment was at Churchill Cemetery in Liberty Township.

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