LOWELLVILLE, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – John R. Kotchmar, 83, passed away on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at Caprice Healthcare Center, in Boardman, after a short illness surrounded by his family.

Mr. Kotchmar was born August 11, 1939 in Youngstown, Ohio, a son of the late Andrew and Helen (Berdy) Kotchmar.

He graduated from Bessemer High School in 1957 and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Management from Youngstown State University.

John participated in the ROTC program at YSU and enlisted in the U.S. Army, reaching a rank of Major and later served in the Army Reserves.

John’s magnetic personality led him naturally to a career in sales. He worked for ten years at Firestone Tire Company in Akron, Ohio before becoming the owner and operator of the Dairy 224 Convenience Store on Center Road in Lowellville for over 40 years. At the Dairy, John’s employees and customers also became part of his family; here too, he was generous and always willing to lend an extra hand if someone was in need.

John was a member of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Campbell.

An outdoorsman and avid deer hunter, John was a member of the NRA, the Lowellville Rod & Gun Club and the Mahoning Sportsman Association. In his free time, he also enjoyed golfing in multiple leagues with friends he made over the years. As a small business owner, he was also very active in the Poland Township community and associated civil organizations. From a young age, John took on the role as patriarch for his family; if there was something to be addressed, people went to John.

John is survived by his brother, Gerald E. (Rose Marie) Kotchmar of New Castle, Pennsylvania; three nieces, Julie (John) Klimaszewski of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, Kristin Kelley of Goochland, Virginia and Beverly Vodilko of Girard, Ohio and a nephew, Robert (Becky) Vodliko of Akron, Ohio. He also had multiple great-nieces and great-nephews.

Besides his parents, John was preceded in death by his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Mary Elizabeth and Robert Vodilko and his companion of many years, Joyce Howell.

Family and friends may call on Wednesday, December 28, 2022 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. and on Thursday, December 29 from 10:00 – 10:45 a.m., at Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home, 270 N. Main Street in Poland, Ohio. There will be a funeral service on Thursday, December 29, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home with Fr. Andrew Bartek officiating.

Interment will follow at Lowellville Cemetery with full military honors.

The family requests that material tributes take the form of contributions in John’s name to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Please visit www.beckerobits.com to share memories and online condolences with John’s family.