POLAND, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Thomas Andrew Krestel, 71, passed away at his residence surrounded by his family, Tuesday afternoon, September 20, 2022, after a courageous one year battle with pancreatic cancer.
On October 10, 1950, Tom was brought into the world by his grandfather, Dr. Henry Helling. He was born in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, to his parents, John and Jeane Helling Krestel.
Raised in Ellwood City, Tom was a graduate of Lincoln High School, Class of 1968. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies from Geneva College.
His employment as a disc jockey for WFEM in Ellwood City led him to teach broadcasting at the Struthers High School radio station, WKTL. In addition, Tom served as Athletic Director, coached boys basketball, girls basketball and girls softball. He retired from Struthers High School in 2011 after 30 years of service.
Post retirement, Tom served as Athletic Director for Lowellville High School for one year. He also worked at Rolling Hills Golf Course until becoming a babysitter, (a job he was most passionate about), for his grandchildren.
For over 40 years, Tom was an active member of the Struthers Presbyterian Church, now known as Struthers Parkside Church. He served as Chairman of the Congregation, Elder and taught Senior High Sunday School.
An avid golfer, Tom was a member of the Thursday Night Golf League at Reserve Run. A sports enthusiast, Tom was ever present for his children and grandchildren’s games, Friday night football cheering on the Struthers Wildcats, as well as the Sunday Pittsburgh Steelers games. Tom especially loved road trips and family vacations. His favorite vacation spot was Topsail Island, North Carolina or any place with sand and water. His favorite place to be was alongside his best friend and wife, Linda.
Tom volunteered his time helping Linda with her Rotary duties and events and in 2021, Struthers Rotary honored their dear friend, Tom, with the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award.
Tom will be remembered as fun loving and mischievous and always ready to bust on someone. He put the “Fun” in day-to-day activities and sincerely appreciated life’s moments. When he was delivered his diagnosis, Tom said, “It is what it is” and continued to live his life his way, with positive determination and love.
An adoring husband, father and grandfather, Tom leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of almost 43 years, Linda Wilt, whom he married October 6, 1979; daughter and son-in-law, Nicole and Dan Caldwell of Boardman, Ohio; son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Brittany Krestel of Struthers, Ohio; two sisters, Helen “Pudy” (Kenneth “Biff”) Pander of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania and Rebecca Marcella of Poland, Ohio; sister-in-law, Patty (Andrew) Wanca of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania; brother-in-law, Dale (Lisa) Wilt of Poland, Ohio; five grandchildren, Zac, Alex and Maddie Caldwell, Jackson and William Krestel; six nieces, Shelly (Brian) Reiser and Missy (Harry) Frelin, all of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, Lisa (Michael) O’Leary of Michigan and Amber, April and Audrey Wanca, all of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania and one nephew, Paul Marcella of New Castle, Pennsylvania.
In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his father and mother-in-law, Dale and Carol Wilt.
Friends will be received Friday, September 23 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Davidson-Becker Funeral Home, 11 Spring Street and Saturday, September 24 from 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. at Parkside Church, 110 Poland Avenue, both in Struthers.
A funeral service celebrating Tom’s life will follow Saturday, September 24 at the church at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor James Berkebile officiating.
Interment will follow at the Poland Riverside Cemetery.
Tom’s family would like to express their sincere appreciation for the wonderful care provided by the doctors and staff at the Cleveland Clinic and Hospice of the Valley.
The family requests, in memory of Tom, memorial contributions be made to the Cleveland Clinic Philanthropy, research for cancer, P.O. Box 931517, Cleveland, OH 44192-1655 or www.give.ccf.org; Hospice of the Valley, 5190 Market Street, Boardman, OH 44512 or www.mercy.com to the Hospice and Palliative Care; or to Struthers School Foundation for Educational Excellence, 99 Euclid, Struthers, OH 44471 or www.struthersfoundation.com.
A television tribute will air Thursday, September 22 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.