STRUTHERS, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Vernon Ostovich, 93, passed away peacefully with his family at his side, Wednesday evening, September 7, 2022, at Mercy Health – St. Elizabeth Health Center in Boardman.
Vern was born October 4, 1928 to Joe and Mary Keller Ostovich. He was raised in the family home located on Route 170, on the lot which is now occupied by Aqua Water Company.
Vern attended Poland Seminary High School where he received two letters in football from Coach Hill McDonald.
During high school he worked for Razor Dairy delivering milk before school.
In 1946, Vern enlisted in the United States Air Force and served for three years. He was stationed in Rio Hato on the island of Panama and was assigned to the 805th Engineers Platoon as supply sergeant. He was discharged as a staff sergeant in 1949.
Vern returned to the area and attended school for carpentry and was employed by several contractors before forming his own company, Vern Ostovich Building and Remodeling. He began building a number of new homes and commercial buildings and later focused on remodeling. Vern joined the Home Builder’s Association and served as secretary, treasurer and two terms as president. He was awarded the “Remodeler of the Year” award by the National Home Builders Association which later was renamed in Vern’s honor. You can find evidence of Vern’s handiwork as you drive throughout the Youngstown area. Vern also served on the Vocational School Advisor Board for ten years, representing Struthers.
Vern married his favorite polka dancing partner, Betty Weber, in 1955. Together they made their home in Struthers in one of many homes that he built.
A lifelong member of the Poland United Methodist Church, Vern sang in the choir for over 70 years and was a loyal member of the Wednesday Morning Men’s Prayer Breakfast, which he cooked his specialty pancakes for each week. He truly believed that no one else could do the pancakes.
Vern was an avid fisherman. He enjoyed trout fishing in the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, yearly trips to Quebec with Bob Wagner and later, Bob’s son, Dave Wagner, to fish for walleye and fishing locally with his son, Eric.
Vern was a member of Dale Carnegie. He enjoyed public speaking and always began with a joke. Performing was a natural for him. In his early years, he was a member of the Youngstown Philharmonic Choir. He continued to entertain by playing his mandolin, harmonica, singing, or telling jokes. All who knew Vern loved his kind heart and his wonderful sense of humor.
Vern’s first love was his family. They enjoyed camping trips together, evenings singing around the fire while he played his mandolin and weekly swims at the YMCA.
Vern will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by his wife, Betty; his children, Cynthia (Jeffery) Semach of Garland, Texas, Karen (Nick) Visingardi of Poland, Eric Ostovich of Edinburg, Pennsylvania and Jean (Bruce) Truxall of Hillard, Ohio; grandchildren, Alexis (Sonny) Mosby, Jesse Semach, Bryan (Rachael) Visingardi, Jeana (Aaron) Perkins and Jared and Justin Truxall and great-grandson, Beau Visingardi.
In addition to his parents, Vern was preceded in death by his brothers, Adam, Joe and Ted Ostovich.
Friends will be received Sunday, September 11 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home in Poland and Monday, September 12 from 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. at the Poland United Methodist Church. A funeral service celebrating Vern’s life will follow Monday, September 12 at 11:00 a.m. at the church with Pastor Kenneth Gifford officiating.
Interment will follow at the Poland Riverside Cemetery, Poland, Ohio.
Contributions may be made to the Poland United Methodist Church Choir or the Wednesday Morning Men’s Prayer Breakfast group.
A television tribute will air Monday, September 12 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. on WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.