BOARDMAN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Karen J. Stillwagon-Kannal passed away peacefully Wednesday, April 5, 2023 surrounded by her loving family.
She was born March 4, 1950 in Youngstown, the daughter of Robert and Irene Hartenstein.
Karen was a 1968 graduate of Boardman High School, attended The Ohio State University and graduated from Youngstown State University with a B.A. in Business Administration in 1975.
Karen will be remembered for her kindness, compassion and desire to help others. For 30 years, Karen was employed by Boardman Local Schools in various positions, most notably as the Certified Drug Prevention Specialist. Furthermore, she operated the adult education and after-school care programs for the district; provided referral services and crisis intervention for students and parents, classroom presentations and trainings on drug and alcohol education, prevention, depression and suicide and parenting skills; facilitated student support groups for children of divorce, depression, suicide, recovery/ abstinence, grief and abuse and district-wide teacher in-service trainings. Although not part of her job, she coordinated a secret Santa for disadvantaged youth around the holidays and would regularly raise funds to provide household essentials for families in the district, food pantry for families, support group for LBGTQ+ students, and Holocaust education. Karen helped countless struggling students overcome obstacles and barriers and would regularly hear from those she impacted the most after their graduation.
She founded the Arthritis Foundation of Youngstown and was its Executive Director. She was also the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown, the head of the family support group of the 838 Military Police Company, a member of the Junior League of Youngstown, the Lion’s Club, the PTA of Boardman Schools, National Council for PTA and S.A.D.D. advisor at the high school.
Karen was an avid reader and gardener and a great cook, however, she preferred to bake and was happiest sitting on a beach with her family listening to the waves. Additionally, she loved to travel with her husband without having a set destination. She loved attending her grandchildren’s sporting events, painting and making sure nothing was out of place in her home. Her personality was unmatched and her humor contagious. Karen always lived in the moment, was selfless and always giving to others.
Karen will be remembered by her loving husband, Ira E. Kannal whom she married October 9, 1993; one daughter, Amy (Jason) LaCivita of Huron; two sons, Douglas Stillwagon of Cleveland and David (JoAnna) Stillwagon of Boardman and her stepchildren, Lance (Heather) Kannal of Lafayette, Indiana, Heath (Crissa) Kannal of San Antonio, Texas and Amanda (Ray) Vega of Port Charlotte, Florida. She also leaves behind her grandchildren who were the light of her life, Evan, Addison and Lauren LaCivita, Lana Stillwagon; Zachary, Spencer, Burgen and Jude Kannal, Vincenzo, Miguel and Olivia Vega and Kellen Burns; siblings, Robert (Kathy) Hartenstein of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Judith Lobaugh of Canfield, Michael (Meg) Hartenstein of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Joan Graff of Cleveland and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Karen’s family would like to thank her medical team including long-time oncologist of 23 years, Dr. Antoine Chahine and oncologist Dr. Anjali Advani and nurse, Jada Skinner at the Cleveland Clinic.
Friends may call from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at the Edward J. Fox & Sons Funeral Home, 4700 Market Street, Youngstown, OH 44512.
Reverend Jerry Krueger will officiate funeral services Thursday, April 13, 2023 at the Boardman United Methodist Church, 6809 Market Street, Youngstown, OH 44512 at 10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Karen J. Stillwagon-Kannal Annual Humanity Scholarship Fund for a deserving senior attending Boardman Local Schools. Contributions may be mailed to Edward J. Fox and Sons Funeral Home.
Family and friends of may visit www.foxfuneralhome.org to leave condolences for the family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Karen J. (Hartenstein) Stillwagon-Kannal, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Monday, April 10 at the following approximate times: 6:47 a.m. on WYTV, 9:43 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.