YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Sandra Ferenchak, 85, passed away peacefully Wednesday evening, September 29, at St Mary’s Alzheimer’s Center in Columbiana.
Sandy was born in Youngstown, on October 25, 1935, to John and Averill (Harrison) Hovart.
She was raised on the south side of Youngstown and was a 1953 graduate of South High School.
Although she dyed her hair blonde, she was a natural born redhead and had the personality to match. Outgoing, witty and funny she almost never forgot a name or a face and most people who met Sandy likewise never forgot her.
Sandy began dating Rich Ferenchak in high school and waited for him while he completed his military service in the army of occupation in South Korea. After his honorable discharge from the army, they eloped in March of 1956 to Indiana and were married by a justice of the peace since at the time a Baptist like Sandy could not marry a Catholic like Richard without converting to Catholicism and that was a conversion she was unwilling to perform. She then spent the rest of her life being a more observant Catholic than most Catholic school kids but remained a Baptist till the end.
After 11 years of marriage during which she worked for Dr. Gramet the orthodontist and then as a secretary at Youngstown Concrete Pipe, Sandy and Rich welcomed their so,n Richard. Their daughter, Heather, followed four years later and due to the expenses of raising two children, Sandy took a job as a police dispatcher at the Boardman Police Department in 1972. She continued working for Boardman Township until her retirement after almost 30 years of service.
Following her retirement, she spent her time watching her grandchildren, Makenzie, Hannah and Ricky, at their school and sports activities and acting as a neighborhood pseudo-grandmother to many of the children in her neighborhood who all lovingly called her “Grandma Sandy”.
Sandy prided herself on being a good cook and was particularly fond of making the traditional Slovak Christmas meal every year for her family. Following in the footsteps of her baker father she also baked dozens of kolache, both nut and apricot and gave them away to family and friends every year at Easter and Christmas. She loved the ocean and especially her vacations at Myrtle Beach with her husband and kids and in later years her grandchildren and extended family.
Sandy was preceded in death by her husband, Richard S. Ferenchak, who passed away September 17, 1989, as well as her parents and her sister, Marlene Carbon.
She is survived by her son, Richard (Tracey) Ferenchak and their children, Makenzie, Hannah and Ricky Ferenchak and her daughter, Heather Ferenchak.
Material tributes can be made in Sandra’s name to the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley, 962 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Youngstown, OH 44510.
Family and friends may call from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Sunday, October 3, 2021, at the Fox Funeral Home.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sandra Ferenchak, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Sunday, October 3, at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on FOX and 9:58 p.m. on MyYTV.