CANFIELD, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Richard E. Sternagel, 76, passed away Tuesday evening, March 23, 2021 after an 18-year battle with MS and from recent heart issues.
He was born March 5, 1945 in Youngstown, a son of the late George and Wanda (Mack) Sternagel.
Richard attended YSU and Ohio State University for his undergrad degree in social work and completed his master’s degree at WVU in 1973. While completing his master’s degree, he spent six weeks in Japan as a part of this program, which he enjoyed and treasured as a wonderful life experience.
He began his career with the Welfare Department and retired from Woodside Receiving Hospital in 1996, where he spent most of his career. While there on staff, he advocated for his peers as a union steward and testified in Columbus to advocate for state licensure of social workers, which came to fruition because of his efforts. (One of his proudest achievements) Following retirement from Woodside, Richard consulted and worked part-time for the local Epilepsy Foundation and the Renal Care Group, until his MS diagnosis in 2003.
He was a former member of Grandmaster Chun Tai Kwon Do, NASW member and the West Virginia University Alumni Association.
He was an avid reader, enjoyed computer work and games. Rich was passionate and loved the Browns, the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Cleveland Cavs and Indians. Other favorites were chocolate chip cookies and ice cream drumsticks, which he enjoyed on a daily basis. In his pre-MS years, he was an avid runner, completing several marathons and received a black belt in karate. He also taught karate for many years.
He married the love of his life, Janet L. (Jacola) Sternagel on October 5, 1991 and they were looking forward to celebrating their 30th anniversary, which wasn’t meant to be.
Richard is also survived by his mother-in-law, Virginia M. Jacola; nieces, Stacey (Atty. Steven) Schermer of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Lesley Gent of South Beach, Florida and Rebecca (Atty. John) Silva of Foxboro, Massachusetts; great-nieces, Hayley Schermer, Brooke Schermer and Katelynn Dineen; great-nephew, Andrew Silva; cousin, John (Janet) Sternagel and their children, John and Megan Sternagel and cousin, Florence (Dr. Pat) Cestone and their daughter, Louisa Cestone.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Joseph Sternagel; father-in-law, Anthony J. Jacola and sister-in-law, Janice Gent.
He will be deeply missed by his wife and all who knew him.
Family and friends may call Wednesday, April 7, 2021 from 10:00 – 11:45 a.m. at St. Michael Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 12:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, material tributes may take the form of donations to St. Michael Church, 300 N. Broad Street, Canfield, OH 44406 or Multiple Sclerosis Society National, 4300 Belmont Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44505.
Professional arrangements are being handled by Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard E. Sternagel, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Monday, April 5 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.