BROOKFIELD, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Stephen J. “Steve” Kochera, 84, of Brookfield, Ohio, passed away Saturday morning, November 5, 2022, in his home.
Born on September 6, 1938, Steve was the beloved only child of Steve and Lillian (Detelich) Kochera.
He graduated from Brookfield High School in 1956. An athlete during his early years, he was actively involved in baseball, basketball and football, lettering four years in baseball and three years in football. He played guard and linebacker for the Brookfield Warriors and was president of the Varsity Football Club. During the 1955-1956 undefeated season, Steve was presented the Shenango Valley Outstanding Slav Athlete Award, by the Farrell Carpo Russ Athletic Association. A final tribute occurred in 2015 when Steve and his teammates were inducted into the Football Hall of Fame by the Brookfield Athletic Association in recognition of their 1955 undefeated season. Steve also demonstrated his ardor for music in high school by becoming an accomplished trumpet player and was the lead trumpet player for two years. He performed in swing and marching bands and executed his vocal skills as a member of the chorus.
From 1961 to 1967, Mr. Kochera served as Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves. He was assigned to the 858 Quartermaster Unit, Company 1 30-7, which served out of Farrell, Pennsylvania.
A certified, skilled pipefitter, Steve worked for Sharon Steel Corporation. He was proud of his trade and a perfectionist. In the early 1970s, Steve assumed a great responsibility as Head of the Pipe Shop Blood Bank, becoming a frequent donor himself.
From 1982 through 1986, he acted as Director of the Membership Committee for the Warren Jr. Military Band. He recruited young musicians from Trumbull, Mahoning and Shenango areas. To help defer expenses for members’ competitions and travel, Steve called bingo twice a week for five years.
Following the closing of Sharon Steel’s Farrell plant in 1992, Steve retired with 34 years of service. He then enjoyed leisure time, including meeting with fellow friends for coffee and conversation. He took pleasure in taking his wife shopping, vacationing, dining out and later, traveling by bus.
A favorite pastime for Steve was watching televised sports. He was a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan.
Mr. Kochera was a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Vienna, Ohio. Prior to its consolidation, he attended St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church, Masury, Ohio, for the greater part of his life.
The Brookfield native will always be remembered as a car and truck enthusiast. He customized and personalized his vehicles, especially his trucks, which did not go unnoticed during sunny day drives.
Above all, Steve’s family was regarded by him as being first and foremost in his life. Their wants and needs were his ultimate priority.
Surviving is his wife, the former Annette Caruso, whom he married on July 10, 1965; a son, Steven S. Kochera (Julie) of Hermitage; special friends, cousins and Godchildren.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents.
The family suggests memorial contributions be directed to the Shenango Valley Animal Shelter, 2599 Broadway Road, Hermitage, PA 16148.
As requested by Steve, there will be no calling hours. All services are private.
Interment will be in Brookfield Township Cemetery, Ohio.
Arrangements handled by J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, November 9 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.