SHARON, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – William Lee Sham, a lifelong Sharon resident, passed away on Thursday, October 1, 2020, in UPMC Shadyside Hospital, Pittsburgh, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 69.
Mr. Sham was born October 12, 1950, in Sharon, a son of the late Leo and Marilyn (Kelly) Sham.
He attended the former St. Joseph Parochial Grade School, Sharon and was a 1968 graduate of Sharon High School.
Bill attended Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, his freshman year of college and was a 1972 alumnus of Grove City College where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
He was a regional general agent for Motorist Mutual, Columbus, Ohio and previously worked in the same capacity for Protective Life, Sharon, for nearly 30 years.
Bill was a lifelong active member of St. Joseph Church, Sharon and was known for his love of Christmas and the holidays. He belonged to the Life Underwriters Association and was a former member and past president of the City of Sharon Police Pension board of directors.
Bill was inducted into the Mercer County Hall of Fame in 2014 and served on its board of directors. He was an outstanding all-around athlete who also made a tremendous contribution to thousands of young athletes as a coach. He was a member of the first championship team in the history of the Mercer County Midget Football League. He was an all-MAC tackle on the Sharon High football team and a letterman on the 1966 undefeated team as a junior. During his freshman year of college at Wittenberg University he played football and baseball before transferring to Grove City College where he played football for three seasons. He went on to play for the semi-pro Penn-Ohio Blasters football team. Bill organized and played in the first three alumni football team fundraisers for Sharon High School. He served for 26 years as the offensive and defensive line coach for Sharon High School and the team won many league, district and state honors. He also coached football at Kennedy Catholic, Hickory, Brookfield and Mercer high schools as well as Hiram College. He coached linemen in more than 125 playoff games. Bill also played baseball as a youngster on several all-star teams. He played American Legion Baseball and had tryouts with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles. He played in the Youngstown Class A League and the Pymatuning League. He also coached high school and junior varsity league ball. In softball, Bill played in the Shenango Valley Church Modified League on St. Joseph’s team and served as player-manager for 10 years.
Surviving is his wife, the former Jane R. Peale, whom he married October 26, 1974 in Silver Spring, Maryland; a daughter, Ashley M. Sham of Hermitage; a son, Lee A. Sham and his wife, Kamala, of Hubbard, Ohio; two sisters, Vickie O’Hara and Kelly Rudge and her husband, Frank, all of Hermitage; a brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Ann Carpenter, of Williamsburg, Virginia and numerous nieces and nephews. He was looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild, whom is due in a couple of weeks.
Besides his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his father and mother-in-law, Alexander and Irene Peale.
The family suggests memorial contributions be directed to the Hillman Cancer Center, 5115 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232 or to the Mercer County Hall of Fame, c/o James Tamber, 695 Christy Road, Hermitage, PA 16148.
Calling hours will be from 4:00 -7:00 p.m., Monday, October 5, 2020, in J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 1090 E. State Street, Sharon.
Funeral Mass of Christian burial will be 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, October 6, 2020, in St. Joseph Church, Sharon, with Rev. Thomas Whitman, pastor, as celebrant.
Interment will be in St. Rose Cemetery, Hermitage.
A television tribute will air Sunday, October 4, at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on FOX and 9:58 p.m. on MyYTV.
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