AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Joseph H. “Joe” Tarantino, Jr., 69, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 13, 2023, at Omni Manor Health Care Center. Joe died from complications of many diseases he battled for more than ten years including cancer, kidney disease, leukemia, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, among others. Throughout all of these trials, Joe never complained and his faith remained strong. 

Joseph was born February 19, 1953, in Youngstown, the son of Joseph and Wanda Jankowski Tarantino and was a lifelong area resident.

He attended St. Casimir Elementary School and graduated from Ursuline High School in 1971. 

Joe loved being around people and always had a story or funny joke to share. This friendly personality made him very successful in his career. 

Joe worked retail sales and management for several companies including Plaza Records, Service Merchandise, Sun TV and Jewel Mart. He was a wizard with electronics and stereo systems and served as manager of several departments throughout his career. Customers would often return to buy other products, always asking specifically for Joe to help them!

He was a member of the former St. Casimir Church and very active with many organizations within the church until its closing. Joe was a member of the St. Casimir Choir and often provided special guitar music for church celebrations at Christmas and Easter. He was a member of Holy Apostles Parish, Sts. Peter and Paul Church on Covington Street in Youngstown. He was very blessed and proud to serve hundreds of Catholic teens as the music minister for the CELEBRATE program which he helped to develop many years ago. Joe was the guitarist and musical coordinator for CELEBRATE weekends and weekly meetings. He was given the nickname of “Jingling Joe” because he wrote original songs for the students based on the theme of their group. Joe continued this service for almost 30 years at various churches including St. Joseph Church in Austintown, St. Charles Church in Boardman, St. Michael Church in Canfield and St. Anthony of Padua Church in Youngstown. He loved this opportunity to share his faith with these high school Juniors and Seniors. Joe received the Pius X award from Bishop James Malone for more than ten years of volunteer service to the Catholic Church.

Joe loved playing the guitar, singing and writing songs. He enjoyed reading and was also a talented artist. He loved using watercolor or acrylic paint to create his beautiful beach and water scenes. In every picture he drew, there was his precious little black dog, Mydnite.

He leaves to cherish his memory, Julie Kallebaugh Medicus Tarantino, whom he married August 8, 2009; his stepchildren, Amy Medicus Hollabaugh (Jeff) of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and David (Julie) Medicus of Youngstown; two sisters, Tonia Mikula of Liberty and Valerie (Fred) Setneska of Selma, North Carolina; one brother, Damian (Russ) Tarantino of Boardman; a sister-in-law, Mary Tarantino of Cortland; two stepgrandchildren, Katie and Nathan Hollabaugh; three nephews, Ed (Liz) Mikula, Bob Mikula and Matt (Bridget) Mikula; a niece, Sophia Tarantino; one great-niece, Olivia Mikula; two great-nephews, Maverick and Rhys Mikula and Julie’s brothers, Joseph (Gerri) Paulicivic and George (Betty) Paulicivic.

Besides his parents, he was peceded in death by a brother, Terry Tarantino; a nephew, Marcus Tarantino and a brother-in-law, Scott DeArment.

Family and friends may gather to pay respects from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Monday January 16, 2023, at Kinnick Funeral Home, 477 North Meridian Road, Youngstown.

Funeral services will begin at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at the funeral home and will continue with a Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Apostles Parish, Sts. Peter and Paul Church.

Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Youngstown.

Joe’s family would like to extend a very special thank you to the entire staff of Omni Health Care Center for their care and kindness during Joe’s illness. A special thanks also goes out to those who took care of Joe on a daily basis and the nurses and staff of Hospice of the Valley for their assistance during this difficult time. 

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Monday, January 16 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.