POLAND, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Richard A. Ornelas, 87, passed away on Sunday, December 18, 2022.

Richard Allen Ornelas was the second of five boys born to the late Ascension and Catherine (Carrocce) Ornelas, on January 10, 1935 in Lowellville, Ohio.

Richard attended Elm Street and St. Nicholas Schools, and Struthers High School where he excelled in football and track.

He was an Altar Boy and sang in the choir at St. Nicholas Church in Struthers.

He left high school to work in construction and did everything from brick laying to demolition. Richard and his four brothers grew up in the company houses behind the steel mills in Struthers. Their dad worked for the railroad and their mother was a homemaker. He would often reminisce about his brothers and their childhood living in the company houses during the steel mills and depression era.

Richard joined the Marines in 1954 and went through basic training on Paris Island in South Carolina. After training, he was stationed at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina where he was an MP. He went to the Mediterranean for six months on the USS Salem Flagship and his tour included Italy and France; there he served as the Captain’s Orderly and Brig Sentry. He left the Marines in 1957 with an honorable discharge.

In life, Richard carried himself with dignity and pride. He was very particular about his appearance no matter the occasion and was frequently told he was the best-dressed guy at various events. He had a great sense of humor, he was a lover of nature, he enjoyed outdoor activities and gardening. Music and cooking were his two passions. He enjoyed listening to jazz, blues and his favorite entertainer of all times, Elvis Presley. One of his pastimes was visiting the casinos and seeing entertainers live in concert, especially those he grew up listening to. He especially loved cruising and visited various parts of Mexico, Bermuda and many of the Caribbean Islands. 

Richard was employed at General Motors in Lordstown in the early 1970s and worked in various departments. He retired in December of 1998. In 1999, he relocated to New York after meeting the love of his life, Marguerite Casey, whom he married. 

He was blessed to have lived long enough to appreciate the company of three generations. He is survived by his wife, Marguerite; his brothers, Larry and Daniel; four children from his first marriage, Richard, Marguerite, Jackie and Anna Marie; six grandchildren, Nickolas, Claudina, Mitchell, Angelina, Jimmy and Anthony; two great-grandchildren, Marley and Parker and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Dave Ornelas of Coitsville and Ray Ornelas of Lowellville. 

Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, December 27, 2022, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Kirila Funeral Home, Inc., 258 Poland Avenue, in Struthers, followed by a service starting at 7:00 p.m.

The family deeply appreciates every act of kindness and every expression of comfort extended to us during our bereavement. In addition, we would like to also acknowledge many doctors, nurses and the staff at the Cleveland Clinic who worked so diligently to give Richard a fighting chance.

A television tribute will air Sunday, December 25, at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on WKBN and 7:58 p.m. on FOX.