AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Eugene Chepke, 86, peacefully passed away on Friday, May 1, 2020 surrounded by family, following a long battle with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Eugene was born in Diamond Ohio in 1933, where he lived on his family’s farm with his parents Balasa and Vera Chepke and ten siblings.
Eugene was a lifelong member of the American Hungarian Reformed Church in Youngstown (now Rock View Christian Church).
Eugene was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Ramona (Battershell).
He leaves behind two brothers, George and Thomas Chepke; three daughters, Diana Kasprzyk, Beth Chepke (Tim Cimperman) and Tami Miller (Jim) and two grandsons, Jason Miller (Makenzie) and Cameron Miller (Alyssa).
Eugene played basketball, football and ran track at Jackson-Milton High school and received a full scholarship to Heidelberg College. He played collegiate football at Heidelberg for four years. The Student Princes went undefeated in his senior year and won three Ohio Conference titles during his college career.
Gene played both rugby and football while serving in the Army.
As an educator he spent his early teaching and coaching career at his alma mater Jackson-Milton for two years. He then spent the next 27 years of his career at Austintown Fitch as a health and physical education teacher, football coach and athletic director. Under Gene’s direction the athletic program for the Austintown schools encompassed 17 varsity sports, 41 junior varsity and freshman sports and 18 middle school programs. He also ran District and Regional track, football and wrestling tournaments for the state.
Eugene has been inducted into the Jackson-Milton Athletic Hall of Fame, the Heidelberg College Hall of Fame and Austintown Fitch Athletic Hall of Fame, Ohio Track Hall of Fame, as well as being selected Mahoning County Sportsman of the Year and Ohio Athletic Director of the Year. Eugene was awarded numerous other accolades during his life in both education and athletics, including Jennings Scholarship Award for Excellence in Teaching and Austintown Booster of the Year. He also served as the Vice President and President of the Northeastern Ohio Athletic Association.
Eugene served as an elder of his church and was involved in numerous community activities.
Gene enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending time with his family and numerous friends.
He will be remembered for many things, most importantly his sense of humor and his work ethic. The stories are endless and everyone has their favorite memory of Coach Chepke.
A private graveside service will be held for immediate family with a celebration of life to be announced at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in Eugene’s memory to the Jackson-Milton Athletic Hall of Fame, 13910 Mahoning Avenue, North Jackson, OH 44451 or the Austintown Fitch High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Att: Dan Bokesch, 4560 Falcon Drive, Austintown, OH 44515.
Arrangements handled by Lane Family Funeral Homes.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Eugene J. Chepke, please visit our Tribute Store.
A television tribute will air Tuesday, May 5, at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.