YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Steve Ference passed away on the morning of Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at his home in the Shepherd of the Valley retirement community in Girard, Ohio.
Steve was born in March 24, 1932 in New York City, New York to Steve and Theresa Ferenc.
He spent his childhood in Youngstown, Ohio where he attended Catholic school and served as an altar boy. As a teen, he participated in high school sports and church-sponsored functions. He began his college studies at Ohio University in 1952, however, had to pause college in June 1953 when he was drafted into the United States Army due to the Korean War. He served two years in the Army Medical Corp as an X-ray technician. He married Helen Durig during a January snowstorm in 1955. He completed his military service in June 1955 and resumed his college studies at Youngstown State University, graduating in 1959 with a Bachelor of Engineering.
After graduation Steve worked as an engineer for several companies in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In the early 1960s, Steve and Helen moved to Bucks Country, Pennsylvania where their children, Ken and later Amy came on the scene. Steve was a parent leader for Ken’s “Tribe” in the YMCA Indian Guides. In 1974, the family relocated to Vienna, Virginia as Steve began his 22-year career with the Federal Government at the General Services Administration.
In the later 1970s, Steve began an almost 15-year hobby that Helen would likely say was an obsession. Amy was playing softball in the McLean Girls Softball League. When her team’s coach stopped showing up, Steve jumped right in and took over coaching. Even after Amy moved to the next league age group and then to high school softball, Steve continued coaching. When not on the field, he could be found in his study running statistics, strategizing game plans, and building skills development scenarios for his players. Several times, he took his teams to the softball world series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Steve and Helen were enthusiastic travelers and traveled extensively across Europe and Scandinavia, as well as multiple cruises in the Atlantic and Caribbean. For many years, they were Florida “Snowbirds” and spent winters at their condo in Naples, Florida. They loved their time in Naples with family and friends and away from the Virginia chill.
In 2003, they moved from Vienna to River Creek in Leesburg, Virginia. They soon became active members of the community, making many dear friends. Steve enjoyed afternoons at the club house playing bridge with his friends.
In 2020, Steve moved back to Ohio after Helen’s untimely passing.
He is survived by son, Ken Ference of Girard, Ohio; daughter, Amy Ference Kraynack and grandson, Nicholas Kraynack, both of Ashburn, Virginia; brother John Kish of Davie, Florida; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dean and Deane Dravis of Girard, Ohio and brother-in-law, Keith Durig of Warren, Ohio. Steve’s loving nieces and nephews, John, Jr. and Kathy Kish, Susan (Kish) and Sam Lilly, Doreen (Dravis) and Joe Svarny, George Dravis, Keith Durig, Jr., Jonathan Durig, Andrew Durig, Daniel Durig and several great and great-great nieces and nephews, also survive.
Arrangements are being handled by the Lane Family Funeral Homes.
To send flowers to the family of Stephen, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Monday, November 14 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.