POLAND, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – William Hall Countryman, “Bill,” was a man who embodied the qualities of a true gentleman, devoted husband, loving father, caring brother and doting grandfather. He passed on peacefully with his family by his side on Thursday, June 1, 2023 after a 20-year battle with cancer.
Through many medical trials, his contributions will aid others in their fight. While we mourn his loss, we celebrate the remarkable life he lived and the everlasting impact he had on all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Bill was born on March 1, 1943 in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of Jackson M. and Martha A. Countryman.
He graduated from Youngstown State University with a Master’s Degree in Business, where he also made his career and was affectionately known to the YSU community as the “mayor of Youngstown State.” A man like no other; he impacted countless students with a can-do attitude. He retired after 40 years as the Executive Director of Enrollment Services.
As a proud Army Veteran, he served his country in Thailand during the Vietnam War. During his time, he received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Sailing was an early passion, which later became an integral part of his life’s journey. The sea is where he found solace, peace and the freedom to be himself. His love for sailing was contagious and he eagerly shared his knowledge and enthusiasm with anyone who expressed an interest. Beyond his sailing endeavors, Bill also had a passion for cars. From his first Porsche to his last Corvette, he acquired an astounding 80 cars over the course of his 80 years. From classics to special editions, his collection reflected his interests and evolving tastes. If Bill were not on the water or behind the wheel of a car, he could be found in his workshop. He had a natural talent in woodworking and completed many projects on his own simply by ‘figuring things out.’
His character radiated kindness, positivity and genuine warmth. He possessed an innate ability to make others feel valued and appreciated. His motto in life, “be kind and gentle to all”, was emulated in the way he lived his every day; whether it was a warm smile, a comforting word, or standing when a woman entered the room, Bill’s presence brought comfort and joy to those around him. His unwavering optimism was infectious and he had a way of finding the silver lining in every situation.
Bill Countryman’s legacy will endure through the countless lives he touched, the lessons he imparted and the love he shared. He leaves behind a profound void that will be felt by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He leaves behind his cherished wife, Martha (Dunn) Countryman. Their journey together spanned 34 remarkable years, filled with joy and devotion – a bond that transcended time and exemplified the true meaning of partnership and unwavering support.
He instilled in his children, Christy (Jim) Pepperney of Poland, Ohio, Carrie (David) Bentley of Easley, South Carolina and Kate (Chris) McGarity of Powder Springs, Georgia, the values of compassion, integrity and kindness. While leading by example, teaching them to navigate life’s challenges with grace and to cherish every precious moment.
One of Bill’s greatest joys in life was being a grandfather. He looked forward to spending quality time with his grandchildren, Lauren Pepperney, Aaron (AJ) Pepperney, Jackson Pepperney, Jake Armbruster, Jonah Bentley and Addie McGarity. Enjoying their laughter and imparting his wisdom that will resonate within them for generations to come. He was their greatest supporter, always with something positive to say.
The eldest of three, he shared a special bond with his brother, Keith “Phred” (Jeanie) Countryman of Salem, Ohio and Candy (Ken) Scott of Denver, Colorado with whom he shared many moments together soaking up the sun at his happy place–Lake Erie.
In addition, he leaves behind four sisters-in-law, Virginia Shonk of Dallas, Texas, Maureen (John) King of Newark, Ohio, Bernadette (Tom) King of Lancaster, Ohio and Patricia (Roland) Cardin of Tolland, Connecticut, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Jackson M. and Martha A. Countryman; grandparents, Atty. William L. and Sophia H. Countryman; father and mother-in-law, Arthur V. and Marie E. Dunn and sister-in-law, Margaret Rice.
The family would like to thank UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Oncologist Dr. Leonard Appleman, Lisa Zanardelli, RN and all the nurses in the clinical trials and cancer treatment center. In addition, the family appreciates the ICU team at UPMC Shadyside.
A private memorial service to celebrate the life of Bill Countryman will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to UPMC Hillman Cancer Center to support genitourinary cancer research. Please make checks payable to University of Pittsburgh and mail to: UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, UPMC Cancer Pavilion, Suite 1B, 5150 Center Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. Donations can also be made online at http://www.upmchillman.com/donate, or Family House, 5308 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224. Online donation: familyhealth.org.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the professional care of the Rossi Brothers and Lellio Funeral Home, 4442 South Avenue in Boardman. Family and friends are encouraged to offer prayers for the family and support via phone call, text, email or may visit the Book of Memories at www.rossifunerals.com.
A television tribute will air Sunday, June 11 at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on WKBN and 7:58 p.m. on FOX. Video will be posted here the day of airing.