YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – After a long life of service and devotion, Frances Elizabeth (Sarkies) Rouhana, was called to her eternal rest on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 surrounded by the love and comfort of her family.
Frances was born on January 26, 1922 in Canton, Ohio, the eldest of two daughters born to Thomas and Catherine (Maroun) Sarkies.
She graduated from Canton McKinley High School in 1939 and excelled at softball as a teenager. The quote next to her senior yearbook photo perfectly summed up Frances, having suffered the loss of her father when she was two years old and living through the struggles of the Great Depression with her widowed mother and younger sister: “Life is jolly in spite of many things.”
Frances married Nabeh Joseph Rouhana on September 5, 1939 and moved to Youngstown. They were married for 50 1/2 years until his passing on January 15, 1990. Together, they raised their three children with their Maronite Catholic faith as the family’s foundation. Frances devoted her life to her faith and her family, serving as its treasured matriarch and providing unlimited love and kindness to all.
For all of her married life, Frances was a member of St. Maron Church in Youngstown and one of the founders of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in North Jackson, Ohio where she was also a member of the Twenty-Five Club. Having a special devotion to the Blessed Mother, Frances was a member of the Ladies’ Guild at St. Maron Church, cooking and baking whenever called upon and serving as its treasurer for many years.
While she did not have the opportunity to further her formal education beyond high school, Frances was always keenly interested in learning and educating herself. In addition to tirelessly helping her husband with their family grocery store on the east side of Youngstown and their real estate business, Frances studied to become a licensed realtor. In the Lebanese tradition, Frances also ensured that all who came to their home were warmly welcomed and served delicious meals she prepared with no one leaving hungry. She also found time to mend and sew clothes for her family and herself with all taking pride in the results of her talents.
The sacrifices that Frances made and the strength she demonstrated throughout her life are immeasurable. Her love for her family and friends was boundless and she placed their needs before her own, there to help in any way at any time without reservation. By her living example, she instilled in her children and grandchildren her values of faith, frugality, and the importance of education and hard work. She was so very proud of each of her children and grandchildren and loved hearing about and celebrating all of their accomplishments.
In addition to her husband, Frances was preceded in death by her beloved first born son, Joseph Nabeh Rouhana and her sister, Ida K. Hayek.
She is survived by her adoring children, John Nabeh Rouhana of Youngstown and Anna Marie Seidensticker (John) of Columbus; her daughter-in-law, Geraldine Rouhana of Columbus, as well as her grandchildren, who in Lebanese tradition, lovingly called her “Sitto,” Maria (Ernest) Stromer, Joseph (Suzanne) Rouhana, Thomas Rouhana, Nicole (Bryan Maher) Rouhana, Catherine (Michael) Faber, Lannette (Peter) Karsonovich, Michael, Joseph and Emily Seidensticker and ten great-grandchildren.
Though we will deeply miss our mother and grandmother, her wise counsel and unwavering love, we feel especially blessed that God graced our beautiful Frances a long Earthly life. She was our north star and guiding light and our world is less bright without her but Frances’s legacy endures in her family and we will continue to live out the many lessons she taught us.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
A private Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, November 20 at St. Maron Church with Father Tony Massad as officiant.
Frances was laid to rest next to her husband, Nabeh, at Calvary Cemetery, Youngstown.
Arrangements were entrusted to the professional care of the Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home, 4221 Market Street, Boardman, OH 44512.
In lieu of flowers, material contributions may be made in Frances’s memory to St. Maron Church, 1555 S. Meridian Road, Youngstown, OH 44511 or the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon, 2759 N. Lipkey Road, North Jackson, OH 44451.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frances Elizabeth (Sarkies) Rouhana, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Tuesday, November 23 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.