AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – James Joseph Ferraro, 73, of Austintown, entered the gates of Heaven on Friday, September 27, 2019, surrounded by his loved ones, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
James was born February 27, 1946, in Youngstown to Joseph and Catherine (Bernard) Ferraro. He grew up in the Brier Hill neighborhood on the city’s north side.
He attended The Rayen School, where he excelled at sports. In 1963-64, he was selected for the ALL-City Football team. He was later inducted into The Rayen School’s Hall of Fame for football.
After Highschool, he attended Youngstown State University as an industrial merchandising major. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1968. He played baseball from 1965-1968 and was a four-year letter winner in baseball. In 1999, he was inducted into the Youngstown State University Hall of Fame for baseball and still holds some school records. While at Youngstown State University, he joined the Alpha Phi Delta fraternity. There he met many of his lifelong friends.
In 1971, he met and married his wife, Donna and together they have five children, Kim (Brian) Feorene, James Jr. (Megan) Ferraro, Joseph (Angela) Ferraro, Dawn (Jake) Andreadis and Angela (Eric) Neville.
Mr. Ferraro started as a part-time bus driver at WRTA, ascended through this organization until, in 1984, he became the executive director. He held this position until his retirement in June of 2018. The public transit authority, as we know it today, was shaped by his vision and hard work. In 1996, he was named “Transit person of the year” by the Ohio State transit authority.
He was a football official and softball umpire for over 30 years and loved staying close to the game. In 2006, he was inducted into yet another Hall of Fame, for his baseball accomplishments. This time it was the Curbstone Coaches.
Of all his accomplishments in life, nothing made him prouder than the title of “Papa.” He loved adored and doted over his 11 grandchildren at every chance he got; Kirstie, Kandace, James III, Aiden, Luciano, Vincenzo, Athena, Adrianna, Aria, Savannah and Dillon.
He will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him, including his wife, children, grandchildren, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews, along with countless friends and professional acquaintances.
His generosity, caring nature and ability to simply make others smile and laugh, are what most will remember.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents and sister, Rosemary H. Umburger.
There will be a memorial Mass held on Friday, October 4, 2019, at 10:00 a.m., at St. Patrick Church, 1420 Oak Hill Avenue, Youngstown.
There is no calling hours, but James’ family will greet everyone following the Mass in the lower church hall, where the mercy dinner will take place.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the professional care of Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home, 4221 Market Street, Boardman.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his honor to Potential Development, 880 East Indianola Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44502.
Family and friends may visit www.rossisantuccifh.com to sign the guestbook and send condolences to James’ family.