AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – John Leonard Beene, 85, of Austintown, passed away early Saturday morning, April 8, 2023.

John was born February 12, 1939 in Youngstown, the son of Nicola and Anna (Ucci/Hutch) Bini/Beene and was a lifelong area resident.

John attended St. Columbia Elementary School and East High School for two years. He then transferred to Ursuline High School where he graduated from in 1956. He excelled as a defensive tackle in football at both high schools and was extremely proud of the 1955 Ursuline vs East game that he played offense and defense throughout the whole game. John said it was the best game in the history of Youngstown football.

John proudly served in the United States Army – Co A 5th, MTB 33rd Armor Second Division being stationed in Fort Knox Kentucky from September 6, 1961 until September 5, 1963. He also served in the United States Army Reserves from 1963 until receiving his Honorable Discharge on August 31, 1967.

John retired from the railroad after 44 years of service as a railroad signalman starting with the ErieLakawana/Conrail Railroad and is currently Norfolk Southern Railroad.

He was a lifelong active member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica and was proud to have grown up as child in the house which was directly behind the church. John was head usher for numerous years, volunteered and was in charge of the bars and workers at the monthly spaghetti dinners and during the annual Italian Festival along with being a member of the Vestibule Club. John also previously served on the Greater Youngstown Italian Festival Committee where he helped bartend for many years along with volunteering at the St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry.

John had a passion for bowling. He has bowled since 1965 with a high game of 300, high series of 766 and his high average was 197. He competed in 1 ABC Tournament, 20 State Tournaments and 25 Youngstown Tournaments. He was president of the Sunday Nite early birds at Mar-hill Lanes and Boardman Lanes for 15 years and loved bowling with his wife, Marlene, in this league. John also was a Director for the Youngstown Bowling Association from 1999-2003 where he served as president for four years and was director of the year in 1988-1999. He was a member in numerous leagues at Hy-Skor, Bellwick, Wedgewood Lanes, Colonial Lanes, Amron, Mar-Hill, A-Plus, Boardman Lanes, Marvondale Lanes, Champion Lanes and Crest Lanes. John was inducted into the Youngstown Bowling Association Hall of Fame on June 22, 2003.

John was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 301, lifetime member of the VFW Post 1423, lifetime member of the ITAM Post #2 and was a previously a lifetime member of the ITAM Post #3 where he also served as a State Commander. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Assembly and also a member of the Bishop Fenwick Council 13586 at St. Dominic Church where he was inducted into the Knights of Columbus Hall of Fame.

John always looked forward to socializing with his childhood friends from Smokey Hollow at the monthly breakfast and was a member of the Ursuline Class of 1956 lunch group. He developed a love for cooking after his wife became ill and enjoyed canning pasta sauce, making wine which he won numerous awards on and watching Westerns. He also loved to listen to Elvis and was a die-hard Cleveland Browns and Indians fan.

John married the love of his life, the former Marlene Serra, on July 15, 1961 and they celebrated over 55 years of marriage until her passing on October 19, 2016.

John leaves behind to hold onto his precious memories his daughters, Michele (Tim) Lowry of Canfield and Christine (Scott) Smith of Hanoverton; his beloved grandchildren, Austin, Chase and Broc Lowry, all of Canfield, SGT Drew C. Smith of Boardman, Cassidy Smith and Alexandra (Matt) Thomas, both of Hanoverton; two brothers-in-law, Vincent (Delores) Serra of Swanton and Nicholas (Michelle) Serra of Wadsworth, along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Besides his parents and wife, John was preceded in death by his brothers, Anthony (Delores), Leonard (Mary), Rev. Joseph, Ralph (Jerry) and Hank (Madeline) Beene.

Family and friends may pay their respects on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home, 4221 Market Street, Boardman.

There will be a prayer service held on Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 9:20 a.m. at the funeral home, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, 343 Via Mount Carmel, Youngstown with Father Michael Swierz as celebrant.

Entombment will take place at Calvary Cemetery, where military honors will be provided by the great men of the Ellsworth VFW Post 9571.

Family and friends may visit to send condolences to John’s family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Leonard Beene, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Tuesday, April 11 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. Video will be posted here the day of airing.