Richard J. Billak, Youngstown, Ohio

Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home

October 19, 2021

Richard J. "Rick" Billak, Youngstown, Ohio-obit
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Dr. Richard J. Billak passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 after a courageous battle with COPD.

Rick graduated from St. Mark’s Seminary in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1965. He then received his bachelor’s degree from Gannon University in 1969 and his Ph.D. from Kent State University in 1976.

Rick was the founding CEO of the Community Corrections Association formed in 1974. He retired December 2013. He was a licensed psychologist and taught at Youngstown State University, Kent State University and Penn State University as an adjunct professor.

Over the years both he and the agency received multiple awards including International Community Corrections Association for being a “pioneer” in Community Corrections and the Community Leadership Award from Leadership Mahoning Valley. He was inducted into the Mahoning County Democratic Party Hall of Fame. Locally he also served as Chair of the Mental Health Board and the Youngstown City Scape Board.

During his career he testified in front of the U.S. Congress and spoke at the London School of Economics.

Professionally he served as President of several organizations including the Ohio Community Corrections Association, the Ohio Justice Advocacy for Community Corrections and the International Community Corrections Association. He also served as Chairman of the Mental Health Board and the Boards of Youngstown City Scape and The Rich Center for Autism.

Dr. Billak was praised for the improvements of the Market Street Corridor.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene, of 44 years who died of cancer in 2013.

He leaves behind his son, Attorney Damian Billak; a sister, Andrea Rossi (Sam); a brother, Dr. James Billak (Katie); his partner, Karyn Kosek-Rovder and four grandchildren, Jake, Max, Riley and Lily.

In his memoirs, Dr. Billak warned of the damage done by smoking and urged those who smoke to seek help in quitting.

Friends may visit at Rossi Santucci Funeral Home, 4221 Market Street, Youngstown, Ohio from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 29, 2021.

Father Peters will officiate the Funeral Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1420 Oak Hill Avenue, Youngstown on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Richard J. Billak, Ph.D. Scholarship in Criminal Justice Foundation at Youngstown State University.

The family requests that a mask be worn if you have not been vaccinated. Please follow the 6 ft. CDC guideline AND if you are ill, please do not attend.

Family and friends may visit to sign the guest book or send condolences to Rick’s family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Richard J. “Rick” Billak, please visit our floral store.

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