William “Biff” Peyko, Youngstown, Ohio

My Valley Tributes

July 25, 2020

William "Biff" Peyko, Youngstown, Ohio - obit
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – A Catholic Mass and burial is scheduled for Friday, July 31, for William “Biff” Peyko, 95, who died peacefully on Saturday, July 25 at his home in Vienna, following a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease (non-Covid 19). Bill was in the care of his children and All Caring Hospice.

Bill Peyko was a special education teacher for the Youngstown City School District (Chaney High School). He retired from the district in 1987.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Youngstown University and Youngstown State University, respectively.

Prior to his educational career, he worked in the offices at Truscon Steel in Youngstown.

Bill, affectionately known as “Biff” by friends and family was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ella; his parents and three brothers.

He is survived by four children, Christopher (Judy) of Boardman, Mark of Youngstown, Eric (Tatiana) of Alamo, California and Marshawn of Vienna; two grandchildren, Matt Peyko of Battle Mountain, Nevada and Nicola (Peyko) Baldwin of San Diego; nieces and nephews and an extended network of family, friends and pets.

Following retirement, Bill remained active with volunteer work, family life and daily 5-mile walks along Scoville Drive in Vienna.

His expressive face and signature handlebar mustache were frequently featured on Metro Monthly covers.

William Stephen Peyko was born on June 15, 1925 to Vincent J. and Helen (Tarr) Peyko of Campbell. He grew up in Campbell with his parents and two brothers, Joseph and Gene. Another brother, also named Joseph, died during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

Bill was the youngest of four boys and a June 1942 graduate of Campbell Memorial High School.

His parents were of Hungarian ancestry and emigrated separately to the United States before World War I.

Bill served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He entered active military service on September 22, 1943 and held the rank of Radioman Second Class.

He was awarded the Victory Medal, American Area Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal (1 star) and Philippine Liberation Ribbon (1 star). He was honorably discharged on April 18, 1946. He also served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and was honorably discharged on February 24, 1953.

Bill married Ella Elizabeth Fenyo on May 2, 1953 at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Niles, Ohio; together, they raised four children. Ella died on December 26, 1991 but Biff loved her always.

Bill was Roman Catholic and a lifelong member of St. Stephen of Hungary Church in Youngstown. Throughout his adult life, he served on various church committees and ecumenical efforts. He was a church councilman, a member of the parish council and sang in the choir with his wife.

He also served on the board of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He was a member of the Hungarian Home in Campbell and he helped organize a popular annual Hungarian picnic at Roosevelt Park in the early 1970s.

An extrovert with a wonderful and at times irreverent, sense of humor, everyone who knew Bill loved him. He had a distinct style of dress that matched his colorful personality. Bill often included purple, his favorite color, in his wardrobe. He showed his boys how to tie a Windsor knot and he was known for always having polished shoes. He was an active and involved father, teaching his children how to ride a bike, to think for themselves, to treat people well and the virtues of hard work, honesty and giving back to the community. Although no child was his favorite, Marshawn, his only daughter, held a special place in his heart.

Bill was a humanitarian, which surfaced in his work and personal life. During a teaching career that spanned three decades, Bill taught students with developmental disabilities and tutored students after work.

Bill volunteered for Trumbull Mobile Meals and was recognized for his long-standing service to the organization. He taught English as a second language to newly-arrived immigrants and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Biff traveled to New Orleans multiple times with local volunteers to help rebuild homes.

Bill had a remarkable work ethic and he was methodical and disciplined, which allowed him to save, on a teacher’s salary, for an annual family vacation to Wildwood, New Jersey. Bill was well-read, well-liked and smart. He preferred paperbacks to hardcovers and always seemed to be reading a new book. He liked his eggs sunny side up.

Friends and family may call from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Thursday, July 30 at Szabo and Sons Funeral Home.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, July 31 at Holy Apostle’s Parish-St. Stephen of Hungary Church in Youngstown. Due to COVID-19 all social distancing guidelines will be in place and face covering will be required.   

The Peyko family would like to thank Dr. Santuccio Ricciardi and his team, the staff of All Caring Hospice; Don Lambert of Greenville, Pennsylvania and Ron Flaviano of Warren and all others for their love and support.

The family wishes memorial contributions be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Greater East Ohio Area Chapter.

Funeral arrangements were handled by Szabo and Sons Funeral Home.

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