Paul Colecchi, 68, a longtime Ravenna resident who was active in the Italian-American Society, died Monday at his home in Ravenna Township after a brief illness.
Born Aug. 23, 1929 in Ravenna, he was the son of Joseph and Gilda (DiCola) Colecchi. At age 2, he moved with his family to Roccaraso, Italy, where he lived until 1947, when he returned to the United States at age 18.
His son, Stephen Colecchi, president and chief executive officer of Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, said his father moved back to Portage County because he had family in the Ravenna area. He spoke little English when returned.
"He went to classes in Akron to learn English," Stephen Colecchi said.
Mr. Colecchi met his wife, Josephine (Ventura) at an Italian picnic in Erie, Pa. She was born in West Newton, Pa. and also has Italian heritage. Her family in Italy lived within 10 miles of Mr. Colecchi's relatives there, their son said. The couple married in 1951.
"He was very proud of his Italian heritage. He was real active at the Italian-American Society," Stephen Colecchi said. "He ran their bocci league, and he was one of the cooks for the spaghetti dinner."
Mr. Colecchi worked as a machinist and retired from Ferry Machine Co. in Kent in 1990. After he retired, he focused his attention on his 10 grandchildren and spent a lot of time at the Italian-American Society.
He was a member of Immaculate Conception Church in Ravenna, a member and past officer of the International Union Allied Industrial Workers of America, a past president and trustee of the Italian-American Society and a member of Ravenna Moose Lodge No. 1234.
Survivors include his wife; sons, Stephen (Diane) of Ravenna and Robert (Tracy) of Rootstown; daughters, Mrs. Arley (Linda) White Jr. of Brimfield, and Mrs. Charles (Carol) Schofield and Patricia Colecchi, both of Ravenna; 10 grandchildren; brothers, Vincent of Ravenna and Benny of Rootstown; and sister, Nancy Mascio of Ravenna.
Calling hours will be held from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Shorts Funeral Home, Ravenna Chapel. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Immaculate Conception Church in Ravenna, with the Rev. Leo Wehrlin officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Ravenna.
Memorials may be made to Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 1204, Ravenna.
ATWATER - Mary Virginia Combs, 78, died Tuesday at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna.
Born Sept. 13, 1919 in Congress Lake, Ohio, she was the daughter of Leo and Ruth (Coler) DeGroff. She had lived in Atwater most of her life.
Mrs. Combs worked in the linen services department at Robinson Memorial Hospital for 15 years until she retired.
She was a member of Atwater United Methodist Church, for more than 60 years. She was a longtime participant in the Rebekah Circle.
Survivors include her daughters, Mrs. Donna (Larry) Hadinger of Randolph, Mrs. Janet (Walter) Timberlake of Lexington, Ky. and Mrs. Nancy (James) Ruff of Fairfield, Conn.; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and sisters, Helen Thacker, Alice Boldizsar, Meda (Victor) Osco and Edith (John) Herchek. Her husband, Donald B., died Dec. 29, 1992. A brother, Merle (Pete) DeGroff, also died previously.
Calling hours will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Wood-Kortright Funeral Home, Atwater Chapel, where services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday with the Rev. John Mather officiating. Burial will be in Atwater Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Atwater United Methodist Church.
Virginia H. Brutscher, 85, of Ravenna, died Tuesday.
Born Aug. 11, 1912 in St. Clairsville, Ohio, she was the daughter of Sherman and Bertha (Haught) Bryant.
Mrs. Brutscher was head resident of Westminster Hall at Ohio State University for many years. She also worked at Wooster College as a dorm manager, at the Belden Hotel in Canton and the Congress Lake Club. She operated her own decorating company in Florida and was affiliated with Camp Kawanee in Weld, Maine.
She was a member of Asbury Park United Methodist Church in Florida. She was an accomplished pianist and artist and enjoyed quilting.
Survivors include her sons, Garry Hershberger of Decatur, Ind. and Donald (Susan) Hershberger of Worthington; daughter Virginia (Robert) Replogle of Charleston, W.Va.; 11 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and sisters, Dorothy Duncan of Ravenna and Doris Gordon of Rootstown. Her husband, William, son, H.M. Hershberger Jr., and daughter-in-law, Martha Hershberger, died previously.
A memorial service will be held for the family. Wood-Kortright Funeral Home, Ravenna Chapel is handling arrangements.
Memorials may be made to Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna.
STOW - Fred A. Crane, 71, died Monday.
Born in Akron, he had lived in Stow since 1946.
Mr. Crane retired from Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. in 1988 after 45 years of service.
He attended Cornerstone Community Church in Stow and was president of the Goodyear Woodcarvers.
He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II
Survivors include his wife, Oda, to whom he was married for 51 years; son, Fred (Jean) Crane of Kent; daughters Mrs. Stan (Martha) Jarris of Lexington, S.C., and Susanne of Stow; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sisters, Nina Thomann and Elizabeth Milham, both of Akron; brother-in-law Virgil Riddle of Stow; and sister-in-law Helen Crane of California.
Calling hours will be held from 2 to 4 and 4 to 8:30 p.m. today at Redmon Funeral Home in Stow, where services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, with the Rev. Bob Brubaker officiating. Burial will be at Crown Hill Burial Park in Twinsburg.
Memorials may be made to Cornerstone Community Church, 5344 Fishcreek Road, Stow, 44224.
Marie Ward, 90, of Carthage Avenue, Kent, died Tuesday at her home.
Born May 26, 1907 in Jonesboro, Ill., she was the daughter of E. Otis and Ethel May (Merriman) Anderson.
Survivors include her son, Gerald (Alice) of Lewisville; daughters, Mrs. Richard (Hazel) Patsche of Canton and Mrs. Robert (Bety Jane) Braybon of Kent; 14 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; brother, Roy Anderson of Illinois; and sister, Ruth DePriest of Michigan. Her husband, Wilbur A. died in 1981. Her brother, Carl Anderson, and sisters, Beulah Short, Myrtle Batey, Flo Parmeley and Eva Ramsey, died previously.
Calling hours will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Bissler & Sons Funeral Home in Kent where services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, with the Rev. Bruce Chouinard officiating. Burial will be in Standing Rock Cemetery in Kent.
Memorials may be made to Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation-Visiting Nurse and Hospice, P.O. Box 1204, Ravenna, 44266-1204.
Charlotte Hobson, 65, of Ravenna died Tuesday at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna.
Arrangements will be announced by Shorts Funeral Home, Ravenna Chapel.
RANDOLPH - Irene V. Dibble, 82, died Sunday after a long illness.
Born Oct. 19, 1915 in Twinsburg, she was the daughter of Christian and Elizabeth (Johnson) Hirchman. She lived most of her life in Randolph.
Mrs. Dibble was a homemaker.
She was a member of the First Christian Church of Ravenna, where she had served as deaconess. She was a member of the Randolph Women's Cemetery Association and a volunteer at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna.
Survivors include her husband, Roger, to whom she was married 60 years; son, Gary D. of North Canton; daughter, Joan E. Guy of Austintown; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Calling hours will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Wood-Kortright Funeral Home, Ravenna Chapel, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday with the Rev. Dr. Russell Goldner officiating. Burial will be in the Hillside Cemetery in Randolph.
Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.
Former Portage County resident Miriam Lucille Smith, 85, of Mansfield, died Saturday at Woodlawn Nursing Home after a long illness.
Born Dec. 24, 1912 in Portage County, she was the daughter of Carl Sheridan Gehm and Lotta Mabel (Hill) Gehm. She had lived in the Mansfield area for 60 years.
Survivors include her son, Orlo H. (Barbara) of North Canton; daughter, Diana Hammer of Mansfield; brothers, Phillip Sheridan Gehm of Alliance and Charles Calvin Gehm of New York City, N.Y.; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Her husband, Orlo L., died in 1974; her parents and a sister, Isobel Lucy Gehm, also died previously.
Calling hours will be held from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Finefrock Funeral Home, 350 Marion Ave. in Mansfield. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church in Mansfield, with the Rev. Dennis Allison officiating. Burial will be at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Greenlawn Cemetery in Uniontown.
Anna Jane (Heitmann) Gaspari of Kent died Sunday.
Arrangements will be announced by Redmon Funeral Home in Stow.
Jessica Marie Brink, 15, of Lake Milton, died Friday at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown after being injured in automobile accident.Born March 19, 1982 in Youngstown, she was the daughter of David H. Brink Jr. of Girard and Laurie D. (Tobias) Spencer. A former Youngstown resident, she had lived in Lake Milton for seven years.
She attended Jackson Milton High School.
In addition to her parents, survivors include her stepfather, Wade Spencer of Lake Milton; brothers, Richard A. Spencer of Austintown and Wesley A. Spencer of Lake Milton; sisters, Brandy of Charleston, W.Va. and Becky Ann Spencer of Lake Milton; and grandparents, Frank A. Tobias of Youngstown, David H. and Janet Brink Sr. of Girard; Ileana Brink of Homer City, Pa. and Mae Rager of Graceton, Pa. Her brother, Jason, died previously.
Calling hours will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Lakeview Assembly of God where services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Arrangements were made by James Funeral Home in Newton Falls.
William T. Custer, 83, formerly of Newton Falls, died Friday at Clearview Lantern Suite in Champion.
Born July 21, 1914 in Houtzdale, Pa., he was the son of Martin V. and Mary M. (Fetters) Custer.
Mr. Custer retired from Republic Steel where he worked in the hot mill division.
He enjoyed hunting and gardening.
Survivors include his son, Raymond G. of Braceville; daughter, Lorraine Mace of Southington; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. His wife, Elizabeth (Kinel), whom he married Oct. 27, 1939, died Sept. 10, 1996. His daughter, Elizabeth, and brothers, Elmer, Claire and Charles and sisters, Leola Olson, Ruth Jenkins, Eva Habbershon and Beatrice Gallagher, all died previously.
Calling hours will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Borowski Funeral Home in Newton Falls where services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Burial will be in Newton Falls Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Paul R. Frohring, 94, of Chagrin Falls, died Wednesday at his daughter's home in Annapolis, Md.
Mr. Frohring was a long-term board member at Hiram College, where he helped develop the college's well-known science program, including the Biological Field Station. He was also involved in the college's faculty affairs and international education.
He moved to Chagrin Falls in the 1930s where he established a biochemical factory. He moved to Bainbridge in 1945.
He was also involved in the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Hathaway Brown School, Florida Zoological Society, and the Garfield Society of Hiram College. He received the Case Alumni Association Medal from Case Western Reserve and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by John Cabot University.
Survivors include his daughter, Paula Kushlan of Annapolis, Md.; and four grandchildren; his wife, Maxine (Prince), whom he married in 1941, died in 1993. His daughter, Martha Geisel, died in 1987.
A private burial service will be held Monday. A public memorial service will be announced in the spring.
Memorials may be made to the Site Center of Cleveland, 1909 E. 101st St., Cleveland, 44101.
Grace Manges, 61, of Ravenna Township died Thursday at her home.
Born Sept. 14, 1936 in Jennings, Md., she was the daughter of Asa and Irene (Hare) House. She was a Portage County resident for 42 years.
Mrs. Manges retired from Colonial Rubber Co. in Ravenna where she was an inspector.
She was a member of the Stow Apostolic Church.
Survivors include daughters, Delaine O'Neill of Ravenna, Deanna Derby of Kent and Darlene Dunivan of Brimfield; eight grandchildren; brothers, Berlan House of Maryland and Nevin House of Rootstown; and sisters, Gennie Stocker and Juanita Bittinger, both of Ravenna, and Velora Moose of Virginia. Her husband, Grant, died in 1994. Four brothers also died previously.
Calling hours will be held from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Shorts Funeral Home, Ravenna Chapel where services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday with the Rev. Kenneth Tharp officiating. Burial will be in Maplegrove Cemetery in Ravenna.
David C. Murphy, 20, of Newton Falls, died Friday in Fort Hood, Texas following an automobile accident.
Born Dec. 19, 1977 in Warren, he was the son of Charles B. and Kathryn (Dishong) Murphy.
Mr. Murphy was serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Texas.
He was a graduate of Newton Falls High School where he played football. He was a member of the First Church of God in Newton Falls and enjoyed hunting, white water rafting and camping.
Survivors include his father, Charles B. of Newton Falls; brother, Jeffery Adam of Newton Falls; and grandparents, Amos and Elma Dishong of Newton Falls, William Murphy of Deerfield, and Frances and Lorna Gibbons of Newton Falls. His mother, Kathryn (Dishong) died previously.
Calling hours will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the James Funeral Home in Newton Falls. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the First Church of God in Newton Falls. Cremation will follow.
Esther Proietti, 72, of Ashland, died Thursday at Brethren Care Village in Ashland.
Born Sept.. 6, 1925 in New York City, she was the daughter of Alfred and Anna (Pappalardo) Bassetta. Formerly of Hiram and Mansfield, he had lived in Elmont, Long Island, NY, from 1958 to 1991 and had lived in Ashland since May.
Mrs. Proietti worked as a seamstress at a clothing company in Brooklyn, NY.
She was a member of the Valley Stream Bethlehem Assembly of God in Long Island and was a volunteer for the American Heart Association.
Survivors include her husband, Leo, to whom she had been married for 47 years; sons, Rev. Gary (Faith) of Mansfield and Dennis (Gerry) of Garrettsville; daughter, Mrs. Frank (Judy) Pignaloso of Hiram; eight grandchildren; and sisters Lucy Saginario of Fairless Hills, Pa. and Sadie Curcio of Franklin Square, NY. Three brothers and two sisters died previously.
Calling hours will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Shorts Funeral Home, Streetsboro Chapel. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in Shalersville with the Rev. Michael Bilsza officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Hiram.
MANTUA - Robert M. Samodell, 69, died unexpectedly Friday at his home.
Born Dec. 23, 1928 in Cleveland, he was the son of Zigmond and Helen Samodell. He had lived in Mantua for the past 40 years.
Mr. Samodell had retired from Montgomery Ward, where he had worked as an electronics technician.
He was a U.S. Army veteran and had attended the Christian Missionary and Alliance Church in Shalersville.
Survivors include his sons, Jim and David of Ravenna and Clark of Brimfield; daughter, Theresa Kennys of Ravenna; three grandchildren; and sisters, Jackie Wigand of Bedford Heights and Dorothy Srp of Florida. His first wife, Betty Mae, died in 1975.
Cremation has taken place. The family may be contacted for service information.
Arrangements are being handled by the Wood-Kortright Funeral Home, Ravenna Chapel.
Homer Dean (Woody) Woods, 66, died Saturday.
Born March 23, 1931, in Darby, N.C., he was a Stow resident for 44 years.
Mr. Woods worked for Bridgestone/Firestone until he retired after 30 years. He then worked for Roberts Express until 1994.
He was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church and Local 7 Retirement Club.
Survivors include his wife, Esther, to whom he had been married for 45 years; son, Dennis (Donna), daughters, Mrs. Joe (Terri) Roach of Shalersville, Mrs. John (Jane) Hainline of Akron and Sandi Woods of the home; 13 grandchildren; two great-grandchild; brothers, Colin and Fred of Ferguson, N.C.; and sister, Ruth Hughes of Lenoir, N.C. His daughter, Karen, and brothers, Cecil, Vaughn and Vernon, all died previously.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Redmon Funeral Home. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Bethany Lutheran Church in Akron. Burial will be in Stow Cemetery.