Vernon Ostovitch 1928-2022 | News, Sports, Jobs

STRUTHERS – Vernon Ostovich, 93, passed away peacefully, with his family by his side, Wednesday evening, Sept. 7, 2022, at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital.

Vern was born on October 4, 1928 to Joe and Mary Keller Ostovich. He grew up in the family home on Route 170, on land that is now occupied by Aqua Water Company.

Vern attended Poland Seminary High School, where he received two football letters from coach Hill McDonald. In high school, he worked for Razor Dairy, delivering milk before school.

In 1946 Vern enlisted in the US Air Force and served for three years. He was stationed at Rio Hato on Panama Island and was assigned to the 805th Engineer Platoon as a supply sergeant. He was discharged as a staff sergeant in 1949.

Vern returned to the area and attended carpentry school and was employed by several contractors before starting his own business, Vern Ostovich Building and Remodeling. He began constructing a number of new homes and commercial buildings, then focused on renovations.

Vern joined the Home Builders Association and served as secretary, treasurer and two terms as president. He was awarded Renovator of the Year by the National Home Builders Association, which was later renamed in Vern’s honor. You can find evidence of Vern’s work while driving around the Youngstown area.

Vern also served on the Vocational School Adviser Board for 10 years, representing Struthers.

Vern married his favorite polka dance partner, Betty Weber, in 1955. Together they made Struthers their home in one of the many houses he built.

A life member of The United Methodist Church in Poland, Vern sang in the choir for more than 70 years and was a faithful member of the Wednesday morning men’s prayer breakfast, for which he cooked his specialty pancakes each week. . He truly believed that no one else could make pancakes.

Vern was an avid fisherman. He enjoyed fishing for trout in the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, annual trips to Quebec with Bob Wagner, and later Bob’s son, Dave Wagner, to fish for walleye, and fishing locally with his son, Eric.

Vern was a member of Dale Carnegie. He liked to speak in public and always started with a joke. The scene was obvious to him. In his early years he was a member of the Youngstown Philharmonic Choir. He continued to entertain by playing his mandolin, harmonica, singing or telling jokes. Everyone who knew Vern loved his kind heart and wonderful sense of humor.

Vern’s first love was his family. They enjoyed camping trips together, evenings singing around the fire while he played the mandolin, and weekly swims at the YMCA.

Vern will be fondly remembered and will be sadly missed by his wife, Betty; his children, Cynthia (Jeffery) Semach of Garland, Texas, Karen (Nick) Visingardi of Poland, Eric Ostovich of Edinburgh, Pennsylvania, and Jean (Bruce) Truxall of Hillard; grandchildren, Alexis (Sonny) Mosby, Jesse Semach, Bryan (Rachael) Visingardi, Jeana (Aaron) Perkins and Jared and Justin Truxall; and great-grandson, Beau Visingardi.

In addition to his parents, Vern was predeceased by his brothers, Adam, Joe and Ted Ostovich.

Friends will be received Sunday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home in Poland and from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Monday at the United Methodist Church in Poland. A funeral service celebrating Vern’s life will follow at 11 a.m. Monday at the church, with Pastor Kenneth Gifford officiating.

Interment will follow at Poland Riverside Cemetery.

Contributions can be made to the Choir of The United Methodist Church in Poland or the Wednesday morning men’s prayer breakfast group.

Condolences can be sent to

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