BOARDMAN, Ohio – Joseph Milan Valentich, 83, died on November 4, 2016 in Beebe Health Care Center, Lewes, Delaware.
Joe was born March 19, 1933 in York Run, Pennsylvania, son of the late Michael and Susan Bodish Valentich.
Joe was a graduate of Georges Township High School in Fairchance, Pennsylvania.
He proudly served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War, stationed in Korea and Japan. Upon returning home he attended Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania.
He was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and enjoyed traveling, cooking and playing the lottery. Joe also loved cars and passed that passion on to his children and grandchildren.
Joe was employed as an electrician at Volkswagen of America in New Stanton, Pennsylvania for 10 years where he retired in 1989 when they ceased production in North America. He was the first local union president of UAW Local # 2055 at Volkswagen and was instrumental in establishing the union at the company’s first U.S. manufacturing operation. Joe was an advocate of workers’ rights and worked with company, community and political leaders in Pennsylvania and nationally, including meeting with President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale on behalf of workers during his time in office. He then started working at Rouge Steel in Dearborn, Michigan where he retired in 2004. Joe had owned his own businesses in trucking and automotive body repair during his career and also worked in steel mills in the Pittsburgh and Youngstown areas.
He leaves his loving wife, Alice, whom he married on May 10, 1969; his children, Joseph (Melissa) Valentich, Jr. of Birmingham, Michigan, Jay Valentich (Mimi Yablonsky) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Hallie (David) Fraser of Southgate, Michigan, Michael (Ginny) Valentich of Euless, Texas, Lance (Becky) Valentich of Arlington, Texas and Lyle (Teena) Valentich of Niles; grandchildren, Alexander, Amanda, Matthew, Vanessa, Ryan, Chandon, Spencer and Heidi Valentich; great-grandson Ethan and sister-in-law, Margaret Valentich along with other nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Elmer, Fred and Edward Valentich, Isabelle Sova, Edith Franco and Eleanor Lease.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 12 at 12:00 Noon at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 280 Mill Creek Dr. Boardman, Ohio 44512 with Pastor Jody Dorsett officiating.
Visitation will be prior to the service, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon on Saturday, November 12 at the church.
The Davis-Becker Funeral Home in Boardman is handling arrangements.
The family asks that any donations be made to Starfish Family Services, 30000 Hiveley, Inkster, MI 48141 or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.
Please visit www.beckerobits.com to send condolences.
A television tribute will air Thursday, November 10 at the following approximate times:
6:41 a.m. WYTV, 8:41 a.m. MyYTV, 9:58 a.m. on FOX, 12:25 p.m. WKBN, 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV and 10:37 p.m. FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.