AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – A funeral service of full military honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, June 26 at the Lane Funeral Home, Austintown Chapel for Frank Theodore Bodnar, Jr., 98, of Austintown who passed away Tuesday evening, June 20, 2017, at AustinWoods Care Center.
Frank was born July 18, 1918 in Etna, Pennsylvania the son of Frank, Sr. and Rose Bodnar.
He was a graduate of Newton Falls High School and served his country in the U.S. Army during WWII under General “Vinegar Joe” Stillwell in the CBI Theater of War stationed in China, Burma and India. He spent 39 months in the jungles of Burma. During that time, he and 200 men of his unit marched across the Himalayan Range into China to ward off the Japanese invaders. He was one of the less than 100 men to return to base. Frank spent his R & R in Perth, Australia, which he described as the most beautiful city he ever saw.
After the war, he married Helen Rocsiewitz and got hired at Packard Electric Plant 6 in Warren. Unfortunately, after a few years he and four others were fired for protesting poor working conditions. He then worked odd jobs to support his family. Working for East Ohio Lumber Company, Judge Lynn B. Griffith, Austin Village Plaza and Armstrong’s Farm in Champion. He finally was hired by Ajax Magnathermic, where he worked for 20 plus years.
He was a great storyteller and put his three children to bed by telling them cowboy stories. For Sunday dinners, Frank raised and butchered chickens in his backyard to make the best tasting roasted chicken one ever ate. He loved the outdoors, hunting and trapping in the winter. One very cold winter he took his children ice skating on Mosquito Creek all the way from Youngstown Road to East Market Street, which is a distance of three plus miles through the woods. Frank was able to speak several languages, Polish, Russian, Austrian to name a few. He loved polka music, bands and singing.
Frank is survived by a daughter, Linda Casey of Chicago; two sons, Richard A. of Chicago and Ken F. of Austintown, with whom he previously lived. He also leaves five grandchildren, Colleen, Ken and Charlie Bodnar, Marleen Srok and Raechel Vega; four great-grandchildren, Emily, Melanie Srok, Nathaniel Bodnar and Scarlett Vega and one sister, Pauline Kana of Austintown.
Besides his parents, Frank was preceded in death by one brother, John and three sisters, Josephine, Ann and Mary.
Friends may call from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Monday, June 26 at the Lane Funeral Home Austintown Chapel where services will be held at 11:00 a.m.
A television tribute will air Thursday, June 22 at the following approximate times:
6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.