CAMPBELL, Ohio – Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at Noon at the St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Boardman for Joseph E. Bratek, “Joe the Barber” who died on Saturday, July 8, 2017.
Joe was born on September 13, 1950 in Sharon, Pennsylvania, son of the late Joseph W. and Virginia R. (Kidd) Bratek.
He attended Hubbard school and graduated from Matthews High School in June of 1968. He attended Youngstown State University and in 1977 graduated from Kinchloe Barber School in Tucson, Arizona as a licensed barber and later as a master barber.
He was licensed in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He was a point away from having the highest grade on the state boards. He worked for Nobile Shoe Store, Phillips Steel in Wheatland, Pennsylvania, as a laborer and then as a foreman and into management. He was a barber in Greenville then bought his own barber shop in downtown Youngstown located in the Stambaugh building, Bank One and at the downtown YMCA for 28 years. Joe loved being a barber and having discussions with his customers and he had many loyal customers over the years.
He served in the Army National Guard with the rank of staff sergeant and was called into active duty several times during his enlistment.
He was a member of the American Legion Post# 0560, the downtown Kiwanis Club in Youngstown where he served as the Secretary and as Kiwanis Administrative Secretary for 14 years.
Joe was an all around handyman, talented in plumbing, electrical and furnace repairs along with auto repairs. He was Mr. Fixit. He enjoyed building things from wood. He made his own fishing lures and often times giving them out as gifts. He would help anyone no matter what the circumstances were. He helped coach Little League baseball and managed his own team in the Babe Ruth League. He also enjoyed basketball and soccer. He would relace baseball gloves and sometimes purchased gloves to give away. He was a self taught musician, he played guitar and had his own band. He also played the piano, organ, mandolin and harmonica. As a customer waiting in his barber shop you would hear Joe play his harmonica. He was an avid reader, two of his favorite authors, Thomas Merton and Norman Vincent Peale. His Christian faith was very strong and no one could win an argument with or about the Bible.
He is survived by his wife, Yvonne (Metzka) Bratek, they were married on October 7, 1973; his son, Joseph Jacob (Ashley) Bratek, who was his “pride and joy”; his brother, Douglas (Cynthia) Bratek and three sisters, Ronda Radcliffe, Deborah (David) Barnes and Patricia (Fred Rhodes) Bratek.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant daughter and his brothers-in-law, William Radcliffe and Roy Metzka.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 12 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. and on Thursday, July 13 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at Kirila Funeral Home, Inc., Struthers, Ohio.
A Parastas service will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12 at the funeral home.
A funeral procession will leave the funeral home at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, July 13 for the service at Noon at the St.May’s Byzantine Catholic Church.
Burial will take place in the St. John Cemetery in Coitsville.
Joe was a humble person, a great father and husband and will be sadly missed by all that knew him.
A television tribute will air Tuesday, July 11 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.