YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 28, 2017, at St. Charles Church, Boardman, for Charles A. Stepan who suddenly and unexpectedly passed away Friday, September 22, 2017, at his home at the very young age of 86.
Everyone that knew Charlie, which was literally everyone, thought he would live forever. He will surely live forever in our hearts and minds.
Charles was born June 30, 1931, in Chisholm, Minnesota, a son of the late Joseph T. and Mary Zallar Stepan.
He was a Chisholm High School, Hibbing Junior College, University of Minnesota and Minnesota School of Business graduate with a degree in court reporting.
During the Korean War, Charles served as a tactical advisor in the army.
After his service to our country, Charles worked as a manager at a parking garage in downtown Minneapolis before heading to Youngstown for work in 1958. There he worked as an official Mahoning County court reporter for 35 years, which he would refer to as “Youngstown’s exciting years”.
Charles was the president of the Ohio Shorthand Reporters Association, of which he was instrumental in opening the court reporting profession to women. He was a member of the the Mahoning County Bar Association Grievance Committee, the Mahoning County Bar Association Memorial Committee, the Mahoning County Draft Board, the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion Post 247 in Minnesota,the V.F.W. Post 93, the Korean War Veterans post 137 and the Greater Youngstown Chatterbox Club, which met at The Yankee Kitchen, for which he obtained weekly speakers for over five years.
He was an active member of St. Charles church for over 60 years and was a very vocal member of Father Blaskos’s Bible study group weekly.
One of his greatest passions in life was Taekwondo, where he rose to the very rare skill level of 8th Degree blackbelt. He was a Jidokwan Taekwondo competitor, judge, referee and tournament coordinator for the eastern United States. Charles won many championships in American Taekwondo. He was the All American Open Taekwondo Tangsoodo Karate and Kungfu Champion at New York’s legendary Madison Square Gardens…TWICE. He authored over 100 articles for martial arts magazines, and he wrote a book titled Taekwondo, the Essential Guide to Mastering the Art. He also wrote a fictional (or maybe non-fictional) novel called The Mesabi Bigfoot. Charles was also an inaugural inductee into the Taekwondo Hall of Fame International in 2007 and in 2015 he was inducted into the Legends of Martial Arts and Bruce Lee Hall of Honor. He was elevated to the position of Grandmaster by the Supreme Grandmaster, dear friend and mentor, Kae Bae Chun.
His wife and absolute love of his life, the former Mary Claire Miller, whom he married September 20, 1952, passed away December 1, 2013.
He leaves to cherish his memory his children, Mark Stepan (Jody), Constance Stepan Carrier (Steve), Bruce Stepan (Debbie), Tom Stepan (Kathy), Laura Stepan Wert (Guy), Alison Stepan Gady (Joshua) and Michael Stepan; 17 grandchildren, Andy, Scott, Leigh, Libby, Paul, B.J., Becky, Ben, Ryan, Craig, Jenna, Cory, Casey, Madison, Bailey, Cami and Chase and eight great-grandchildren, Violet, Charlie, Toby, Lilly, Carter, Macy, Connor and Isaac.
Friends may call 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at the Fox Funeral Home, Boardman.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like you to please consider a donation to one of these places that were near to his heart. The Adam Ports Foundation scholarship fund (To further the education of individuals who have trained in martial arts) or to the Korean War Veterans Chapter 137, c/o Bob Bakalik, 2841 South Schenley Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio 44511.
Charlie’s own words on his secret for his blessed, happy and successful life are “I had the most wonderful wife, the joy of every day of my life for more than 65 years. God how I miss her. I also had many great friends and a very special beloved friend who helped me carry on till the end”.
Arrangements are by the Fox Funeral Home, Boardman.
[A television tribute will air Tuesday, September 26 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.