Stephen J. Yakunich
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93, passed away peacefully at St. Luke's, North Canton, on Oct. 2, 2013. He was loved by all those who knew him as 'the old guy', a pleasant, courteous and funny man. He was born in Monaca, Pa., Feb. 1, 1920 to Marko and Barbara Yakunich, and spent his early years in Pennsylvania before moving to Ohio. He was a proud member of the United Auto Workers, and spent 44 fruitful years at the Hercules Engine Co., Canton, before retiring in 1985. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, including the invasion of Okinawa, serving aboard USS LSM-77. He enjoyed being a past member of Porky's Old Timers and the Canton 50+ Club, serving as vice-president. He was also a long time member of the Canton Croatian Lodge 514, as he was very proud of his ethnic heritage.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Barbara Yakunich (1929); father, Marko and stepmother, Barbara Yakunich; brother, George; sister, Ann Sanders, Rosalie Peck, daughter; and Stephen Yakunich, son. He is survived by his loving wife of 73 years, Rose Yakunich, (nee Verbanick); daughters, Barbara Moledor and Judy Yakunich (Sheree Fratus, partner); sons, Joseph (Michelle) and Phillip (Nancy) Yakunich; many nieces, nephews, 14 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren. Also, a special mention of all the Lewis's who were his step- brothers and sisters. He loved his growing family and spent his time attending family events, most importantly, the Croatian picnics, where he danced and sang his favorite Croatian tunes and ate lamb, halushki and nut rolls. He also had a special fondness for our Mom's sarma and beans and cabbage soup. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him throughout the nine decades of his life. Even he was surprised at his longevity and overall good health. The family would also like to thank the staff of St. Luke's and Senior Independence Hospice for their kind and compassionate care.
Please come and greet the family as they celebrate him for the last time. He loved a good party which will be held at the Reed Funeral Home (North Canton Chapel) Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Monday at St. Paul's Catholic Church (241 S. Main St., N. Canton) with Rev. Stephen Zeigler officiating. Interment will take place at Calvary Cemetery. Those wishing to send their condolences or share a fond memory may sign the Reed On-line Guestbook at
Reed Funeral Home
705 Raff Road SW Canton, OH 44710
Published in The Repository on Oct. 4, 2013