Joseph A. Shurilla completed his earthly journey on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at the age of 88. He was born in Youngstown, Ohio and graduated from Poland Seminary High School. He was a veteran of the United States Navy, having served aboard the USS Atka, an ice-breaker in the Arctic and Antarctica. His duties gave him opportunity to see polar bear cubs and Emperor Penguins, both of which delighted him.
Upon completion of his service, he joined his brothers’ construction company in the Youngstown, Ohio area for several years. He then chose to pursue degrees in education, and attained his Master’s Degree as well as additional coursework. He taught in the Sebring and Louisville School districts. While at Louisville, he became one of the area’s pioneers in vocational education. His career path led to service as Supervisor of Vocational Education at Alliance High School and finally to Director of Vocational Education for the North Canton City School District. He was also instrumental in training entry-level carpenters through the carpenters union.
Joe was a master carpenter, who built two homes for his own family, and helped build several other homes in the area. In retirement, he skillfully remodeled an 1886 Victorian home in Louisville built by a Civil War veteran which became the Mainstay Bed and Breakfast, still in operation today. He enjoyed visiting with guests, and always knew when to share a joke or a word of compassion.
Joe loved golfing with his league partner, Ed Baines, and with his daughter and grandsons. He enjoyed travel, from the epic two-week camping trips with his young family to more than 30 states, to cruises throughout Europe and visits in Mexico. He cherished his Hungarian roots, and was thrilled to visit Budapest, Hungary. He was a great dancer and enjoyed playing cards whenever the family could pull a foursome together. He enjoyed Cleveland Indians baseball, Cleveland Cavaliers basketball, and proudly sported his Ohio State Buckeyes cap and sweatshirt.
Joe was a loving and devoted husband and father, and was always ready to lend a helping hand to friend and stranger alike. He was preceded in death by his parents, Stephen and Elizabeth (Barko) Shurilla and his ten older siblings. Left to cherish his memory are his loving and devoted wife of 63 years, Mary, his children Chrysanne (Craig) Timm and Joseph (Cindy) Shurilla, grandchildren Matthew (Brittany) Timm, Brian Timm, Holly (Steve) Smith, Grant Ferguson, great-grandchildren Grayson Timm and Steven and Cindy Smith, longtime dear friend Fr. Jim McKarns, Jack, the dog he rescued, and the birds he loved to watch and feed.
Joe’s family will celebrate his life privately. He will be buried at sea by the United States Navy. Should anyone want to give donations in his memory, they are invited to consider St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Stier-Israel Funeral Home 330-875-1414
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