The Herald, Sharon, PA

Local news Monday, Jan. 13, 2003 newsie
These are the top stories in today's print edition. Pick up a copy on the newsstand or contact us for convenient home delivery.

Summaries of the week's news appear in the Sunday edition. These current and past weekly chronologies are online as are day-by-day links to past stories and deaths.

Today's death record

  • Benjamin Bissett Jr., 74, of 450 Collier Road, Mercer.
  • Vera Leone Bowser, 89, Greystone Country Estates, Fredonia, formerly of Sharpsville, and Dayton, Pa.
  • Ian Scott Forbes, 72, of 118 Plum St., Greenville.
  • Oren L. Harry, 90, Dallas, Texas, formerly of the Shenango Valley.
  • Robert H. Steese, 55, of 441 Blacktown Road, Grove City.
  • Howard D. Turner, 81, of 223 Second Ave., Sharon.

Today's obituaries
(Wait a moment for this page to finish loading before clicking a name link)
Robert H. Steese
Jack W. Lary
George W. Cook
Howard D. Turner
  Robert Crawford
Oren L. Harry
Vera Leone Bowser
Ian Scott Forbes
Benjamin Bissett Jr.

Robert H. Steese
Restaurateur was GC grad, active in grange, veteran

Robert H. Steese, 441 Blacktown Road, Grove City, died of natural causes at 8:38 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2003, in United Community Hospital, Pine Township. He was 55.

Mr. Steese was born Nov. 3, 1947, in Grove City to Robert Elton Steese and C. Frances McDowell Steese.

An alumnus of Grove City High School, he attended the Shenango Valley Campus of Pennsylvania State University in Sharon and was owner of Steese's Ice Cream & Country Restaurant, Grove City.

As a member of Center Presbyterian Church in Grove City, Mr. Steese formerly held the office of elder.

Active in the Grange Association, he served as master of grange for London Grange and Mercer County Pomona Grange; and was a member of the National Grange and Pennsylvania State Grange, the latter for which he was steward of grange and a past state deputy. Mr. Steese was a past president of Volant Lions Club; an honorary member of Grove City Kiwanis Club; and was a former Pine Township auditor in Mercer County.

He served in the Vietnam conflict with the U.S. Army.

His wife, the former Carrie Jo Widdowson, whom he married on June 17, 1972, survives at the residence.

Also surviving are: a daughter. Amanda J. Steese; a son, Robert A. Steese and his wife Jennifer; and his mother, C. Frances Steese, all Grove City; two sisters, Virginia C. Richardson, wife of Walter H. Richardson, also Grove City; and Patricia Jean McAdams, wife of Larry E. McAdams, Fredonia; and two grandchildren, Robert P. Steese and Jarod F. Steese, both Grove City.

Mr. Steese was preceded in death by his father and an infant sister, Sandra Louise Steese.

Memorial contributions may be made to Center Presbyterian Church, 333 Center Church Road, Grove City 16127.

Robert H., 55, of 441 Blacktown Road, Grove City.
    Calling hours: 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday (1-14-03) in CUNNINGHAM FUNERAL HOME Inc., 306 Bessemer Ave., Grove City.
    Service: Funeral service at 11 a.m. Wednesday (1-15-03) in the funeral home with the Rev. David A. Lingle, pastor of Center Presbyterian Church, Grove City, officiating.

Interment: Center Church Cemetery, Pine Township.

Jack W. Lary
Obituary was published 1-12-03

For many years prior to his death, Mr. Lary lived in Texas. An incorrect address in Beaver was given to The Herald and published in his obituary on Sunday.

George W. Cook
Obituary information was incomplete.

    George W., 73, of 393 Prindle St., Sharon.
    Arrangements will be announced by J.E. WASHINGTON FUNERAL HOME Inc., 1059 Hamilton Ave., Farrell.

Howard D. Turner

WE retiree was survivor

of Normandy, Mason

Howard D. Turner of 223 Second Ave., Sharon, died of natural causes at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2003, in the hospital Sharon Regional Health System after a brief illness. He was 81.

He was the husband of Gertrude Cornell Turner, whom he married on Nov. 10, 1945, in Asbury Methodist Church in Scranton, Pa. She survives at home.

Born on Sunday, July 24, 1921, in Jackson Center, Mr. Turner was a son of the late Lloyd and Daisy Grace Turner.

He worked as an industrial engineer at the former Sharon Transformer Division of Westinghouse Electric Corp. for 41 years, retiring in 1982.

Mr. Turner was a graduate of Grove City High School and attended Grove City College. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a survivor of the Normandy Invasion and earned five Bronze Stars.

He was a member of Free and Accepted Masons Kedron Lodge 389, West Middlesex; and Veterans of Foreign Wars Hickory Post 6166, Hermitage. He also participated in the Westinghouse Golf League and bowling leagues at Thornton Hall, Sharon; Sunset Lanes, Farrell; and the former Hickory Bowl, Hermitage.

He was of the Protestant faith.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Bruce, husband of Laurie Turner, Sharpsville.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Frank, Robert and Arthur Turner; and two sisters, an infant, Thelma Turner; and Jean Turner.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to American Cancer Society, 19 Jefferson Ave., Sharon 16146.

Howard D., 81, of 223 Second Ave., Sharon.
    Calling hours: None at the family's request.
    Service: Private funeral service will be held at the convenience of family.
    Interment: Hillcrest Memorial Park, Hermitage.
    Arrangements by HAROLD W. STEVENSON FUNERAL HOME, 264 E. State St., Sharon.

Robert Crawford

Transfer man worked

42 years at Sharon Steel

CLEVELAND -- A funeral service will be held Friday for Robert Crawford, 5560 N. Hermitage Road, Transfer. He passed away at 3:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2003, in Willow Park Nursing Home after an extended illness. He was 96. Mr. Crawford was born on May 6, 1906, in McCormick, S.C., to Herbert Crawford and Frances Wells Crawford.

He attended schools in South Carolina.

A longtime Shenango Valley resident, Mr. Crawford worked for 42 years for the former Sharon Steel Corp.'s Farrell plant.

He was a member of Ruth African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Sharon and was a member and founder of the Sportsman Club of the Shenango Valley.

Mr. Crawford enjoyed hunting and fishing and was an avid baseball fan.

His wife, the former Nellie Williams, preceded him in death on Feb. 6, 1969.

Surviving are: two daughters, LaFreeda Anderson, wife of Charles, Warren, Ohio; and Barbara Moore, wife of Robert, Cleveland; two sons, Tyrone L. Crawford, husband of Annitta, Farrell; and George Crawford, Sharon; and a sister, Jessie Elliott, Long Island, N.Y.

He also leaves: nine grandchildren, Tyrone L. Crawford, Aaron V. Crawford, Julie V. Crawford, Gayellen Crawford, Dorothy E. Sarna, Stacy D. Anderson, Hope N. Anderson, George Crawford and LaMar Crawford; and eight great-grandchildren, Tyrone Crawford, Ashley S. Crawford, Ashton F. Crawford, Jazzmine Crawford, Uniqui Crawford, Kandice Crawford, Metyiah Crawford and Monet Crawford.

Besides his wife, Mr. Crawford was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Herbert Crawford Jr.

Robert, 96, of 5560 N. Hermitage Road, Transfer.
    Calling hours: 11 a.m. to time of service Friday (1-17-03) in Ruth African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 95 W. Connelly Blvd., Sharon. Friends may also call in the home of Tyrone L. Crawford, deceased's son, 919 Lisa Lane, Farrell. Condolences may be sent by fax to (724) 347-1917 or by e-mail to
    Service: Funeral service at noon Friday in the church with the Rev. Geraldine Williams, pastor, officiating.
    Burial: Oakwood Cemetery, Hermitage.
    Arrangements by WILBERT L. SHANNON FUNERAL HOME Ltd., 33 Broadway Ave., Wheatland.

Oren L. Harry

Former Shenango Valley man was decorated veteran

DALLAS, Texas -- Oren L. Harry, Dallas, formerly of the Shenango Valley, passed away at 8:10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, 2003, in Walnut Place. He was 90.

Mr. Harry was born July 11, 1912, in West Middlesex to Warren Archer Harry and Alice Gertrude Metz Harry.

He retired as a career U.S. Army veteran, having served during World War II and the Korean conflict. As a decorated veteran, he was awarded a World War II Victory Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one Bronze Star, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Commendation Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal; American and National Defense Service medals; Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II; and a Marksman Badge with carbine and rifle bars.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Gladys Mae Speed Harry, whom he married in July of 1947. She died on June 23, 1970.

He is survived by: his wife, Virginia Hix Harry, whom he married on Jan. 5, 1981, in Tropic Star Park, Pharr, Texas; a daughter, Judy Harry Henderson, Weatherford, Texas; a son, Richard Harry, New Jersey; grandchildren, Michele Harry, Christy Ross, Chad Henderson and Deborah Henderson; a great-grandson, Joshua Harry; two brothers, William Harry, Hubbard; and Glenn Harry, Hermitage; and one sister, Bernice Klucher, West Middlesex.

Besides his first wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Jennie "Ethel" Harry and Frances "Rose" Harry; and one brother, Earl Gibson Harry.

A memorial service with interment will be held in July in West Middlesex.

Vera Leone Bowser
Ex-Sharpsville woman was homemaker, Methodist

Vera Leone Bowser of Greystone Country Estates, Fredonia, formerly of Sharpsville, and Dayton, Pa., died Sunday (1-12-03) in UPMC Horizon, Farrell. She was 89.

Mrs. Bowser was born Aug. 28, 1913, in Smicksburg, Indiana County, Pa., to William T. and Erma Davis Shaum.

She was a homemaker and attended First United Methodist Church in Sharpsville and was a former member of Dayton United Methodist Church in Dayton, Pa.

Her husband, Stanley Clair Bowser, preceded her in death on April 22, 1976.

Surviving are a son, William H. (Patricia Ann) Bowser, Greenville; a step-daughter, Mrs. Edward (Maxine) Barrett, Dayton, Pa.; five grandchildren, one step-granddaughter; six great grandchildren; four step-great grandchildren; and a brother, Oscar Dee Shaum, of Punxsutawney.

Besides her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Louise Lightner, and a step-grandson.

Mrs. Stanley Clair (Vera Leone), 89, of Fredonia, formerly of Sharpsville and Dayton, Pa.
    Calling hours: 11 a.m. until time of funeral Tuesday (1-13-03) at BAUER-BLY FUNERAL HOME, 125 E. Main St., Dayton, Pa.
    Service: Funeral service at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the funeral home with the Rev. Dennis Howard, pastor of the Dayton United Methodist Church, officiating.
    Burial: Smicksburg Methodist Cemetery, West Mahoning Township, Indiana County.
    For more information;

Ian Scott Forbes

Former newspaper, PR man served community

Greenville lost one of its most active citizens as civic leader, Ian Scott Forbes of 118 Plum St. lost his battle with leukemia at 8:23 a.m. Sunday morning, Jan. 12, 2003, in his home at the age of 72.

Born in Homestead, Pa., on June 21, 1930, "Scotty," as he was known to so many in Greenville, was a son of John C. Forbes and Elsie May Maust Forbes.

He graduated from Homestead High School in 1948. After a four-year stint in the U.S. Air Force, including 33 months in Europe, Mr. Forbes enrolled at Thiel College in Greenville in the fall of 1952. While pursuing a bachelor's of science degree in economics at Thiel, he began his lifetime of being involved in the community in which he lived as a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, student council, secretary and then president of the Inter-Fraternity Council, and president of Pi Delta Epsilon, an honorary society. For his contributions to the campus., he was listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities in 1956, the year of his graduation.

It was during his college years that he found the two loves of his life that stayed with him until his death; his wife, the former Carol K. Fasnacht, whom he married on Feb. 4, 1956, and with whom he had four children; and writing. Forbes was a member of the student newspaper staff, The Thielensian, for all four years at Thiel and served as editor his senior year.

Upon his graduation, Forbes was a sales representative for the Zimmer Manufacturing Co. of Warsaw, Ind., covering the Buffalo, N.Y., territory. However, his love for the written word soon brought him back to western Pennsylvania, when in 1957, he began his career in journalism as a reporter with New Castle News. Over the next eight years, he worked as a reporter for The Vindicator, Steel Valley News and WBBW-Radio, all in Youngstown; the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal and The Record Argus in Greenville, serving as a reporter and, beginning in 1966, a four-year stint as city editor.

Thiel College hired Forbes as an assistant director of Public Relations and director of Photography in 1970. He was promoted to Director of Media Services in 1979, a post he held for 12 years, when his title was changed to Director of Communications in recognition of his expertise in all forms of media. After his retirement from Thiel in 1993, he continued as a media consultant for Thiel and also served as a freelance writer/photographer and communications consultant, and was an Op-Ed columnist twice a month for the Record Argus from 1995-2000.

As part of his work in communications at Thiel, Forbes was the editor, writer and photographer for The Bell alumni magazine and all college publications during his 23-year career, technical coordinator for the history of Thiel College 1866-1974; technical coordinator and author of two monographs in Thiel's Heritage of Strength, published in 1991; editor and designer of Thiel's 125th Anniversary Calendar in 1991; and photographer of photo exhibits at Thiel and Integra Bank, now National City Bank, in 1990. He was also a member of the Artists and Lecturers Committee of the college and a member of Alpha Psi Omega, the honorary dramatic fraternity.

His professional memberships included the College and University Public Relations Association of Pennsylvania. Prior to his employment at Thiel, he served on its Alumnni Board of Directors.

His service to the college was recognized several times by the students with whom he worked. The 1979 student yearbook, The Endymion, was dedicated to him and in 1986, he received the Service Award from the Thiel chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists, for which he served as an advisor. Phi Theta Phi fraternity recognized him as the "Thomas J. Brazelton Man of the Year" in 1983, and in 1988, the "Gilbert Love Award" for his work in helping the fraternity raise more than $1 million over a 35-year period for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. His professional accomplishments were recorded in 1992 in the 24th Edition of Who's Who in the East.

Mr. Forbes began his service to the Greenville community while serving a four-year term as a member of the Symphony Board in 1966. He was the publicity chairman of the Greenville Community Chest from 1966-68 and was on the publicity committee of Greenville's Sesquicentennial in 1988. During the late 1960s, he served on the board of the former Greenville ice skating rink. In 1970, he joined the Greenville Shade Tree Commission, a position he held until 1995, also serving as its chairman. He was elected to the Greenville Area School Board in 1975 and served for six terms, retiring in 1994. While on the school board, he also served as a representative to Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV from 1984-93 and as a member of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. He was appointed to the Greenville Borough Council in 2002 but had to resign later that year because of his health. An active Republican, he had been the committeeman for the Third Ward in Greenville since 1994, area chair of Greenville and surrounding townships from 1995-2002, and a member of the Mercer County Executive Committee in 1995.

He also was very active with First Presbyterian Church of Greenville. He was an elder, serving as a Bible Study leader, Sunday School teacher and youth leader, participating in mission trips to Reynosa, Mexico and West Virginia. As executive director of four community film crusades for World Wide Pictures in the 1970s, he helped to bring such pictures as Time To Run, The Prodigal and Cry From the Mountain to the former Jordan Theater in Greenville. He was publicity chairman for both 1973's Key '73; and Billy Graham's Ralph Bell Crusade in 1984; and served as media director for the Jesus '74, Jesus '76 and Jesus '78 crusades in Mercer. Forbes was a member of the executive board of the Mercer County Christian Coalition and the Mercer County Task Force of Promise Keepers. He participated in the Operation Carelift with Josh McDowell Ministries of Dallas, Texas, to Russia in 1997, Belarus in 1998 and 2000 and Ukraine in 1999, which distributed humanitarian aid and evangelical materials to children in orphanages, hospitals, schools and jails.

He is survived by: his wife; and four children, Mary Carol Hitchell, Fayetteville, Ga.; Robert S. Forbes, Dupont, Wash.; Andrew J. Forbes, Centreville, Va.; and John M. Forbes, Greenville; 12 grandchildren; and a brother, John Forbes, Shippensburg, Pa.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society, 19 Jefferson Ave., Sharon 16146; or First Presbyterian Church, 323 Main St., Greenville 16125.

Ian Scott, 72, of 118 Plum St., Greenville.
    Calling hours: 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday (1-14-03) in LOUTZENHISER-JORDAN FUNERAL HOME, 366-68 S. Main St., Greenville.
    Service: Funeral service at 11 a.m. Wednesday (1-15-03) in First Presbyterian Church, Greenville, with the Rev. David A. Dobi, pastor, officiating.
    Burial: With committal service in Shenango Valley Cemetery, Greenville.

Benjamin Bissett Jr.

Mercer man was longtime owner of Chevy dealership

Benjamin Bissett Jr., 450 Collier Road, Mercer, died at 6:55 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, 2003, in Woodland Place, Coolspring Township, after an extended illness. He was 74.

Mr. Bissett was born March 5, 1927, in Munhall, Pa., to Benjamin Bissett Sr. and Ethel Walker Bissett.

He owned and operated Bissett Chevrolet, which he began in 1954, until his retirement in 1998.

Mr. Bissett was a Protestant by faith and a member of Mercer Optimist Club; Free and Accepted Masons Lodge 575, Coolspring Township; and Grove City Country Club.

A Navy veteran, he served during World War II.

His wife, the former Violet "Nan" Schneider, whom he married on March 5, 1948, survives at the residence.

Also surviving are: two daughters, Nanette Sepik, Baileyville, Maine; and Susan Bissett, Johnstown, Pa.; a son, Benjamin Bissett III and his wife Marguerite "Junior," Mercer; and four grandchildren, Molly Cushing and her husband Charles, Emily Sepik, Catherine Bissett and Benjamin Bissett IV.

Mr. Bissett was preceded in death by his parents and a son-in-law, Greg Sepik.

Memorial contributions may be made to Woodland Place Auxiliary, 745 Greenville Road, Mercer 16137; or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Benjamin Jr., 74, of 450 Collier Road, Mercer.
    Calling hours: 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today (1-13-03) and 10 a.m. to time of service Tuesday (1-14-03) in CUNNINGHAM FUNERAL HOME Inc., 144 S. Pitt St., Mercer.
    Service: Funeral service at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the funeral home with the Rev. William P. Crooks, pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Mercer, officiating.
    Interment: Mercer Citizens Cemetery.

Look in past days' obituary files to find the full obituaries

Stephen, 92, Whispering Oaks, 260 S. Buhl Farm Drive, Hermitage, formerly of Broadway Avenue, Masury.
    Obituary was published 1-12-03
    Calling hours: 5 to 8 p.m. today (1-13-03) in HAROLD W. STEVENSON FUNERAL HOME, 264 E. State St., Sharon.
    Service: Funeral service at 10 a.m. Tuesday (1-14-03) in the funeral home with the Rev. Paul Sajban of Sts. Peter and Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Sharon, officiating.
    Interment: Brookfield Township Cemetery.
Mrs. Robert Howard (Lucille A.), 70, of 291 Liberty St., Sharon.
    Obituary was published 1-12-03
    Calling hours: None. Friends may e-mail condolences to
    Service: Private.

Interment: St. Anthony's Cemetery, Hermitage.

Arrangements by J. BRADLEY McGONIGLE FUNERAL HOME Inc., 1090 E. State St., Sharon.

Mrs. Dale J. (Lynda M.), 40, of 689 S. Stateline Road, Sharon.
    Obituary was published 1-12-03
    Calling hours: 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today (1-13-03) in STEPHEN J. SHERMAN FUNERAL HOME, 2201 Highland Road, hermitage.
    Service: Funeral service at 10 a.m. Tuesday (1-14-03) in the funeral home with the Rev. Stanley J. Swacha, pastor of Church of the Sacred Heart, Sharon, officiating.
    Interment: Hillcrest Memorial Park, Hermitage.
Edward "Ted," 74, of 4831 Westchester Drive, Apartment 212, Youngstown.
    Obituary was published 1-11-03
    Calling hours: Were Sunday (1-12-03) in MADASZ FUNERAL HOME Inc., 6923 Warren Sharon Road, Brookfield.
    Service: Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. today (1-13-03) in St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Vienna, with the Rev. Frank Zanni, pastor, as celebrant.
    Burial: Brookfield Township Cemetery.

Previous days' headlines for 2003 // 2002 // 2001 // 2000 // 1999 // 1998 // 1997
Go to TOP // Herald Local news // Herald Home page


Copyright ©2003 The Sharon Herald Co. All rights reserved.
Reproduction or retransmission in any form is prohibited without our permission.