A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, May 17 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church in Poland for Attorney Joseph P. Sontich, Sr., who died on May 11, 2018 at Windsor House Omni Manor.
Attorney Sontich was born on January 12, 1923 in Lowellville, Ohio, the son of Stephen and Zora Rendulic Sontich. He married Rosemary (Yallech) on November 30, 1957, having lived with her and raising three children together in Poland over the past 58 years. He graduated from Lowellville High School in 1941. Working in a steel mill while pursuing his bachelor’s degree, he completed his bachelor’s degree at Youngstown College after enlisting in the United States Army Air Corps in 1942, serving until 1945. He earned his law degree in 1949 from Western Reserve University Law School. After being admitted into the Ohio Bar in 1949, Youngstown Attorney David Haynes, a preeminent trial attorney in Ohio, invited him to practice law in Mr. Haynes’s Youngstown office. Their firm, Haynes and Sontich, had an extensive trial and appellate practice in state and federal courts, with Attorney Sontich trying hundreds of jury trials. He was named by Martindale Hubbell as an “AV” rated preeminent attorney, and was a member of the Mahoning County, Trumbull County, Ohio State and American Bar Associations. In 1986, he welcomed his son, Attorney Joseph P. Sontich, Jr. into the practice, becoming of counsel to his son’s new firm in 2001, and remained an active attorney until 2013.
Attorney Sontich was a member of Holy Family Parish, and the Board of Directors of the Lowellville Bank, the Western Reserve Bank, and the Butler Institute of American Art. He was a trustee of the Poland Community Baseball Association, baseball being his favorite sport as a participant. He served as Lowellville Village Solicitor and on Lowellville Village Council. He was fluent in the Croatian language and enthusiastically embraced his Croatian heritage as a long-time member of the Croatian Fraternal Union. He hunted and fished throughout North America, belonging to the Lowellville Rod and Gun Club. He enjoyed collecting, travel in the United States and Europe, reading, yard work, and spending weekends in Conneaut into his later years, and was devoted to his faith, family and country.
In addition to his wife Rosemary, Attorney Sontich leaves his son, Joseph, Jr. (Susan) of Aurora, Ohio, his daughter Nancy (Milton) Lenhart of Youngstown, his daughter Caryn May of Mason, Ohio, his granddaughter Joy Sontich of Cleveland Heights, his grandson Calder Lenhart of Youngstown, his sister in law Mary Sontich of Lansing, Michigan, and his brother in law Dr. Howard Groshell (sister in law Dorothy, deceased) of Jacksonville, Florida, as well as many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sisters Josephine, who died in childhood, Daisy Zaluski, Anne Boris, and Mathilda Svetlak (and their respective husbands John, Michael and Leonard), and his brothers John (and his wife Viive) and Stephen, Jr.
His family will receive friends at the Cunningham Becker Funeral Home in Poland this Wednesday, May 16, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will gather for a brief prayer service there on Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. before proceeding to the church. A grave side service will then follow at Poland Riverside Cemetery immediately following his funeral mass.
Attorney Sontich’s family wishes to thank his care givers at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Ohio Living Park Vista Physical Rehabilitation, and Windsor House Omni Manor for their kindness and patience during the last two months of his very long and well lived life.