Joseph Daniel Kondela, 49, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, February 20, 2020 after a brief illness. Joe was born April 10, 1970 in Youngstown, the son of Peter M. and Mary Louise (Kalic) Kondela Jr. and was a lifelong area resident. He graduated in 1988 from Cardinal Mooney High School where he was a member of the 1987 State Championship football team. In 1993, Joe earned his BA in History from Youngstown State University, where in 1996 he also earned his MA in History. While at YSU, Joe was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity as well as Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Alpha Theta Honor Societies. Joe continued his education at The University of Akron School of Law, earning his Doctor of Law in 1999. He was a licensed practicing attorney in the State of Ohio. After receiving his law degree, Joe worked as an Appellate Law Clerk for the Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals until June 2001, for The Cafaro Company until October 2003, at Green Haines Sgambati Co. L.P.A. until January 2020, and most recently for Faulkner Hoffman & Phillips, LLC. Joe was a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Mahoning County Bar Association, the Eastern Ohio Conservation Club and St. John's Orthodox Church. Joe was a part-time instructor in the History Department at YSU. In his spare time, he taught courses related to hunting and gun safety.
Joe was the best husband, son, son-in-law, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend that anyone could hope for; an intelligent, kind, supportive "gentle giant". He was the calm sea in any storm and everyone knew they could count on him as being quick and willing to help. He and his wife enjoyed frequent trips to Hilton Head, South Carolina. Joe enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was an advocate for dog rescue organizations. He was a founding member of W.A.G.S. Canine Rescue, where, without a shelter, he found forever homes for over 700 spayed and neutered dogs. Joe volunteered as a transporter for Our English Setter Rescue, helping rescued dogs reach their forever homes.
Joe was the steadfast protector, confidant, best friend, voice of reason and unwavering supporter to the love of his life and best friend, the former Margo Nichols, whom he married June 29, 1997. He is also survived by parents, Pete and Mary Lou Kondela; father-in-law, Jim Nichols; siblings, Maryellen (Ben) Vazquez, David (Tami) Kondela and Maribeth (Bob) Petrus; sister-in-law, Brenda Henderson; and nieces and nephews, Nicholas (fiance, Nikki Heffron) Vazquez, Juliana Vazquez, Seth Golden, Kayla Golden, Owen Kondela, Eden Kondela and Michelle Ondrey. He was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Irene Nichols.
Funeral services will be held at St. John the Forerunner Greek Orthodox Church, 4955 Glenwood Avenue, Boardman, Ohio on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Family and friends may call at the Church, prior to the service, beginning at 11:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Joe's name may be made to Our English Setter Rescue, PO Box 708, Hilliard, OH 43026 or online at www.oers.org/wall or to the Eastern Ohio Conservation Club, 10366 West Calla Road, Salem, OH 44460 to help defray costs for their youth programs.
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