We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Vaschak-Kirila Funeral Home
Edward Steven Cancio, 70
Edward Steven Cancio (December 26, 1951 - June 9, 2022) passed away peacefully at Hospice House after a long illness. Steve was the devoted husband of 34 years to Judith Lynn (Tremba) Cancio and the proud father of Julianna Marie Cancio Harper and Jennifer Lynn Cancio. He will be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery, according to his wishes.
Born in Youngstown, Steve was the son of the late Edward Padilla Cancio of Arizona and Lois Geraldine Slagle of Pennsylvania. His parents met at Bushnell Army Hospital in Utah during WWII, where his mother served in the Women’s Army Corps and his father was recovering from the loss of his leg at the Battle of the Bulge. Steve survived growing up in The Kimmel Brooks Housing Project and graduated from East High School in 1969.
Steve served as a medic in Vietnam with the 57th Medevac Dustoff from approximately 1971-1973, rescuing wounded American soldiers by helicopter in tense combat situations. He received the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm after an incident where his helicopter team was forced to take off under heavy enemy fire, leaving Steve alone for nearly ten minutes on the ground.
When told he was a hero for his service, Steve would disagree and say, "The soldiers who never came home are the true heroes."
After Vietnam, Steve continued to serve as a medic and surgical technician at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he cared for members of the 82nd Airborne who were injured in parachute training. During his last year in service, the army sent Steve to Guyana as a first responder to the tragedy at Jonestown. Expecting a combat situation, the first responders were ultimately responsible for identifying hundreds of victims of the suicidal cult and returning their remains to their families for burial.
Following his honorable discharge in 1979, Steve returned to the Youngstown area and worked as a private health aid and as an orderly at Youngstown Osteopathic Hospital. He truly loved caring for patients.
He achieved sobriety in 1990 and remained in recovery for the rest of his life. He was disabled in 2004 due to illness related to his military service. He accepted Jesus in 2017.
Steve enjoyed hanging out with his wife and kids, watching Everybody Loves Raymond, Cleveland Indians baseball, and Steelers football. He was an avid music fan, loved to laugh, and enjoyed goofy dad humor. He fondly remembered his miniature schnauzers: Pearl, Clancy, Tony, and Doc.
In addition to his beloved wife and daughters, he leaves brothers, sisters, and in-laws: Michael Cancio and Debbie DePinto Cancio of Virginia, Vivian Cancio DeCarlo of Virginia, Darlene Lois Cancio Arroyo of North Lima, Richard Cancio and Bebe Hollabaugh Cancio of Youngstown, and Kathy Stetts Cancio of South Carolina. He also leaves a son-in-law, Eric Thomas Harper of Boardman, mother-in-law Leslie Tremba of Boardman, brothers-in-law David Tremba of Boardman and Douglas Tremba of North Carolina, his former sister-in-law Judy Urban, and numerous dearly loved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother-in-law Art DeCarlo, his oldest brother Gerald Cancio, and his beloved nephew Michael Cancio. Steve was previously married to Janet Urban Scialabba of Boardman, the mother of his children, and they remained friends for the rest of his life. Steve also leaves Nicole Olak Smith of Struthers, who was a spiritual daughter to him.
According to Steve’s wishes, there will be no calling hours or funeral service. A celebration of life will be held by invitation due to capacity restrictions. Steve was a lifelong conscientious objector and the family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the cause of peace, the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, or Veterans’ Outreach.