Cover photo for Deacon Ray Hatala's Obituary
Deacon Ray Hatala Profile Photo

Deacon Ray Hatala

August 1, 1940 — March 22, 2024

Harry Raymond Hatala, 83, known by all as Deacon Ray, of Poland, Ohio passed away on Friday, March 22, 2024, at the Hospice House in Poland. 

He was born August 1, 1940 in Youngstown, Ohio, a son of John and Mary (Holecko) Hatala and was a lifelong area resident.

Following his graduation in 1958 from Woodrow Wilson High School, he immediately went to serve honorably in the United States Air Force as a medical corpsman in the 861st Medical Group from 1958-1962. A printer by trade, Ray was employed as a print shop supervisor for the National Tea Company and Republic Steel. He retired from Youngstown State University after 24 years of service where he held the position of Print Shop Supervisor.

Deacon Ray was ordained a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Youngstown by Bishop James W. Malone on August 16, 1980 and was appointed Associate Director from 1990-2010. Deacon Ray was a permanent deacon and pastoral associate for Holy Family Parish in Poland since 1980. He was dedicated and proud to train and support the youth of Holy Family Parish and its approximately 150 Elementary and High School Altar Server Ministry Teams. Deacon Ray helped to initiate and was very active in the St. Vincent De Paul Conference from its very beginning at Holy Family in 1980 and was appointed the Spiritual Advisor for the St. Vincent De Paul Youngstown Chapter in 1980. He was totally dedicated to helping any needy person or family that came his way!

His wife, the former Susann Barbara Skebo, whom he married April 16, 1966, passed away November 23, 2021. Ray and Sue were both preceded in death by their beautiful children, William (Billy) and Mary Hatala. He was also preceded in death by his parents and his brother, John M. Hatala.

Deacon Ray is survived by his sister-in-law, Patricia Hatala of Poland; a brother-in-law, Joseph Skebo of Youngstown; and several nieces and nephews. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at Holy Family Church in Poland. Friends and parishioners may pay their respects in the quietness of the church from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. prior to the mass at the church. 

In lieu of flowers, the family ask that any material contributions take the form of donations to the Hospice of the Valley Hospice House in Poland, 9803 Sharrott Road, Poland, Ohio 44514, or to, in Deacon Ray’s words, “anything to help the poor.”

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Deacon Ray Hatala, please visit our flower store.

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