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Eugene P. Okey

Eugene P. Okey
Status: Deceased

(1923 - 2009)

Okey, Eugene Paul
Age 86, of North Canton, Ohio
passed away Wednesday morning, July 1, 2009, surrounded by his beloved family at his home, following a long and active life. Born in Canton, Ohio, June 17, 1923, to his parents, the late Francis L. Okey and Helen Hall, he lived most of his life in the Canton area, and was a 1941 graduate of Lehman High School. In 1941 and 1942, he played professional baseball in the Ohio State League, Florida East Coast League, and the Georgia-Florida League. During World War II, he was a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, serving in North Africa, Italy, Sardinia, Corsica, France and Japan. He attended Kent State University, and while attending law school in 1950 at the University of Cincinnati, he was recalled to active duty during the Korean conflict, and was stationed at Charleston, West Virginia as Provost Marshal of the West Virginia Military District. He graduated from the William McKinley School of Law in Canton in 1956. In 1962 he left his job as Casualty Claims Supervisor for General Adjustment Bureau in Cleveland, and entered the private practice of law with the late Atty. Joseph Bernabei in Canton. He founded The Okey Law Firm in Canton in 1983, and was proudly joined by his sons Mark and Steve and daughter Kim when they became lawyers. In 1980 he was elected a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in the charter class of 100 attorneys throughout the United States. He was past-president of the Jefferson-Jackson Democratic Club of Stark County, past president of the National Sojourners Association, trustee of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, and was a founding member and trustee of the Stark County Academy of Trial Lawyers. In 1979 he was inducted into the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, whose membership is limited to 100 leading trial lawyers in the United States. Mr. Okey was a past trustee and law director of Lake Mohawk, Ohio. He enjoyed flying his own airplane and soloed in September, 1942. He was a member of the East Central Ohio Pilots Association and the Lawyers-Pilots Bar Association. He retired from the active practice of law in 1997 and spent winters with his wife Arlene in Clearwater Beach, Florida. He entered the Masonic Lodge in 1952, and was a member of Lathrop Lodge 676, and later became a 32nd degree Mason, and a member of the Shriners at the Tadmor Temple in Akron. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans. Survivors include his beloved wife of 62 years, Arlene Okey, whom he met and fell in love with in Seattle, Washington, in 1945. Also surviving are his two sons, Mark D. Okey and Steven P. Okey, and two daughters, Kim R. Oberholtzer and Karen L. St. Francis, son-in-law, Mattheuw W. Oberholtzer, daughters-in-law, Kathy Okey and Deborah Okey, his brother and sister-in-law, Francis and Linda Okey, along with eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Private funeral services will be conducted at the Arnold Funeral Home, with his good friend and fellow aviator Pastor Forest Yoder of Louisville officiating. Burial will be in North Lawn Cemetery. There will be no calling hours, but friends may pay their respects and join the family in celebrating Eugene's life at a luncheon gathering on Monday July 6th at The Lodge at Fieldcrest of North Canton, 1346 Easthill St. SE beginning at 1:30 PM. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude for the support of many friends and to the caring providers of Hospice of Stark County. Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army, 420 Market Ave. S, Canton, OH 44702
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