Robert W. Winterburn passed away peacefully, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, at Hospice of the Valley.
Bob was born in 1931 and turned 91 on Oct. 26, 2022.
He spent his early years in Warren. Bob moved his freshman year of high school with his family, parents Delmar and Laura Mae Snyder, and sister, Kay, to North Jackson. He made many lifelong friends there, including Don Booth and family, and the entire Chepke family, as well as gaining a passion for sports — especially football.
Bob started his athletic endeavors at Jackson-Milton High School and ultimately became a member of the inaugural class of the JMHS Hall of Fame. He went on to receive a football scholarship at Heidelberg College, where he met Miriam Lynch, the mother of his four boys. He was MVP, All-Conference running back and captain of the Ohio Athletic Conference League championship team.
After graduation, Bob served in the Army in Texas and North Carolina before starting a 30-year career in education as a teacher, coach and principal.
Bob received his master’s degree in education at Bowling Green University. He became the head football coach at the age of 24 at Canfield High School for three years, winning the Inter-County Championship all three years. Bob was later inducted into the Canfield Hall of Fame. Bob then was the head football coach at Heidelberg for two seasons and then at Austintown Fitch High School, where in his first year, Fitch won the Steel Valley Conference.
Bob went on to become senior principal at Austintown Fitch High School for more than 20 years. He has also been inducted to the Austintown Fitch High School and Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame, along with being named Mahoning Valley Coach of the Year on two occasions. Bob often referred to his high school coach, Bud Francis, and college coach, Paul Hoernemann, as being major influences, personally and professionally.
Bob was always accessible and well respected by the teachers, students, athletes and communities he served. Bob is characterized by his discipline in his fairness, honesty and appreciation of individuals and teams making the efforts to reach their full potential. He said one of his proudest accomplishments was his four boys, with whom he always maintained a close relationship as a dad, mentor and friend.
In his later years, Bob most enjoyed family dinners and sporting events, especially if one of his grandchildren were participating, and any Fitch related event.
He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and many of the lives he touched over the years.
Bob leaves behind his children, Gary (Lane), Tom (Phyllis), Bill (Denise) and Jim (Elsa) Winterburn; stepchildren, Sam (Trisha) Elliot and Abby (Ed Gallante) Elliott; his 13 grandchildren, Alexandria (Brenda), Anna, Jessica (Brian), Christina, Carly, Mia, Michael, Tony (Cara), Jimmy (Jacqueline), Michaela, Emma, Jack and Alex; eight great-grandchildren; two nieces and one nephew; and a brother, Melvin Winterburn.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Kay Harger; and grandson, Joey Winterburn.
The family would like to thank the staff and friends at Victoria House Assisted Living in Austintown, where Bob enjoyed residing for the past six years, and Hospice of the Valley for the care, love and support this past week.
Friends and family may pay their respects from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, at Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Austintown Chapel, 4303 Mahoning Ave., followed by a funeral service at 12:30 p.m.
Burial will take place in North Jackson Cemetery.
Please consider a donation to Hospice of the Valley- Hospice House, 9803 Sharrott Road Poland, OH 44514; or Youngstown Foundation — Robert W. Winterburn Scholarship Fund (YSU), 655 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44502.
This obituary can be viewed, and condolences sent to www.higgins-reardon.com.