Traficant buried today after private service

POLAND — Former U.S. Rep. James A Traficant Jr. was buried today after a private service.

That was done at Traficant’s request, said Heidi Hanni, the family spokeswoman.

While Hanni said earlier today that she “wouldn’t anticipate” a public ceremony, she said around 5:45 p.m. today that Traficant’s family will have an event at some point in the next 30 days “celebrating Jim Traficant’s life.”

A venue hasn’t been determined.

“The family decided that the Valley deserved an opportunity to share in a celebration,” Hanni said.

Traficant, 73, was transported from St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown to the Hospice House in Beaver Township on Friday “to make him as comfortable as possible,” and he died at 11:30 a.m. Saturday surrounded by family and friends, Hanni said.

Traficant was taken off a respirator — used as a backup as he was breathing on his own — on Friday, she said.

“But there was no hope” of recovery, Hanni said, from serious injuries suffered in a tractor accident last Tuesday on his family farm in Greenford.

Traficant was born May 8, 1941, in Youngstown, the son of James Sr. and Agnes (Farkas) Traficant.

He was a counselor with the Mahoning County Drug Counseling Program from 1971 until the time he became Mahoning County sheriff in 1981. He served as sheriff until his successful election in 1984 as congressman of the 17th Congressional District. Traficant served as this area’s congressman until July 24, 2002.

He was expelled after being convicted of 10 felony counts including racketeering, bribery and tax evasion. He spent seven years in federal prison, released in September 2009.

He was a 1959 graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School, where he excelled at football. He continued his football career at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1963. He earned his master’s degree from Youngstown State University in 1976.

According to his obituary, he leaves his wife, Patricia “Tish” (Choppa) Traficant, whom he married Feb. 24, 1968; his two daughters, Elizabeth (John) Chahine and Robin O’Grady; his grandchildren, Jon, twins Maria and Elena Chahine, Jennifer Bogli, Edward Sigafoos, and Donald O’Grady; his sister-in-law, Pennie (Richard) Davis; his brother-in-law, Tony Choppa; his uncle, Steve and aunt Eleanor Farkas; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Besides his parents, Traficant was preceded in death by his brother, Sam Traficant; sister-in-law JoAnn Barrett Traficant; and in-laws Guy and Lucille Choppa.

The family requests monetary donations be made in Traficant’s name to Hospice of the Valley, attention: Liz McGarry, 5190 Market St., Boardman, OH 44512.

The Rossi Brothers & Lellio Funeral Home, 4442 South Ave. in Boardman, handled the arrangements for Traficant. Family and friends may visit the Book of Memories at to view this tribute and send condolences to his family.

More like this from

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.