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YOUNGSTOWN – Joseph Levi Wainwright Jr., 70, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 6, 2017.

Joseph, affectionately known as “Butch,” was born April 17, 1946, in Youngstown to Joseph Levi Wainwright Sr. and Ella Louise (Jordan) Wainwright.

Joseph grew up in Youngstown and graduated in 1965 from South High School, where he was All-City in football and a standout track and field athlete. He was known as a fierce competitor.

Upon graduation, he attended Youngstown State University. Joseph then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving proudly for four years. He was a decorated serviceman of the Vietnam War, receiving the Purple Heart and other medals of distinction. Following his discharge from the Marine Corps, Joseph went to work for the General Electric Company. He would later retire from General Electric.

After his retirement from General Electric, Joseph went on to be heavily involved in youth athletics, his true calling. He coached football for the Fighting Little Redmen, refereed for the Volney Rogers Youth Football League and umpired youth softball. He also served as a commissioner for the Uptown Kiwanis. Joseph will be recognized by the members of the House of Representatives of the 114th General Assembly of Ohio for his achievements and leadership, on and off of the athletic field. In addition, Joseph was a 2007 inductee into the Ebony Lifeline Support Group Hall of Fame.

He married Jackie Banks and had two sons, Darrell Wainwright of Silver Springs, Md. and Derrick Wainwright of Youngstown. He was blessed to have eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Joseph leaves to cherish his memory, four sisters, Peggy (Ben) Frazer, Charlotte Croft, Susan Howard and Wendy (Rev. Kenneth) Simon; one brother, Richard (Denise) Wainwright; as well as a host of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jackie; his father, Joseph Sr.; his mother, Louise; his sister, Jada; and his brother, Lawrence.

Most importantly, as a young man, Joseph accepted the Lord as his personal savior. His favorite scripture was John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The homegoing celebration for Joseph will be Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at the New Bethel Baptist Church. Calling hours will be held at 10 a.m., followed by funeral services at 11 a.m.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Murray-Wellington Funeral Home.

The burial will take place at Tod Homestead Cemetery, where military honors will be rendered.

Guestbook Entries

Tribute to Brother "Butch"

“Dear Family: Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate the life and legacy of Brother Butch. Please know that Earth hath no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal... Lovingly submitted by, "Mom" Mattie P. Stevens and The Carole Statum Family--Somerset, New Jersey And The Dr. Fredrick D. Stevens Family-- Allentown, Pennsylvania ”

 » Dr. Fredrick D. Stevens on April 10, 2017


“take your well deserved rest, may your family find peace in knowing you loved them.”

 » Betty Walker on April 10, 2017

To the Wainwright Family

“My deepest Condolences to the Wainwright Family. The Day which we fear as our last, is but the Birthday of Eternity. Rest in Peace Butch”

 » Debra Longmeyer Hargrave on April 10, 2017

Our deepest sympathy

“With our deepest sympathy to the Wainwright family at this time of sorrow, May the wonderful memories that you have of him remain in your heart and help to keep him very close to you always. The South High School Class of 1961. ”

 » Patti Druzisky on April 10, 2017

RIP, Butch!

“My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! ”

 » Angela Yancey  on April 11, 2017

To Derrick and The Family

“My thoughts and prayers are with you and my Best Friend Joe (Butch). He was and always will be my hero and the Greatest influence in my life! He meant so much to my Children and the Children we coached together and their Families for so many years! I'll love you forever and at least I have the comfort of knowing My Son Gary is in the Greatest of Company!!!h Samuel Papa”

 » Samuel Papa on April 11, 2017


“He will be missed. He umpired girls youth softball in the Mill Creek League for many years. He was such a nice man, not only would he ump the game, he would take time to instruct the girls to make them better players. ”

 » Gina Yakimoff on April 12, 2017


“A lot of people you go to school with are forgotten. but Joseph Wainwright is not one of them. I remember having classes with Joe and we had home room together. He will never be forgotten by me or the many people his life touched. ”

 » Paul Shanabarger on April 13, 2017

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