June 6, 1928 — July 20, 2021 (age 93)
CANFIELD — Charles J. Bannon, a longtime community decide, lawyer and musician who served 4 phrases as Mahoning County Typical Pleas decide, died at property peacefully Tuesday (July 20) following issues from heart disorder. He was 93.
A public servant for additional than 50 decades, he was revered for his integrity, his stringent interpretation of the legislation and his compassion for the fewer privileged.
Choose Bannon drew national interest in 1983 for sentencing then-Mahoning County Sheriff and long term U.S. Congressman James Traficant to jail for contempt of court docket for refusing to indicator foreclosures papers in a large-profile circumstance.
Charles Joseph Bannon was born June 6, 1928 in Youngstown, the son of Charles Oliver Bannon, a particular investigator with the Office environment of Selling price Administration through Earth War II, and Myra Cost Bannon, a homemaker.
Immediately after his mother died of tuberculosis when he was 4, Charles, his father and sister moved in with his grandparents, John Bannon and Lizzy Callahan Bannon, and the extended Bannon spouse and children of 10 uncles, aunts and cousins. Their Parkliffe Avenue residence was the heart of an lively political household that aided inspire Charles’ lifelong career in community assistance.
His father was president of the Mahoning County Democratic Club and a chief of the nearby Democratic Occasion his uncle, Jack Bannon, was Mahoning County Treasurer and his uncle, Robert Bannon, was a lengthy-serving Boardman Township trustee.
While at South Higher School, Charles learned jazz trumpet and turned the leader of the South Substantial Faculty swing band. Chuck “Ziggy Bananas” Bannon led the 14-piece band, which usually done at Idora Park on weekends.
Just after graduating from superior school in 1947, he joined the Ray Robbins Band and toured dance halls and ballrooms throughout the South and Midwest for a year right before determining to return to Youngstown.
The very first member of his spouse and children to go after a college diploma, Charles entered Youngstown State University in pre-regulation in 1948, majoring in record and social science.
He was drafted in 1950 and served in the U.S. Military until finally 1952, stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas.
He married his significant college bandmate, Betty Jane Dimenno, in 1950. They experienced 3 kids: Lisa, Charles John and Breen.
Following graduating from Youngstown Faculty Regulation University in 1957, he practiced regulation for 16 yrs. Since there was no county general public defender’s place of work at the time, he generally acknowledged courtroom assignments to stand for indigent clientele.
He seen the legal job as a way to “help some others by way of the legislation,” he when stated. He hung an oil painting of a seascape, specified to him by his initially shopper in lieu of legal charges, about the mantel in his dwelling area as a reminder of why he became a attorney.
In 1968, he was elected county court docket judge in Boardman, presiding over traffic and misdemeanor offenses.
In 1974, he was elected Mahoning County Popular Pleas Court choose, where by he dealt with many of Youngstown’s higher-profile legal and civil scenarios for the future 24 a long time.
He refused to be motivated by exterior interests, usually rendering decisions that were being unpopular with Youngstown political officers and the media. He was recognized for his honesty at a time when dozens of Youngstown community officers ended up indicted on corruption prices.
He was considered compassionate in sentencing prison defendants, often favoring probation over jail time.
“Charlie Bannon often had empathy for modern society. He could figure out the problem that some persons had and recommend that jail time wasn’t vital. He would recommend good behavior was the finest thing to do,” Ted Macejko, a previous Mahoning County prosecutor, stated in a tribute to Judge Bannon in 2004.
His most publicized scenario was in 1983, when he sentenced Traficant to 100 times in jail for contempt of courtroom right after a heated courtroom discussion. The 7th District Court docket of Appeals produced the sheriff from jail pending charm, but ultimately affirmed the lower court selection. Choose Bannon nonetheless suspended the sheriff’s jail sentence so he would not have to serve any time.
“He had no have to have to put the sheriff back again in jail to verify to all people that he was appropriate. He had no political ambition and no personal need to have to exhibit he was important,” stated T. Gordon Welsh, his previous bailiff and Mahoning County Courtroom administrator.
Right after retiring in 1999, Choose Bannon ongoing to perform as a checking out decide in Mahoning, Trumbull and Portage counties for the up coming 10 many years.
He relished life’s easy pleasures, investing time at Lake Erie with his spouse, Joan, whom he married in 1985, rising tomatoes in their backyard, chopping the grass and listening to large band jazz from Depend Basie to Rosemary Clooney. He experienced a particular passion for motor scooters (acquired from his sons) and Volkswagen Beetles.
He acquired numerous awards to realize his general public provider. In 2004, he gained the Mahoning County Professionalism Award, “for exemplifying the best specifications of competence, integrity and civility though serving his clients, the courts and the full community.”
In 2008, the Ohio Point out Bar Association identified him for 50 yrs of service.
He was a member of a lot of experienced and civic businesses including the Ohio Judicial Conference, the Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, wherever he served on the govt committee.
He was a longtime member of Buckeye Elks Lodge 73, the Sons of Italy Lodge 858 and St. Charles Church.
He is survived by his spouse, Joan von Schullick Bannon his daughter, Lisa Bannon-Steinmetz (George) and son, Breen O. Bannon (Elizabeth) stepdaughters Cathy Rarogiewicz (Michael) and Caren Compton grandchildren Adam Bannon, John Bannon, Nell Steinmetz, Nicholas Steinmetz, John Steinmetz, Robert Rosenberg, Tiffany Rosenberg and Tabatha Rosenberg and 1 excellent-grandson, Jack Bannon.
He was preceded in demise by his mom father a sister, Mary Louise Seckler a stepmother, Leora Early Bannon a brother, Michael and his son, Charles John Bannon.
The family would like to thank his caregivers, Ann, Kim and Paulette, for their compassion and assist all through this time.
In lieu of bouquets, donations can be created to ALS-TDI, Beatitude Home, or the Rescue Mission of Mahoning County.
Contacting several hours will be held Friday (July 23) from 4 to 7 p.m. at Higgins-Reardon Funeral Dwelling, Poland Chapel, 2726 Center Street (U.S. Route 224). A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Saturday (July 24) at 11 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Boardman. Contacting several hours will be held one particular hour prior to the mass.
Burial will consider position at Calvary Cemetery at a later on date.
When he retired in 1999, Decide Bannon’s previous bailiff, Patricia Dascenzo, recalled asking him why he sweated over every single one choice in the courtroom, even the smallest scenarios. “Some day I have to remedy for each individual decision I’ve created that has an effect on people’s life,” he said. “So I better get it suitable.”
Condolences might be sent to www.higgins-reardon.com.