Dr. Michael Joseph Traina

SALEM — Dr. Michael Joseph Traina of Salem, Ohio passed away peacefully at Blossom Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Salem on Sunday, June 5, 2022, surrounded by family and caring staff.

Michael was born on February 16, 1936 to the late Michael and Phyllis (DeSan) Traina in Cleveland, Ohio.

After Michael graduated from John Adams High School in Cleveland, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1958, and served his country on active duty until 1960 as a combat medic. He served in the Army Reserves for the next several years, and was called back on numerous occasions to active duty. He was awarded two honorable discharges and two commendations.

While finishing his service to his country, Michael began his quest for education, first obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University. He then received his master’s degree from John Carroll University, where he met his future wife, the former Eloise Mary Vaccariello. He went back to Kent State to pursue his Ph.D., which he completed in 1970.

In 1967, he and Eloise married in Cleveland at St. Margaret Mary Church. They have two children: Timothy (Ladonna Eddy) Traina and Tamara (Michael) Zinno. He leaves behind six grandchildren, who all affectionately called him “Grandpa T”: Isaac Michael, Dominic Michael, Vincent Timothy, and Maximo Joseph Traina, and Joseph Michael and Isabella Rose Zinno. He is also survived by his sister, Phyllis Edwards of Fayetteville, NC.

Michael was Roman Catholic, a member of St. Paul’s Church in Salem, and a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. He was a co-founder in 1977 of AMVETS Post 45 in Salem.

Growing up in Cleveland, he was a lifetime fan of all local sports teams, especially the Browns and Indians. He crafted and played his own baseball game, which was built on his extensive knowledge of facts and statistics.

As first a business-owner focusing on consulting, marketing, and sales, and then a professor, public speaking for Michael was not just a career, but also a hobby. He was a passionate advocate for veterans, and Michael never missed an opportunity to speak to the community, especially on Memorial and Veterans Days. He was Master of Ceremonies for the Salem Italian and Salem International Festivals.

He loved sitting at the kitchen table doing the daily crossword puzzle, making lists, and compiling baseball statistics. He enjoyed going to Giant Eagle nearly every day, visiting his good friend Mayor Berlin, and doing other local errands.

He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, his children and their spouses, his grandchildren, sister, nieces and nephews, and many friends whom he considered family.

Calling hours will be held on Sunday, June 12, 2022 from 2-5 p.m. at Arbaugh Pearce Greenisen and Sons Funeral and Cremation Services in Salem. On Monday, additional viewing will begin at 10 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life service at 11 a.m., with Fr. Robert Edwards officiating. He will receive military honors from the Salem Honor Guard and be buried Monday at Grandview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Veterans Program at Family Recovery Center in Lisbon, Ohio (964 North Market Street, P.O. Box 464, Lisbon, Ohio 44432), in memory of Michael’s dedication to military veterans and his passionate advocacy for them.

The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to the employees at Blossom Nursing Center and Sanctuary Hospice for their unending compassionate and loving care, and to dear friends who visited until the very end.

His presence will be greatly missed. He made an impact on everyone he met, and he will live on in our hearts and minds forever.