Lou Arko was born March 4, 1927 in Barberton OH to Agnes (Shega) and Louis Arko who emigrated from Slovenia, Yugoslavia prior to WW I. He was predeceased by his four sisters, Agnes Groom, Francis Trenta, Jennie Dutka, Betty Jevec and his grandson John Rose. Joan Schaefer Arko, his wife of 25 years and the mother of his nine children, passed away in 1982. Lou played basketball at Barberton High and was inducted into that school’s Hall of Fame in 1983. He went on to Akron University where, during his freshman season the Zips won the Ohio Conference title. He then spent 18 months in the U.S. Navy during World War ll. After his service he returned to UA and finished out his college career in 1950 as UA’s number two scorer. He ran track, played tennis and was senior class president. In his last collegiate basketball game, he led UA with 20 points in the 51-49 upset of nationally ranked Duquesne. In total he earned nine letters in three sports. He was inducted into UA’s sports Hall of Fame in 2009. Arko was the 23rd player drafted into the NBA in 1950. He was employed in the engineering department at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and then spent 29 years in various sales positions with the Clark Controller Company and Reliance Electric. His work led to a relocation to Lancaster, SC where he met and married Margaret (Peg) Hawisher Arko in 1985. Peg passed away in 2018. A natural sportsman, Lou rekindled an interest in golf, and he won many local and regional tournaments and qualified for the national USGA senior tournament in 1987. He continued to play golf competitively until he was 86. At age 70 Lou bought an ultralight airplane and taught himself how to fly. Of his accomplishments Lou was most proud of his nine children which included two sets of twins. Lou is survived by his daughters Rebecca Moore (David), Marien Arko, Karen Arko, Joli Fichter (Hank), Laura Humes (Randy), Sara Davis (John) and sons Michael, Stephen, and Alex Arko. Also surviving Lou are his stepchildren Tom Hawisher, Karen Ford (Patrick), and Hal Hawisher (Angie). Additionally, he will be remembered by 13 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren. Friends may call at THE FERFOLIA FUNERAL HOME, 356 WEST AURORA RD (OH RTE 82), SAGAMORE HILLS FOR VISITATION WEDNESDAY FROM 4 – 8 P.M. Funeral Thursday, 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home. Mass of Christian Burial, 10 a.m. at St. Barnabas Catholic Church. Interment All Saints Cemetery. Memorials may be made to a charity of personal preference.
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