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Independent mother a boon to family, community

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Physicist found joy in family, friends, work, wine

By Greg Reinbold
An officer in the Army Air Corps 801st/492nd Bomb Group known as “The Carpetbaggers,” Robert Wolf was a navigator on covert B-24 bomber missions to …

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Westmoreland County

Dixon III, Matthew L. 72

  • Latrobe
  • Born: 1942-01-21
  • Died: 2014-10-24
  • Funeral Home: Hartman-Graziano, Latrobe | Get Directions
  • Matthew Lewis Dixon III, 72, of Latrobe, passed away Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in Walnut Ridge Memory Care, Greensburg. He was born Jan. 21, 1942, in Butler, the son of the late Matthew L. Dixon Jr. and Helen (Cooley) Dixon. Prior to his retirement in 2007, Matt was a software engineer for Kennametal Inc. in Latrobe for 21 years, and had also worked at the Elliott Co. in Jeannette for five years. He was an Army veteran and a member of St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church in Whitney. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed running, biking and golf. A loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, Matt is survived by his wife of 47 years, Jackie (Kadunce) Dixon; three children, Kara Campbell and her husband, Chris, Matthew Dixon and his wife, Jenny, and Ann Gavel and her husband, Tim, all of Latrobe; and five grandchildren, Brennan, Tess and Brody Campbell and Jack and Noah Dixon. Matt's family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the unceasingly kind and devoted staff of Walnut Ridge Memory Care and Heartland Hospice, who loved and cared for him as family and a special thank you to Father Peter Augustine Pierjok, OSB. Honoring Matt's wishes, there will be no viewing or funeral home visitation. Friends and family are welcome to attend a funeral Mass at 1 p.m. Monday in St. Cecilia Church in Whitney with the Rev. Peter Augustine Pierjok, OSB, as celebrant. Inurnment will follow in St. Vincent Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association at http://www.alz.org or to St. Cecilia Church, P.O. Box 80, Whitney, PA 15693. Online guestbook and condolences can be found at http://www.hartman-grazianofuneralhome.com.
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Dolan, Crystal L. 22

  • Greensburg
  • Born: 1991-10-30
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Hoffer, Norvelt | Get Directions
  • Crystal Lee Dolan, 22, of Greensburg, passed away Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at Westmoreland Hospital. She was born Oct. 30, 1991, in St. John Hospital in Detroit, Mich., a daughter of Paula Dolan and Glenn Dolan. Crystal had survived a lifelong battle with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. She graduated from Clairview School in May of 2013. Crystal loved pop music, country music and all of her family, friends and Clairview School very much. She was preceded in death by her pap pap, Paul Mayernik; grandfather, Donald Dolan; stepfather, Christopher Sabolchick; great-grandmother, Eva Myers; and great-grandfather, John Kolinsky. Crystal is survived by mother, Paula Dolan and Christopher Hursh; father, Glenn Dolan; grandmothers, Betty Mayernik and Irene Dolan; siblings, Toni Dolan, Karl and David Sabolchick; uncles, Michael Mayernik, Linus Mayernik and wife, Joyce, and Tim Mayernik; aunt, Adele McKita and husband, Tom; and numerous cousins. Family and friends will be received 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the JAY A. HOFFER FUNERAL HOME, 2245 Mt. Pleasant Road, Norvelt, PA 15674, where her service will begin at 8 p.m. If you so desire, contributions may be made to the family in Crystal's memory.
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Ferreira, Maria 53

  • Unity Township
  • Born: 1961-08-21
  • Died: 2014-10-24
  • Funeral Home: Saloom-Peterson, Youngwood | Get Directions
  • Maria Ferreira, 53, of Unity Township, passed away Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, at the Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital. Maria was born Aug. 21, 1961, in Pretoria, South Africa, a daughter of Susan Toerien, of Pretoria, and the late Danie Toerien. In addition to her mother, survivors include her husband, Nass Ferreira; three sons, Erik, Tim and Sven; and two daughters, Rene and Vida. Graveside funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Hilltop Cemetery with Pastor Tim Luchon officiating. Additional service will follow at the Hilltop Baptist Church, 280 Stone Church Road, Hunker. Arrangements are by the SALOOM-PETERSON FUNERAL HOME, Youngwood.
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Galley, Doris M. 90

  • Claridge
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Lindsay, Harrison City | Get Directions
  • Doris M. (Heshizer) Galley, 90, of Claridge, passed away at her residence Thursday, Oct., 23, 2014. She was the beloved wife of the late Frank J. Galley; loving mother of Francis "Craig" (Dorothy Conroy) Galley, Karen Jaffre, Eric (Kathi Kane) Galley, and the late Mark Galley; grandmother of Jason (Sheila Masi) Frisch and Jeremy (Carly) Galley; great-grandmother of Donavon Frisch, Katrina Mathias, Harley Wallace, and Nathanael, Joshua and Alissa Masi; sister of Evelyn Bray, Glenn (Gwen) Heshizer, Donald (Elsa) Heshizer, and the late George, Robert and John Heshizer, Margaret Zeller, Glenna Schlessinger and Bernice "Janie" Zuckett. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Doris was a member of the former Claridge Women's Auxiliary, Christian Mothers, and taught CCD at St. Barbaras for many years. Friends will be received from 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the JAMES E. LINDSAY FUNERAL HOME INC., 3343 Route 130, Harrison City (724-744-2721). A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Barbara Catholic Church. Interment will follow at St. Barbara Cemetery. A vigil service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St. Barbara Catholic Church, 111 Raymaley Road, Harrison City, PA 15636. http://www.LindsayFH.com.
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Leone, Helen E. 75

  • Latrobe
  • Born: 1939-06-10
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Lopatich, Latrobe | Get Directions
  • Helen E. Leone, 75, of Latrobe, passed away Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at Excela Health Latrobe Hospital. She was born June 10, 1939, in Greensburg, a daughter of the late Earl Miller Sr. and Gertrude (Jackson) Miller. Helen was a member of St. Bartholomew Church and the former Old Crabtree Sportsmen Ladies Auxiliary. She enjoyed flower gardening, crocheting and loved animals. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by one brother, Earl Miller Jr.; and three sisters, Dolly Lane, Edna Aleandri and Joyce Burke. Helen is survived by her husband, George H. Leone Sr., of Latrobe; one son, George H. Leone Jr. and his wife, Jen, of Unity Township; one daughter, Helen "Chip" Fearer and her husband, Steve, of Latrobe; one brother, Larry Miller, of Hempfield Township; one sister, Martha Taylor and her husband, Fred, of Mesa, Ariz.; and five grandchildren, Eric, Alexus, Domenick, Tony and Adriana; also survived by her canine companion, Tiger. Family and friends will be received from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the JOHN J. LOPATICH FUNERAL HOME INC., 601 Weldon St., Latrobe. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Bartholomew Church with the Rev. Justin Matro, OSB, as celebrant. Interment will follow at Calvary Hill Cemetery. To sign our online guestbook, send condolences or to view detailed obituary and funeral home information, please visit http://www.lopatich.com.
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Luke, Virginia L. 85

  • Irwin
  • Born: 1929-05-31
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Nickels, Herminie | Get Directions
  • Virginia Lord Luke, 85, of Irwin, passed away Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, in UPMC Presbyterian, Pittsburgh, surrounded by her family. She was born May 31, 1929, in Irwin, daughter of the late John Thomas and Eva (Stewart) Lyons. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Alvin C. Lord Jr.; her second husband, J. Thomas Luke; her son, Bill Lord; and two sisters, Ada Balogh and Lois Schluntz. Prior to her retirement, she worked for 38 years in the computer center for G.C. Murphy Company in McKeesport. She was active in the Strawpumpers Camping Club and was a previous member of the Rillton VFD Ladies Auxiliary. She enjoyed gardening, flowers, camping and especially watching her birds. Virginia is survived by her two sons, Mark A. (Kathy) Lord, of Irwin, and Tom E. (Judy) Luke, of S.C.; daughter-in-law, Nancy Lord, of Irwin; four grandchildren, Jaclyn (Jonathan) Gaich, Rebecca and Victoria Luke, and Todd (Kelly) Lord; two great-grandchildren, Sera and Trina Lord; a brother, John "Stew" (Mary Lou) Lyons, of West Newton; two sisters, Evelyn Milicki, of Irwin, and Mary Jayne (Tom) Davis of Texas; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Virginia will be dearly missed by her family, friends, neighbors and especially her best friend, Clara Plants. Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the JOSEPH W. NICKELS FUNERAL HOME INC., 404 Sewickley Ave., Herminie, PA 15637, 724-446-7251, funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in the funeral home. Interment will follow in Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Elizabeth Township. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Sewickley Township Community Ambulance Service, 2 Medic St., Herminie, PA 15637 or Rillton VFD Station 14, PO Box 185, Rillton, PA 15678 in memory of Virginia.
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Lupacchini Jr., Albert Big Luppi 79

  • Bolivar
  • Born: 1935-05-29
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: McCracken, Ligonier | Get Directions
  • Albert "Big Luppi" Lupacchini Jr., 79, of Bolivar, died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at Indiana Regional Medical Center. He was born May 29, 1935, in Johnstown, a son of the late Albert and Bertha Hoe Lupacchini Sr. Prior to his retirement in 1997, he had been employed by the Allegheny Foundry for more than 40 years. He was a member of Bolivar United Presbyterian Church, a 55-year member of the Bolivar Volunteer Hose Company where he had served as chief engineer and assistant chief. Luppi enjoyed auto racing but the real love of his life was his family, especially his three granddaughters. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Jaclyn Jo Lupacchini. Luppi is survived by his wife of 56 years, Beverly J. "Dink" Saxton Lupacchini; a son, Joel L. (Kelly) Lupacchini, of Bolivar; and three granddaughters, Kelsey Lynn, Kayla Marie and Karly Jo Lupacchini, all of Bolivar. Albert was preceded in death by his father Albert Lupacchini Sr., and mother, Bertha Hoe Lupacchini. Luppi's friends and family will gather together from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, and noon to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, at the J. PAUL McCRACKEN FUNERAL CHAPEL INC., 144 East Main St., Ligonier. A service to celebrate Luppi's life will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, at Bolivar United Presbyterian Church, with his pastor, James G. Sunseri, officiating. Interment will follow in the Fort Palmer Cemetery. Bolivar Volunteer Hose Company will honor Luppi with a service at 7 p.m. Sunday in the funeral chapel. Memorial contributions may be made in Luppi's memory to the Bolivar Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 3, Bolivar, PA 15923. To sign the online guestbook or to send condolences to the family, please visit http://www.jpaulmccrackenfuneralchapel.com.
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Minnici, Dominic 76

  • Greensburg
  • Born: 1938-10-17
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Saloom-Rega, Mt. Pleasant | Get Directions
  • Dominic Minnici, 76, of Greensburg, formerly Ambridge, passed away Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at the Excela Health Latrobe Hospital. Dominic was born Oct. 17, 1938, in Ambridge, the son of the late Philip and Luisa Creno Minnici. Dom was formerly employed in maintenance for various railroad companies in the Rochester and Ambridge area. Surviving are his loving girlfriend, Frances Nesser Garland, of Greensburg, and her son, Chet Joseph, of Youngwood; a brother, Philip Minnici and wife, Toni, of Winter Park, Fla.; sister-in-law, Mary Minnici, of Beaver; brother-in-law, Carl Bartoles, of Ambridge; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Dominic was preceded in death by a brother, Joseph Minnici; sisters, Louise Bartoles and Catherine Bellas; and a brother-in-law, Harry Bellas. Friends are welcome to attend Dominic's memorial service at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, at the SALOOM-REGA FUNERAL SERVICE , 730 W. Main St., Mt. Pleasant, 724-547-2122, with the Rev. Richard J. Kosisko officiating. Please visit Dominic's online memorial at http://www.saloom-rega.com to sign the condolence guestbook. Richard Rega, funeral director.
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Neal, Jane 91

  • Greensburg
  • Born: 1923-05-11
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Mason-Gelder, Jeannette | Get Directions
  • Jane Neal, 91, of Greensburg, formerly of Jeannette, died Thursday Oct. 23, 2014, in Greensburg Care Center. She was born May 11, 1923, in Greensburg, a daughter of the late Harry and Elizabeth (Baker) Backus. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Wallace O. Neal. She is survived by her children, Linda Darragh, of Greensburg, Gary Neal and his wife, Vickie, of Greensburg, and Sherri Roscosky and her husband, Jim, of Irwin; three grandchildren, Jessica Waltenbaugh and her husband, Don, Renee Boby and her husband, Dylan, and Kristie Rodgers; six great-grandchildren, Shane, Blake, Jace, Ryan, Emma and Jake; a sister, Peggy Riddle, of Jeannette; and numerous nieces and nephews. Friends will be received from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the MASON-GELDER FUNERAL HOME INC., 201 N. First St., Jeannette. To send online condolences, visit http://www.mason-gelder.com. The family would like to send a special thank you to the women of Grane Hospice, who were true angels, and our own angel Debbie Born. The family requests no flowers.
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Pelar, Barbara A. 73

  • Greensburg
  • Born: 1941-02-04
  • Died: 2014-10-24
  • Funeral Home: Bacha, Greensburg | Get Directions
  • Barbara A. Pelar, 73, of Greensburg, died Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in the Rehabilitation and Nursing Center of Greater Pittsburgh in Greensburg. She was born Feb. 4, 1941, in New Kensington, a daughter of the late George and Anna (Pavuk) Pelar. Prior to retirement, she had been employed by Westmoreland Hospital with 26 years of service. She was a member of St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, Greensburg. She is survived by a brother, Raymond A. Pelar and his wife, Donna, of Greensburg; a sister, Carolyn Pelar, of Greensburg; nieces and nephews, Patrick Pelar (Deann), John Pelar (Angie), Ginny Barclay (Jeff) and Sue Ellen Brinkey; two great-nephews, Alex Barclay and Jacob Pelar; and several cousins. Friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Leo m. BACHA FUNERAL HOME INC., 516 Stanton St., Greensburg. A Divine Liturgy will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church Greensburg, with Father Regis Dusecina as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, Trauger. Parastas will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday in the funeral home. http://www.bachafuneralhomeinc.com.
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Penna, Antoinette E. 96

  • Murrysville
  • Born: 1918-10-16
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Hart, Murrysville | Get Directions
  • Antoinette E. Penna, 96, of Murrysville, died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. She was born Oct. 16, 1918, in Pittsburgh, daughter of the late Antonio and Cesira Ciaccia Penna. She was a member of the Mother of Sorrows Church, Murrysville. She was an avid fan of all the Pittsburgh sport teams, loved to read and read the newspaper daily and loved to travel to Italy, but especially loved her niece, nephew and all her great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a sister, Beatrice Lombardo; and a brother, Leo Penna. Antoinette is survived by a niece, Lorraine (Bob) Oldenski, of Apollo; a nephew, John (Geri) Lombardo, of Saltsburg; five great-nieces and nephews, Jason (Megan), Jeremy (Kristi), Jonathan, Melissa (John) and Jordan; and six great-great-nieces and nephews, Kaya, Logan, Landon, Keegan, Annalyse and Jacob. Visitation from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Monday in the Mother of Sorrows Church, Murrysville. A funeral Mass will follow at 10 a.m. Monday in the church and interment will follow in Mt. Carmel Cemetery. http://www.hartfuneralhomeinc.com.
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Povlik, Melvin W. 55

  • Mt. Pleasant
  • Born: 1959-03-03
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Saloom- Rega, Mt. Pleasant | Get Directions
  • Melvin W. Povlik, 55, of Mt. Pleasant, passed away Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at the Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, Greensburg. Melvin was born March 3, 1959, in Mt. Pleasant, the son of the late Zigmont and Mabel McElroy Povlik. Prior to him becoming blind, Melvin loved to ride his motorcycle and fish with his special nephew, Frankie and wife, Marcie, and family. He spent most of his life with his special niece, Naomi Bailey, his special angel who was always there for him, even to the end. Melvin is survived by his loving sisters, Doris Geary and husband, Beryl, of White, and Ruthann Vokes and husband, Ronald, and a brother, Joseph and wife, Sue, both of Mt. Pleasant; also surviving are two special sisters-in-law, Phyllis and Christine Povlik; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Melvin was preceded in death by brothers, Frank, Bob, Jim Povlik and Zigmont Povlik Jr. Private services will be held for the family. Arrangements are under direction of the SALOOM-REGA FUNERAL SERVICE, 730 W. Main St., Mt. Pleasant, 724-547-2122. Please visit Melvin's online memorial at http://www.saloom-rega.com to sign the condolence guestbook. Richard Rega, funeral director.
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Reed, Donna J. 67

  • North Huntingdon
  • Born: 1947-03-16
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Snyder, Irwin | Get Directions
  • Donna Jean (Majercik) Reed, 67, of North Huntingdon, died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. She was born March 16, 1947, in Duquesne, a daughter of the late M. John and Margaret (Dill) Majercik. She was a member of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, North Huntingdon, and a former member of Order of Eastern Star, Irwin, Chapter No. 400. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Milan Reed. She is survived by her husband of more than 38 years, Paul E. Reed; sons, Matthew (Samantha) Reed, of Larimer, and Dennis (Marie) Reed, of North Huntingdon; daughter-in-law, Kimberly Reed, of North Huntingdon; grandchildren, Lacey, Ryan, Michael, Zachary and Aidan; a brother, Dennis (Natalie) Majercik, of North Huntingdon; a sister, Diane (Tom) Weaver, of Beyer; and aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and all her adopted grandchildren. She was loved by all. Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the WILLIAM SNYDER FUNERAL HOME INC., 521 Main St., Irwin, 724-863-1200. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday in Lutheran Church of Our Saviour with Pastor Janice Attenburger officiating. Interment will follow in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park. Those wishing may make a contribution in Donna's name to the memorial fund of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, 1570 Clay Pike Road, North Huntingdon, PA 15642. For online condolences, please visit http://www.snyderfuneralservices.com.
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Rock, Mildred F. 94

  • Formerly of West Newton
  • Died: 1939-10-31
  • Funeral Home: Dodson, West Newton | Get Directions
  • Mildred F. (Furar) Rock, 94, formerly of West Newton, died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at the home of her daughter, Jeanine Mathers, in Newburg. She was born Oct. 31, 1919, in West Newton, a daughter of the late Matt Furar and Johona Lajavic. Mildred was a member of Christ Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church in America, in West Newton. She was employed at the Sabin's China Co. in Versailles. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Rock, in 2002; two sisters, Mary DeLong and Amelia Ferarri; and two brothers, Amel and Henry Furar. Mildred is survived by her daughter, Jeanine Mathers, of Newburg; and a son, Joseph Dennis Rock, of West Newton; five grandchildren; five great grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the RICHARD F. DODSON MEMORIAL HOME, 213 Main St., West Newton. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in the funeral home, with the Rev. Allen R. Riethmiller presiding. Interment will follow in the West Newton Cemetery.
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Rudy, Esther M. 84

  • Latrobe
  • Born: 1930-06-02
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Lopatich, Latrobe | Get Directions
  • Esther M. Rudy, 84, of Latrobe, passed away Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at Excela Health Latrobe Hospital. She was born June 2, 1930, in Latrobe, a daughter of the late William H. Lashinsky and Lena M. (Yost) Lashinsky. Esther was a member of St. Vincent Basilica. She was retired from St. Vincent Archabbey and worked for American Cyanamid and the American Legion kitchen. She was a member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Unit No. 515, where she served as Sgt. at Arms for many years. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Paul J. Rudy; a brother, Charles Lashinsky; a sister, Ruth French; and an infant brother. Esther is survived by her three sons, James T. Rudy and his wife, Sally, of Latrobe, Thomas A. Rudy and his wife, Lou Anne, of Derry, and Matthew M. Rudy, of Latrobe; one brother, Ralph Lashinsky and his wife, Lillian, of Latrobe; three sister-in-laws, Minerva Lashinsky, of Latrobe, Ann Lopushansky, of Red Bank, N.J., and Irene Rudy, of Latrobe; three grandchildren, Ian C. Rudy, Dylan P. Rudy and Grace A. Rudy; a special nephew and niece, Jim and Debbie Marinchak; numerous other nieces and nephews; and her loving pets, Arnold and Buddy. There will be no public visitations. Services and interment are private. Arrangements are being handled by the JOHN J. LOPATICH FUNERAL HOME INC., 601 Weldon St., Latrobe. To sign our online guest book, send condolences, or to view detailed obituary and funeral home information, please visit http://www.lopatich.com.
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Shaffer, Vera 86

  • Formerly of Derry
  • Born: 1928-07-28
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: McCabe, Derry | Get Directions
  • Vera (Stivison) Shaffer, 86, formerly of Derry, died peacefully Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, in Emeritus of Latrobe. She was born July 28, 1928, in Indiana, a daughter of the late William and Ruth Coy Stivison. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, William Shaffer; a son, Greg Shaffer; and two brothers, Richard and Roy Stivison. Vera is survived by her son, Kirk Shaffer, of Sterling, Va.; and her two daughters, Billie (Rick) Ditch, of Greensburg, and Paula (John) Petrarca, of Latrobe; six grandchildren, Kristy (Jeffrey) Moore, of Cranberry, Shawn (Sarah) Ditch, of Youngwood, Erika Ditch, of Greensburg, Margaret Shaffer and Troy Golden, both of Latrobe, and Kayla Golden, of Virginia; five great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Vera shared the peace she found in Jesus by spreading the good word and presenting Bibles to her friends and family. Friends will be received from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the McCABE FUNERAL HOME, 300 W. Third Ave., Derry, where a service will be conducted at 3 p.m., with Pastor Donna Gabler officiating. Private interment will be made in the Coles Cemetery, Derry. Online condolences may be made to http://www.mccabefuneralhomes.com.
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Skopp, Theodore A. 63

  • Derry
  • Born: 1950-12-11
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Merlin, Derry | Get Directions
  • Theodore A. Skopp, 63, of Derry, died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at Greensburg Care Center. He was born Dec. 11, 1950, in Brooklyn, N.Y., a son of late Harvey and Helen (Kaufman) Skopp. Prior to retirement, Ted was a manager at Shop'n Save. He was a member of the Westmoreland Food Bank. Ted enjoyed bowling. Ted is survived by his two brothers, Allen Skopp and wife, Virginia, of Derry, and Brian Skopp, of Milford, Pa.; and his one niece, seven nephews, five great-nieces and two great-nephews. A private graveside service will be held at the Temple Emanu-El Cemetery of Greensburg. The family has entrusted the funeral arrangements with the MATTHEW X. MERLIN FUNERAL HOME INC., 529 N. Chestnut St., Derry, 724-694-8331. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 E. 33rd St., New York, NY 10016.
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Smail, Paul J. 95

  • Formerly of Unity Township
  • Born: 1919-04-14
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: Gaut-Bacha, Pleasant Unity | Get Directions
  • Paul J. Smail, 95, formerly of Unity Township, died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at Greensburg Care Center, Hempfield Township. He was born April 14, 1919, in Southwest, a son of the late Andrew and Mary (Komar) Smail. Paul was a proud Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and, prior to retirement, worked as a carpenter at Latrobe Steel. He was a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Whitney, and American Legion Post No. 982, Pipetown, and was vice president of the Greensburg Care Center Resident Council. He was an avid birdwatcher and animal lover. He was also known for the gentle, sincere warmth that he shared with anyone he encountered. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Anne L. (Grohal) Smail; a daughter, Carol S. Palaika, in 2001; a brother, Thomas Smail; and a sister, Dorothy Smail. Paul is survived by a daughter, Phyllis Yesh and husband, Frank C., of Greensburg; his son, Paul S. "Bud" Smail and fiancee, Virginia Vayda, of Latrobe; a grandson, John Thomas Palaika, of Latrobe; a granddaughter, Annie (Palaika) Brandt and husband, Jason, of Greensburg; a son-in-law, Dr. John S. Palaika, of Latrobe; a brother, Andrew Smail, of Mt. Pleasant; two sisters, Elizabeth Lessick, of East Lake, Ohio, and Catherine Opalinski, of Scottdale; numerous relatives; and many loyal friends. Friends will be received from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the GAUT-BACHA FUNERAL HOME INC., 2072 Route 130, Pleasant Unity. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Whitney, with the Rev. Peter Augustine Pierjok, OSB, as celebrant. Please go directly to the church. Private inurnment in St. Clair Cemetery, Hempfield Township. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Paul's name to the Activity Department (garden fund) of Greensburg Care Center, 119 Industrial Park Road, Greensburg, PA 15601. The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to everyone at Greensburg Care Center for loving him and making him a part of their family. http://www.gaut-bachafuneralhomeinc.com.
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Fayette County

Basinger Jr., Rev. John 92

  • Normalville
  • Born: 1922-03-23
  • Died: 2014-10-24
  • Funeral Home: Brooks, Connellsville | Get Directions
  • Rev. John Basinger Jr., 92, of Normalville, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, while surrounded by his loving family. He was born March 23, 1922, in Normalville, the firstborn son of the late John and Lottie Whipkey Basinger. John was an avid reader all of his life. He believed you were never too old or too old to learn. He would ride on the mail truck to high school and walk to the Carnegie Free Library after school and read until it was time to catch the mail truck back up the mountain. In high school, he was known as the walking dictionary. One of his high school teachers, Miss Sonafelt (Mrs. Wandel) would have her students read around the room and if a student came to a difficult word, she would stop the reader and say, "Tell the class what that word means, John." He would graduate from Connellsville High School in 1941. John's father was gassed in World War I and was unable to work, so the family received public assistance. John had to go to work to repay the money they received. John answered the call to serve his country when drafted, Nov. 10, 1942. John was inducted into the Army and served his basic training with the 90th Division at Camp Barkley, Texas. He then became a part of the Cadre, which was to become the 36th Cavalry Recon Squadron. The 44th joined them at Yuma, Ariz., to form the 11th Cavalry Group. The 11th departed at New York on Sept. 29, 1944. They arrived at Glasgow, Scotland, 11 days later. After moving down to England, then sent over the Channel to Le Havre, France, they moved up through France and Belgium to Holland, where they engaged the enemy. The 11th Cavalry Group served under General Montgomery and General Simpson. They advanced across the Rhineland and Central Europe with Berlin as their goal. The 36th Recon squadron lost more than 60 percent of their men who were killed or wounded. John was wounded two weeks before the war was over. He, along with many others, were flown back to Nancy, France, where he spent the next two months recovering from his wounds. John returned to the USA and was honorably discharged on Feb. 24, 1946. On returning from the service, he married the former Rosemary Brooks on June 2, 1946. In 1996 John was elected post chaplain of Post 6743 in Donegal. He was elected state chaplain at the 81st annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, held at the Radisson Motel in Green Tree, Pittsburgh, on July 13, 2000. Also, after being discharged from the Army, John became active in the local Methodist Church at Normalville. He felt called to the ministry and was licensed to preach in 1961. He engaged in the course of study and attended the Wesley Theological Seminary at Washington, D.C. He was ordained deacon in 1964 by Bishop Middleton and elder by Bishop Newell in 1966. He was a member of the Western PA Conference of the United Methodist Church. He retired from the Johnstown District in 1988 but continued to serve where needed into his mid-80s. He was part-time pastor at Union in 1970 and full-time in 1987. He was pastor in Middleton in 1964. He was at Chalk Hill in 1962 to 1963, Chalk Hill-Evans Manor 1963 to 1965, Evans Manor Charge 1965 to 67, Stahlstown 1967 to 1971, Chalk Hill-Sampson Chapel 1971 to 1976, White Rock 1976 to 1980, Coolspring 1980 to 1984, Belsano 1984 to 88 and retired in 1988. John also worked at the Anchor Hocking and construction. John was employed by U.S. Steel, Edgar Thompson Works as a class carpenter from November 1952 until his retirement in April 1983. He was known as John 3:16 at work and had written John 3:16 on his hardhat. John loved to fish and hunt, paternally teaching his children and grandchildren to love sports. He liked gardening and woodworking and made family members and friends numerous items over the years. He raised beagles for many years and enjoyed running his dogs in the fields and trails. John is survived by his children, Gregory Basinger and wife, Bonnie, of Mill Run, Douglas Basinger and wife, Kathy, of Indian Head, and Marcia Miller and husband, Kevin, of Normalville; his grandchildren, Chad Basinger and wife Kristen, Cary Basinger and wife, Rachel, Carissa Basinger, Rebecca Ritenour and husband, Ed, Melanie Yothers and Lindsay Moore and husband, Caleb; his great-grandchildren, Mason, Gwen, Taney, Tagen and Camden Basinger, Alyssa Ritenour, Kylee Yothers and Amelia and Maverick Moore; his brother, Melvin Basinger; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife, Rosemary Brooks Basinger; a son, Terry Basinger; and brothers, Carl and Vernon Basinger. Family and friends will be received from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday and from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Monday in the BROOKS FUNERAL HOME INC., 111 E. Green St., Connellsville (724-628-1430), where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday with the Rev. Mark Sholtis and the Rev. Ed Mikkelsen officiating. A committal service and interment will follow in the Normalville Cemetery. Military rites will be conducted at the cemetery by the Valley VFW Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Connellsville Area Senior High School Library or the Carnegie Free Library or a favorite charity. To leave a message or send condolences, please visit http://www.brooksfuneralhomes.com.
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Washington County

Walmsley, Constance Louise L. 80

  • Donora , Formerly of West Newton
  • Born: 1934-04-15
  • Died: 2014-10-23
  • Funeral Home: McCauley, West Newton | Get Directions
  • Constance Louise "Connie" Walmsley, 80, of Donora, formerly of West Newton, died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. She was born April 15, 1934, in West Newton, a daughter of the late Robert A. and Lillian M. (Markle) DeHappart. She was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church in West Newton. Connie is survived by five children, Lee Walmsley, of Belle Vernon, Charles Walmsley Jr., of Alaska, Nancy Kite, of Irwin, Terri Sloboda, of Donora, and Janie Walmsley and husband, Jason, of Belle Vernon; 10 grandchildren, Lee Jr., Stacy, Luisa, Tom, Kristi, Kelli, Kathi, Tasha, Dylan and Jason; numerous great-grandchildren; two brothers, Clifford DeHappart, of Port Carbon and Harold DeHappart, of Schuylkill Haven; a number of nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Mary Rita Rozik. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Edward DeHappart and her companion of 30 years, Edward Kostella. Friends will be received 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday and 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the J. WILLIAM McCAULEY JR. FUNERAL HOME INC., 901 Vine St., West Newton, where services will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday. Interment will follow in West Newton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 201 S. 6th St., West Newton, PA 15089. http://www.mccauleyfuneralhome.com.
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Elsewhere

Tlumac, Frank 79

  • Randolph, Maine
  • Died: 2014-10-21
  • Funeral Home: Hoffer, Norvelt | Get Directions
  • Frank Tlumac, 79, of Randolph, Maine, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. He was born in Mt. Pleasant, a son of the late Joseph J. and Mary Tlumac. Services will be in Randolph, Maine.
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