Stephen M. Belin

Stephen M. Belin, 68, Houtzdale, passed away Sunday afternoon at UPMC Altoona.

He was born in Philipsburg, son of the late Matthew J. and Mary Jane (Brennan) Belin. He married Mary Ann Pajcic on Aug. 19, 1967, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Surviving are his wife; a sister-in-law, Marcia Muir of DuBois; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his only sibling, Matthew.

Steve graduated from Moshannon Valley High School in 1963 as salutatorian of his class, and in recent years, he organized the class reunions. He received a Bachelor of Science from St. Francis University, Loretto, in 1967 and went on to receive his master’s degree in inorganic chemistry from Cornell University.

He worked as a chemist for the Chattem Drug Co. in Chattanooga, Tenn., from 1970-72. He then was hired as a teacher for the Moshannon Valley School District in 1972 and retired in 2005 as technical coordinator. He taught nearly every science course available throughout his career. He also served as president of the local teacher’s union for several years, including serving during the only teachers’ strike in the history of the school in 1988.

Steve was an active parishioner of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, Ramey, where he served as a Eucharistic minister. He also chaired and was an instructor for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults into the church, served as president of the parish council and as the church business manager, and was the technical coordinator liaison for the parish with the Erie Diocese. He served on the Holy Trinity Cemetery Committee and maintained the cemetery burial maps and death and burial records.

He was appointed to the Woodward Township Sewage and Water Authority Board in January 1990 and was the only founding member of the board still serving. Since its conception, he had been the secretary/treasurer and had served a total of 24 years on the board. He was a member of the Croatian Fraternal Union since boyhood, acting as treasurer of the local branch for some years. He was also a volunteer tax aid counselor for the AARP and IRS senior citizens tax aid program service since 2011, and in 2012, he served as technical coordinator for Clearfield County.

Steve was an enthusiastic gardener and orchardist; he could barely leave a seed unplanted. He was an avid ornithologist, establishing a bird-watching club in the area in the 1990s. He served as Clearfield County coordinator for the Audubon Spring Migratory Bird Count for many years and participated in the Winter Raptor Survey in Clearfield County for several years. He enjoyed genealogy and providing his family members with stories and photos of their past generations.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, at Kruise Funeral Home Inc., Ramey. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Father Zab Amar as celebrant. Interment will follow in Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery, Ramey.

Memorial donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy Pennsylvania Chapter, 2101 N. Front St., Building 1, Suite 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110.

Condolences may be sent to: condolences@kruise