George Wozniak Sr.

On the morning of Tuesday, May 14, 2019, George Wozniak Sr., Lilly, was called by his most righteous Savior to leave his earthly vessel, the body which trekked on Earth for 87 years. His spirit rose to be welcomed by family and friends that have gone before him; simultaneously all of his pain and suffering perished.

He was reunited with his parents, Joseph and Mary Wozniak; his brothers and sisters; his in-laws; a granddaughter, Ashley; as well as his very loyal pet dogs: Pierre, Queeny and Dakota.

Surviving are his wife, Anna; two daughters: Toni (Ray) Myers and Karen (Mike) Spaid; a son, George Wozniak and wife, Tammy; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a brother in-law, Robert Kodosky; a sister-in-law, Mary (Ray) Savukas; and nieces and nephews.

George was raised in Portage on a farm. He attended Portage High School, and met his wife of 64 years, Anna, at a high school football game. He was drafted by the U.S. Army, which led him to serve the country in the Korean War. He and his wife married in 1955, and dreamed of creating a family. Their dream not only became a reality, but later in life, they added several limbs to their family tree. After retiring from Bethlehem Steel, like most people, boredom struck, enticing him to become a bus driver for Wilkinson Bus Lines of Cresson. He did this for years, a job that he dubbed as one of his favorites.

He was a member of Mount Carmel Church, which later became Our Lady of the Alleghenies, in Lilly. He was a servant of God, living a life stemming from a foundation of devout Catholic faith. When called upon, he would usher any Mass he attended. George enjoyed coaching his son on the Lilly Legion Baseball Team and was a part of the Lilly Council for numerous years.

George was a Pittsburgh fan, faithfully cheering on the Pirates and Steelers every season. He had a love for the outdoors; which included camping, fishing, hunting, gardening and delving into home repairs. He loved sitting in a lawn chair watching his grandchildren ride bikes, as he was the one who taught them. He looked forward to summer nights, as they promised a seat beside his wife on their glider swing.

There are many things that we will wholeheartedly miss as we mourn such a significant loss to our family. He was a “Superfan” while he continuously rooted on his children (and their children) at many venues, his unwavering love and support off the court/field was immeasurable. He was constant comic relief to our family — joking always. He loved to summon any one of us close enough to “tug on our hair” or use his cane-end to drag a great-grandkid closer to him. He also exuberated (and taught) lifelong perseverance. Pap was the family medic — removing countless splinters, and providing first aid to scrapes, bumps and bruises throughout my childhood; he also served as the “infamous tooth-puller.” He loved animals, and enjoyed putting together puzzles. He liked working with his hands, and was always up for a challenge of untangling a knotted necklace. Pap enjoyed ice cream every evening, with grandma of course. He was a dedicated Wheel of Fortune viewer, who anxiously awaited Vanna White every evening. He had a welcoming pallet for sweets, especially coconut cream pie. But most importantly, he was the best example of a husband, dad and grandfather. He has inspired us all to give our best, even on days that we may feel our worst; he instilled values within us, giving us the tools to one day measure up to being a person as special as him. In my eyes, my grandfather was a great man, and I believe when a great man dies, for years to come, the light left behind will guide those he loved. So long, Pap. It’s never goodbye; it’s only, “until we meet again.”

A private viewing will be held for the family at Serenko-Claar Funeral Home PC, Portage. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 16, 2019, at Our Lady of the Alleghenies Catholic Church, Lilly, Father Kevin Queally, T.O.R., celebrant. Committal will be in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cemetery, Lilly. Military Rites will be accorded by the Lilly American Legion and VFW.

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