Father Robert J. Yetsko, T.O.R., 57, of the Third Order Regular Franciscans of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, died suddenly Monday in an automobile accident in La Jose.
He was born in Altoona and given the name Kevin, son of Doris J. Gates and the late Robert J. Yetsko.
Surviving are his mother of Altoona; two sisters: Melanie Lee and husband, Dr. David Lee, and Anne Macklin and husband, Kenneth, all of Altoona; a niece, Olivia Walton, and a nephew, Sean Walton, both of Altoona; and his Franciscan Brothers.
Father Robert was a graduate of McNelis Catholic Grade School, Altoona, and Bishop Guilfoyle High School, Altoona. After high school graduation, he entered the Third Order Regular on Aug. 24, 1974. He professed his temporary vows on June 1, 1976, and his solemn vows on June 1, 1981. He was ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop James Hogan of the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown on June 9, 1984, at the Immaculate Conception Chapel, St. Francis University, Loretto.
Father Robert received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from St. Francis University in May 1979 and a Master of Divinity degree from the University of St. Michael College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
During his long and faithful ministry, Father Robert served as follows: from 1984-86, campus ministry and instructor in philosophy, St. Francis University, Loretto; from 1986-89, pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, Patton; from 1989-92, pastoral care, Southside Hospital, Pittsburgh; from 1992-94, parochial vicar, St. Maria Goretti Church, Arlington, Texas; from 1994-2000, pastor of St. Matthew Church, Pittsburgh; from 2000-08, pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, Punxsutawney; from 2008-10, local minister of St. Francis Friary, Loretto; from 2010-12, pastor of Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Church, Johnstown; and from 2012 to the present, pastor of Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Church, Sykesville, and Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church, DuBois.
Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 4 p.m. today, Nov. 21, 2013, at Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Church, 104 Shaffer St., Sykesville.
Friends will be received from 2 to 5 and 6:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, at the Chapel of St. Francis Friary at Mount Assisi, Loretto, where a vigil service will be celebrated at 7 p.m.
A funeral Mass will be concelebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at St. Francis Friary Chapel at Mount Assisi with the Very Rev. Richard L. Davis, T.O.R., minister provincial, as principal celebrant. After the Mass, interment will take place at the Franciscan Friars' Cemetery on the campus of St. Francis University, Loretto.
Memorial contributions may be made to support retired T.O.R. Friars, c/o T.O.R. Friars Retirement Fund, St. Francis Friary, P.O. Box 137, Loretto, PA 15940.
Arrangements are by Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church St., Gallitzin.