Ronald James Balcerek
Ronald James Balcerek of North Irwin died as he lived in the wee hours of the morning of March 30 at Allegheny General Hospital. He did it his way! Ron was born on April 21, 1944 in “Camelot”, a.k.a. Mammoth, the first born of the late Leo and Pauline (Milan) Balcerek. Once his father returned from serving in World War II, they moved to Mount Pleasant. He attended Visitation Grade School, where he tested the faith of the Sisters, and East Huntingdon High School as well as “Morewood Institute of Technology,” a premier “learning institution” in Mount Pleasant. After graduation, Ron enlisted in the United States Air Force where he was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. He worked in aircraft maintenance. After his discharge from the USAF, he returned to Mount Pleasant and enrolled in the apprenticeship program at Westinghouse. He worked in various roles at various sites of the Westinghouse Corporation until health issues forced him to go on disability. Ron officially retired in 2010. He was an avid Penn State and Steeler fan as well as a lifelong member of the Slovak Club in Mount Pleasant and the Polish Falcons and a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Parish in Irwin. He loved to attend polka dances on the weekends and went on many a road trip to various Polka festivals.
Ron is survived by his faithful wife of almost 49 years, Barbara (Kubish) Balcerek; three children: Sr. Lisa Balcerek, C.S.J. of Baden, Ronald, Jr. (Michele) of Germantown, MD and his swevish, Tracy Balcerek of North Irwin. He was Pappy to the greatest grandsons in the world, Caden Lemieux and Liam Alexander Balcerek of Germantown, MD. He is also survived by his siblings, Joe (Helen), John (Gail Goodfellow), Susan Barbour and Barbara (Mike) Owens, sister-in-law Judith Kubish (Hal Dessel), nieces and nephews and his many “cuzes.” Ron had been a resident at Villa St. Joseph in Baden for the past 5½ months. The family is eternally grateful for the staff who put up with/cared for him, especially Jessica who could get him to do anything, the small but mighty Jamie, Bridget who spoiled him rotten, the dynamic duo, Brittany and KeNesha and Lisa Dusch, CRNP who relentlessly beat her head against the wall trying to get him to sit in the chair twice a day. They also are grateful to Andrew and Sue, his nurses at AGH, who were extremely compassionate and supportive during his last day on earth. Family and friends will be received Monday from 2-8 p.m. at the Ott Funeral Home Inc. 805 Pennsylvania Avenue Irwin. (And much to Ron’s dismay, no beer or P.M. will be served there.) Parting prayers will be held 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the funeral home followed by a 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Immaculate Conception Church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Villa St. Joseph of Baden, 1030 State Street, Baden, PA 15005.