It is with profound grief but with resignation to the Will of Almighty God and trust in the infinite merits and mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ that I announce that Joseph Louis Gazarik, devoted husband, father, & best friend, of Allegheny Township, Pa died at home surrounded by his wife, Renee & son, Joe on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 12:45 am after a 12 month battle with inoperable & metastatic Adenocarcinoma of the Pancreas.
He was 74.
Throughout his 12 month fight with pancreatic cancer, Joe showed unwavering and heroic resolve, courage, & strength of character in the face of numerous complications, infections, and the weakening effects of terminal cancer. He was determined to never give up, fight to the very end, maintain his dignity, & willingly and without complaint carry his cross uniting his sufferings with those of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary thereby living the teachings of the Catholic Church, "In the Death and Resurrection of Christ, human suffering finds its deepest explanation and Salvivic meaning and thus every human life, from the time of conception to natural death is of infinite value."
Joe died imitating Our Lord on the Cross who refused to drink wine mixed with gall. He refused morphine to the very end.
Joseph Louis Gazarik was born June 17, 1944 at Allegheny Valley Hospital, Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania the son of the late Joseph Anthony & Irene (Cieslinski) Gazarik.
A 1962 graduate of St. Joseph High School, Joe studied with the Vincentian fathers at Niagara University in Buffalo, NY and graduated with a bachelor of science in marketing and business administration from Youngstown State University as a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity; Gamma Pi chapter.
Joe worked at Allegheny Ludlum Brackenridge Works, Dial Finance Company, & Dun & Bradstreet Corp. as a corporate credit analyst before becoming a district manager of the United States Chamber of Commerce.
A firm believer in helping families, Joe was a pre-need counselor in the funeral industry for over 35 years at a number of funeral homes & cemeteries in western Pennsylvania before his last position as a pre-need counselor for the Catholic Cemeteries Association, Diocese of Pittsburgh.
In that same spirit, Joe was also an associate of GardaRX, providing senior care pharmacy services to long term care facilities from Pittsburgh to Erie, Pa.
Joe was a amateur radio operator (call sign KC3HYH), a Knight of Columbus, and an usher at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church. He was known for his dry witt, satirical sense of humor, flirtatious nature, and his love of fireworks.
Actively involved in local politics, Joe was the Zoning Code Enforcement Officer for Allegheny Township for many years. He was a member of the Delmont, Pa Tea Party and a firm supporter of Making America Great Again (MAGA) & Trump2020.
In the areas of charity, Joe was a board member of Kiski Valley Cat & Kitten Rescue for over 18 Years.
He was an accomplished dancer and enjoyed "Doing the Hustle". Joe enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, playing golf with his best friend, "Smitty", working with Marty and "Bucky" at GardaRX, listening to Classic Radio, fishing, working crossword puzzles, & doing small engine repair.
He loved the sports of Golf and Baseball and was a devoted fan of his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates. Joe also enjoyed classic movies of all genres with his favorites being Blazing Saddles, The Wizard of Oz, Airplane and History of the World, Part I.
Joe is survived by his devoted wife and dance partner of 42 years, Marcella Renee (Rago) Gazarik, two children, Joseph Theodore Gazarik of Allegheny Township & Rebecca Renee Gazarik of Fort Wayne, Indiana, four grandchildren, Simon, Sebastian, Lenka Marie, & Lukas Peter Gazarik and numerous Gazarik, Cieslinski, & Rago relatives.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Nathan Bahary, MD, Ph.D Co-Director - UPMC Pancreatic Cancer Center of Excellence and Canon John O'Connor of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest who attended to Joe's spiritual needs in the final weeks of his life and ensured Joe was well provided for.
Friends will be received on Friday from 2-4, 6-8 PM in the Cicholski-Zidek Funeral Home, Inc., 1522 Carlisle St., Natrona Heights 724-224-8688, where a parting prayer service will be held on Saturday at 1:15 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 2:00 PM in St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church, 857 Kenneth Avenue, New Kensington with the Rev. Rodel D. Molina as celebrant. Burial will follow in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Lower Burrell.
A memorial dinner celebrating Joe's life will take place immediately following the burial at Hill Crest Country Club, 3411 Leechburg Rd, Lower Burrell, PA 15068
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