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Henry P. "Hank" Pruch, 88, of Chapel Ridge, formerly of 118 Williams St., passed away Tuesday (Dec. 25, 2012) at Bradford Regional Medical Center.
Born Jan. 26, 1924, in Bradford, he was a son of the late Steve and Pauline Pearl (Tokarcik) Pruch. On Feb. 15, 1947, in Bradford, by Msgr. Wiersbinski, he married Cecelia J. (Finlan) Pruch, who died on Jan. 26, 2001.
Mr. Pruch was a 1941 graduate of St. Bernard High School. He had worked as a meat cutter at Loblaws grocery store before entering the service. On March 15, 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army, served during World War II, and was honorably discharged in 1945.
He began a long career with Kendall Oil Company on April 15, 1946. His previous experience surveying abandoned oil leases for John DePetrio in the Bolivar area helped him get his first job on the Kendall Pipeline Unit. In August of that year he moved into the control lab as a trainee. Running the various control test gave him a thorough understanding of the properties of crude oil and the array of company products. In 1947, Henry moved into the sales department, where he ran tests on returned product sand and conducted refinery tours. In 1950, he took an outside sales position traveling mostly by train to cover the upper mid-west region.
In 1953, Henry was offered the position of regional sales manager for the New England states and he moved away from Bradford for the first and only time in his life. When he was asked to become advertising manager in 1958 he happily moved his family back to Bradford. He became vice president of Kendall Oil and held that position when Witco Chemical purchased the refinery. He was promoted to general manager of the Kendall Division of Witco Chemical and held that position until he retired in 1989.
He served on the Board of Directors at Northwest Savings Bank, Beacon Light, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and Penn Brad Oil Museum. He was a member and past president of the United Way, Bradford Township Lions Club, The Pennhills Club and the Bradford Club. He along with Stan Gleason co-chaired the fund drive at Bradford Central Christian High School.
Surviving are two daughters, Dr. Janice Pruch of New Hope and Marta (Jim) McHale of Bradford; two sons, Stephen (Brooke Belcher) Pruch of Eugene, Ore., and David (Robin) Pruch of Bolivar, N.Y.; nine grandchildren, Kira Justice, Jared Pruch, Nathan, Noah and Amanda McHale, Caleb, Lucas, Hannah and Isaac Pruch; and one great-grandson, Colby Justice.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; one brother, William Pruch; and four sisters, Helen Ogurchak, Mary Ernest, Louise Roche and Josephine Young.
At the family's request there will be no public visitation. Private services will be held at the convenience of the family. Burial will be in St. Bernard Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford or a
On line condolences may be made at www.hollenbeckcahill.com
Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc.
33 South Avenue
Bradford, PA 16701
Published in The Bradford Era from Dec. 27, 2012 to Jan. 2, 2013