After losing a long-fought battle with Alzheimer's disease, Philip David Ekas Jr. went to his eternal rest on Friday. Be not sad, as his life was one wonderfully lived.
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He was born in Brackenridge to Dorothy Marie (Walker) and Philip D. Ekas in 1944. He was the first of six siblings, which would include Ronald Ekas (Suzanne), Susan Beatty (Richard), Charles Ekas (Kim), Dorothy Sell, Charles Hoak (Paula) and Jeanne Ekas (predeceased).
When he was still quite small, his family moved to Saxonburg. Young Philip became "Flip" and Saxonburg became much more than home. Flip grew up there, matured, married, raised his children, retired, died and will now be buried there.
He began his formal education in the one-roomed, little red schoolhouse on Main Street in Saxonburg. He concluded his formal education at the then-newly-opened Knoch High School in 1962.
As a teenager, he proudly belonged to both of Saxonburg's notorious gangs, the Saxonburg Satins and the Saxonburg Saints. To burnish his reputation and to prove he was more than a tough guy in a leather jacket with a great D.A., he left his perch on Arnie Schroth's front porch and began competing with Pittsburgh's Golden Gloves, showing some success as a welter weight boxer.
Shortly thereafter, Flip was introduced to Bonnie Bernardini, who would become the love of his life (celebrating their 50th anniversary this year) and to Joe Armco (Armco Steel) who would become his employer for almost 40 years.
Flip fathered three sons who he loved dearly, Keith Glenn, Lance Ekas (David Hebrank) and Paul Ekas (Johanna Haddox), and later relished spending time with his grandchildren, Morgan, Natalie, Ashe, Rebekah, Cameron, Lea and Peyton.
He pursued a great many interests and hobbies before retiring and being laid low by Alzheimer's. He was a bodybuilder and a fitness enthusiast, for many years maintaining his own gym. He loved martial arts and jogging about Saxonburg. Flip also quietly enjoyed painting and woodcarving and writing poetry. His gift for poetry came from his mother and was often inspired by thoughtful time spent in his overhead-crane in the melt shop at Armco.
Some of his best adventures involved traveling and RV'ing with his wife and family. Some of his fondest moments were spent with his parents and siblings in Saxonburg.
EKAS - Friends of Philip David Ekas Jr., who died Friday, April 11, 2014, will be received from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Fox Funeral Home, 410 W. Main St., Saxonburg.
A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 310 W. Main St., Saxonburg, with the Rev. Roger G. Keller officiating. Interment will follow in the Saxonburg Memorial Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorial donations may be made to the South Butler Community Library (Saxonburg Library), P.O. Box 454, Saxonburg, PA 16056 or to St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 187, Saxonburg, PA 16056.
For more information, visit www.foxfuneralhomeinc.com.
Fox Funeral Home
410 W. Main St
Saxonburg, PA 16056
Published in Butler Eagle from Apr. 11 to Apr. 13, 2014