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George Sisak, age 81, of Fairview, passed away Monday, September 9, 2013 at UPMC Hamot, after a brief illness.
He was born in the family home at Lundys Lane, Pa. (near Albion, Pa.) on August 23, 1932, the son of the late Nick and Anna Kostycz Sisak, and the youngest of 12 children.
A graduate of Albion High School, Class of 1950, George worked at GE and Lord Corporation until he was drafted, serving in the US Army Infantry from 1953-1955, during the Korean War
. He missed being sent to the front by two weeks, instead being stationed in Berlin, and assigned to guard the Berlin Wall. He traveled throughout Europe, during his years in the service, and always appreciated his training and that opportunity.
He married Carol Boyce Sisak on June 11, 1955. In 1957, they purchased together the house in Fairview George called "home" for the rest of his life.
A machinist at Titan Tool in Fairview for over 42 years, George retired in 2002.
He was a member of Fairview United Methodist Church, Edinboro McKean V.F.W
. Post 740, and the Fairview American Legion Post #742. He was also an Assistant Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop #146 of St. Stephen's Church in Fairview.
George enjoyed his time as caretaker of lakefront properties for many years in Fairview, where he met many friends, and was trusted for his ability to solve any problem or know just the person who could. He was a self-described "talker," and loved meeting new people and finding out interesting stories to share. As a result, he knew and was known by all of Fairview.
Growing up in a household whose transportation was a horse named "Bessie" and a wagon, George was smitten with cars his whole life. His first car was a 1949 midnight blue Ford Mercury, followed by a line of now-classics, until he became a family man with a pickup truck and station wagon.
He loved music, especially Lawrence Welk and the big bands of the 1940s, listened to music all the time at home, and enjoyed attending concerts.
He fed crows in his back field each morning, and loved mowing so much he never allowed anyone else to ride his old Gravely tractor.
He was a regular at Lorie's Wildridge Restaurant, where everybody knew his name and his coffee preference, and his dinner friend Corky saved his life by notifying friends when he didn't show for dinner on schedule. He was dependable, honest, and a good man and a great friend.
George will be remembered fondly whenever the sun sets over Lake Erie - he rarely missed a sunset at Walnut Creek Access, and never turned down a Mexican sundae at Creamland.
He was proud of his children who attended Fairview schools, to graduate from MIT, Harvard, and UConn Dental School. He was proudest of his grandchildren, Hunter and Avery Keller, and enjoyed giving them updates of the new rides at Waldameer each summer. George always had a soft spot for children, and was known as "Grandpa George" to many children of friends and neighbors, long before he had grandchildren of his own.
He was preceded in death by his devoted and caring wife of 46 years, Carol Boyce Sisak, in 2001. He was also preceded in death by nine brothers and sisters: Pete (infant), Olga (infant), Anne, Helene, Steve, Frank, Grace Peters, Joseph (Bill), and Olga Cady.
Survivors include a son Stephen G. Sisak of Cambridge, Mass., and a daughter, Dr. Suzanne Keller and her husband Sean, of Deerfield, Mass.; his sister, Betty Wright of Girard; his brother Mike Sisak and his wife Jean of Solvang, Calif.; his sister-in-law Mary Lou Sisak of Millcreek, and his brother-in-law Peter Boyce of New Albany, Ind. His beloved granddaughter Hunter Keller and adored grandson Avery Keller, and many nieces and nephews also survive. His nephews Joe and Jim Sisak have been especially helpful to the family during George's sudden illness.
The family would like to thank his many friends and neighbors for their friendship over the years, and especially during the past few weeks.
Betty Yukon is much appreciated for her kindness and always being there for George. Much appreciation is given to the nurses, doctors, and staff of Hamot ICU East and Select Specialty Hospital for their skills and service the past four weeks.
Friends may call at the Burton Funeral Home, 525 Main Street East, Girard, on Friday, September 13, 2013, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., and are also invited to attend a service there on Saturday, September 14, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Laurel Hill Cemetery, with full military honors. Please send condolences, and especially stories of George, to www.Burtonfuneralhome.com
Memorials, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Fairview Music Boosters (c/o Fairview High School, 7460 McCray Road, Fairview, PA 16415) or Boy Scouts of America Troop #146 (c/o St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 1070 Dutch Road, Fairview, PA 16415).
Published in the Erie Times-News on Sept. 12, 2013