Age 96, of Elizabeth Township, passed away peacefully, on August 2, 2013. He was the devoted husband of Margaret (Chemsak) Gala, to whom he was married for over 58 years. Born in Czechoslovakia on July 19, 1917, Charles came to the United States when he was three years old. He was the son of the late Frank and Anna (Lokash) Gala. He was a life-long member of St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church and active in many organizations. In his early years, Charles was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps and then served in the US Army Air Corps as a B-26 tail gunner in World War II. In 1938, he had his start in the jewelry business and ten years later, opened Gala Jewelers. As the proud owner of Gala Jewelers, first in the McKeesport location and most recently in Oak Park Mall, he enjoyed his career serving customers until his retirement in 2007. For many years, he volunteered his time with local Boy Scout Troop 99 as its Treasurer, and also was a member of the McKeesport Coin Collectors Club as well as the Downtown McKeesport Association. Charles enjoyed traveling extensively overseas with his wife. He loved his family, his work, and spending time in his garden. Charles Gala will be missed by all. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; sons, Charles G. (Patricia) of Elizabeth Township, Ronald P. (Lori Ann) of Upper St. Clair, and Paul L. (Angela) of Charlotte, NC; daughters, Marlene B. (John) Shields of Allentown and Lisa M. (Mark) Cirucci of Rochester, NY; grandchildren, Charles, Michele, Alex, Brandon, Sara, Lauren, Steven, Nick, Cole, Grant, and Hayden; and great-granddaughter, Claire. Besides his parents, Charles was predeceased by brothers, John and Frank Gala and sisters, Ann (Gala) Pasinski and Helen (Gala) Hrehocik. Friends will be received in the DANIEL F. BEKAVAC FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY, 4504 Walnut St., Versailles, PA 15132 (412-678-3454) on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Thursday, August 8, 2013 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A Panachida will be held in the funeral home on Friday, August 9, 2013 at 9 a.m., and a Funeral Liturgy later at 10:30 a.m. in St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church in McKeesport. Procession and burial, with military honors, will follow in Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Elizabeth Township. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, 1 N. Linden St., Duquesne, PA 15110, Mount St. Macrina, 500 W. Main St., Uniontown, PA 15401, or the Intersection of McKeesport, 115 7th St., McKeesport, PA 15132.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Aug. 6 to Aug. 8, 2013