Charles (Charlie) Debach

Charles (Charlie) Debach, 86, of 258 Pisgah Road, Troy, passed away at home peacefully in his sleep, on Saturday, Feb. 9.

He was born June 5, 1927 in Berwick, the son of Ukrainian immigrants Andrew and Mary Debach, the eighth child of 10; four brothers, John, Michael, George and Andrew, and five sisters, Anna, Mary, Kate, Anne, and Rosemary, all predeceased him.

He was also predeceased by his precious son, Stephen Gerald Debach, on Sept. 3, 1972.

Charles is survived by his wife of 46 years, Dawn Warner Debach; sons Charles II (Leslie), Michael (Linda), Jon (Lidia) and Rob (Vanessa); and daughters Joy (Russell Trezise) and Melissa (Michael Salisbury). He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Amy (Chris Confer), Andrew, Lindsay, Michael, Katie, Geoffrey, Jacob, Carter, Nicholas, Charlie and A.J.; and a great-grandchild, Laurel. He is also survived by several nieces, nephews and numerous friends.

He was a wonderfully loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, great grandfather and to everyone he touched, a friend. Anyone who even briefly encountered him was met with tales that would make people collapse with laughter but be amazed by his life stories.

Growing up hungry in Berwick, Charlie waited each day for the train to pass through his backyard, when the trainman would throw him an orange for him and his family to eat. In his later years Charlie made sure no one went hungry. He was an amazing chef, who loved to eat as much as he loved to cook for people. Many friends loved to visit his home, whether expected or not, and were greeted by Charlie, always with a smile on his face in his signature camouflage apron, a cigar or Rob Roy in one hand and in the other, a forkful of the best meat they had ever tasted.

As a plank owner on the USS Fargo, Charlie served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He traveled the world serving his country, and always spoke fondly of his years in the service. It was in the Navy where Charlie truly discovered his love of food, for which he was very well-known. He was always first in line at the mess hall, and was back in line for seconds and thirds.

Following his time in the service, Charlie lived in New York City, and after a tough training in his trade on the streets of New York's Meatpacking District, he returned to Pennsylvania a skilled butcher and savvy business man who single handedly built Leona Meat Plant into a thriving business, and a staple of the Troy area community and beyond.

Charlie was also an avid golfer, traveler, hunter and fisherman, although he enjoyed the camaraderie and card-playing more than the actual hunting and fishing.

He will be remembered by family and friends as a kind, generous, and thoughtful man. Charlie was always quick to laugh, always saw the best in people, and had the amazing ability to run into someone he knew no matter where he was around the world, which was a testament to the many friends he had. Everyone who knew him, loved him and wherever he was, the party was soon to follow.

He was a member of St. John's Catholic Church, Armenia Debating Society, and Corey Creek Golf Club, as well as a former member of St. Cyrill and Methodius Ukrainian Church, the Elmira City Club, Fur, Fin and Feather, and The New Golf Club, St. Andrews, Scotland.

As sad as his passing is, no one will think of Charlie without being accompanied by their brightest smile, and he will keep smiling down on us, forever.

Vickery Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements, which will be private and at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Charlie's memory to the Western Alliance EMS, P.O. Box 13, Troy, PA 16947.


Published in Daily Review from Feb. 10 to Feb. 13, 2013