Cicholski-Zidek Funeral Home
1522 Carlisle St
Natrona Heights, PA 15065
(724) 224-8688
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Joseph L. Gazarik

1944 - 2018
Joseph L. Gazarik Obituary
It is with profound grief but with resignation to the Will of Almighty God and trust in the infinite merits and mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ that I announce that Joseph Louis Gazarik, devoted husband, father and best friend, of Allegheny Township, died at home, surrounded by his wife, Renee, and son, Joe, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at 12:45 a.m., after a 12-month battle with inoperable and metastatic Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. He was 74. Throughout his 12-month fight with pancreatic cancer, Joe showed unwavering and heroic resolve, courage and strength of character in the face of numerous complications, infections and the weakening effects of terminal cancer. He was determined to never give up, fight to the very end, maintain his dignity and willingly and without complaint carry his cross uniting his sufferings with those of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary, thereby living the teachings of the Catholic Church, "In the Death and Resurrection of Christ, human suffering finds its deepest explanation and Salvivic meaning and thus every human life, from the time of conception to natural death is of infinite value." Joe died imitating Our Lord on the Cross, who refused to drink wine mixed with gall. He refused morphine to the very end. Joseph Louis Gazarik was born June 17, 1944, at Allegheny Valley Hospital, Natrona Heights, the son of the late Joseph Anthony and Irene (Cieslinski) Gazarik. A 1962 graduate of St. Joseph High School, Joe studied with the Vincentian fathers at Niagara University, in Buffalo, N.Y., and graduated with a bachelor of science in marketing and business administration from Youngstown State University as a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity; Gamma Pi chapter. Joe worked at Allegheny Ludlum Brackenridge Works, Dial Finance Company and Dun and Bradstreet Corp. as a corporate credit analyst before becoming a district manager of the United States Chamber of Commerce. A firm believer in helping families, Joe was a pre-need counselor in the funeral industry for more than 35 years at a number of funeral homes and cemeteries in western Pennsylvania before his last position as a pre-need counselor for the Catholic Cemeteries Association, Diocese of Pittsburgh. In that same spirit, Joe was also an associate of GardaRX, providing senior care pharmacy services to long term care facilities from Pittsburgh to Erie. Joe was an amateur radio operator (call sign KC3HYH), a Knight of Columbus and an usher at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church. He was known for his dry wit, satirical sense of humor, flirtatious nature and his love of fireworks. Actively involved in local politics, Joe was the zoning code enforcement officer for Allegheny Township for many years. He was a member of the Delmont Tea Party and a firm supporter of Making America Great Again (MAGA) and Trump2020. In the areas of charity, Joe was a board member of Kiski Valley Cat and Kitten Rescue for more than 18 Years. He was an accomplished dancer and enjoyed "Doing the Hustle". Joe enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, playing golf with his best friend, "Smitty", working with Marty and "Bucky" at GardaRX, listening to classic radio, fishing, working crossword puzzles and doing small engine repair. He loved the sports of golf and baseball and was a devoted fan of his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates. Joe also enjoyed classic movies of all genres with his favorites being Blazing Saddles, The Wizard of Oz, Airplane and History of the World, Part I. Joe is survived by his devoted wife and dance partner of 42 years, Marcella Renee (Rago) Gazarik; two children, Joseph Theodore Gazarik, of Allegheny Township, and Rebecca Renee Gazarik, of Fort Wayne, Ind.; four grandchildren, Simon, Sebastian, Lenka Marie and Lukas Peter Gazarik; and numerous Gazarik, Cieslinski and Rago relatives. The family wishes to thank Dr. Nathan Bahary, MD, Ph.D co-director - UPMC Pancreatic Cancer Center of Excellence and Canon John O'Connor of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, who attended to Joe's spiritual needs in the final weeks of his life and ensured Joe was well provided for.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in the CICHOLSKI-ZIDEK FUNERAL HOME INC., 1522 Carlisle St., Natrona Heights, 724-224-8688, where a parting prayer service will be held at 1:15 p.m. Saturday. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 2 p.m. in St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church, 857 Kenneth Ave., New Kensington, with the Rev. Rodel D. Molina, as celebrant. Burial will follow in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Lower Burrell. A memorial dinner celebrating Joe's life will take place immediately following the burial at Hill Crest Country Club, 3411 Leechburg Road, Lower Burrell, PA 15068.
Published in Greensburg Tribune Review on Oct. 30, 2018
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