Richard Andrew "Rich" Gavula
1947 - 2019
Geibel Funeral Home
201 E Cunningham St
Butler, PA
Richard Andrew Gavula Sr., 72, of Butler passed away early Monday morning at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
Rich was born March 26, 1947. He grew up in Lyndora and was a son of the late Andrew Gavula Jr. and the late Mary (Krul) Gavula.
He was a devoted altar server at St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church.
Rich was married to his loving wife, the late Patricia (Morgus) Gavula, whom he married on Nov. 30, 1968.
He had two incredible children, Jennifer (Paul) Roush of Mars, and Richard A. (Christina) Gavula Jr. of Butler.
He was blessed with five wonderful grandchildren, Emily Roush, 20, Nate Roush, 16, and Lauren Roush, 13, and Brady Gavula, 16, and Lindsay Gavula, 13, whom he loved and treasured dearly. They were Papa's favorite starting line-up and were the main source of light in his life.
His dedicated immediate family consisted of one brother, the late Robert Gavula and his sister-in-law, Barbara Gavula Whitaker, of Franklinton, N.C., Robert J. (Connie) Morgus of St. Peters, Mo., and Nicholas J. Morgus (Nada) of Huntsville, Ala. He also had two nieces and five nephews.
Richard graduated from Butler High School in 1965 and from Slippery Rock University in 1970.
He was an Armstrong School District health and physical education teacher, where he taught for 35 years. Mr. Gavula spent time teaching and coaching at Ford City High School, along with East Franklin, North Buffalo and West Hills Elementary schools. His love of sports and recreational activities were some of his most special lifelong hobbies and interests.
He played football, baseball and basketball throughout his youth and high school years. He was an Eagle Scout and a volunteer fire fighter, and he served as fire chief of the Lyndora Volunteer Fire Company for 20 years.
He continued to keep up with his love of sports by officiating basketball, softball and baseball. Rich was the most senior active member of the 75 member BCSOA umpire group. He was also the longest tenured member of the PIAA Umpire Chapter, with more than 49 years of experience.
Throughout his life, he valued and cherished his dearest family/friends and enjoyed many trips and activities together. He was fortunate to have traveled the world and visited 47 countries throughout his life's journey.
Rich's interest in reading began as a young boy, when he had a paper route in his neighborhood, which led him to becoming an avid reader, especially of newspapers.
He led a very active life with passions for fishing, swimming, cycling and golfing. In addition, he had always been characterized as an extremely hard worker with many projects in the yard and around the house. Even though he was often found behind home plate or running up and down the hard courts, he always put his grandchildren's sports and activities as his highest priority to support and encouraged them all! He will always be remembered by his character, integrity and unique sense of humor.
GAVULA - Friends of Richard Andrew Gavula Sr., who died Monday, June 10, 2019, will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Geibel Funeral Home, 201 E. Cunningham St., Butler.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Butler.
Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Butler.
In lieu of flowers, his family strongly requests that donations be made for a specially designed field for special needs children and adults to play baseball - "In Loving Memory of Richard Gavula Sr." to the Miracle League Southwestern PA (MLSWPA), P.O. Box 1519, Cranberry Township, PA 16066, or at
For more information or to leave an online condolence, please visit

Published by Butler Eagle from Jun. 11 to Jun. 12, 2019.
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Geibel Funeral Home
201 E Cunningham St, Butler, PA
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church
Butler, PA
Funeral services provided by:
Geibel Funeral Home
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9 Entries
I will miss Rich, as he and his wife Pat, traveled with me on several PA State System travel programs across the globe. I enjoyed their friendship over the past 15 years or so.
June 19, 2019
Rich, Rest in peace my friend. Sorry I can't come to see you but someone has to umpire the tournaments. I'll miss all the fun we had and the DH at Highfield. Now you're back with Patty and she'll be by your side forever. Bye Richie. Don't worry, I'll get third!
Bill Coulter
June 14, 2019
sorry to see Rich passed ,have many memories of him as the fire chief ,RIP Chief 4
Bob Fields
June 14, 2019
I was so sorry to see Rich's passing in the obituaries. I have often thought of him while living in Virginia. My deepest sympathies to Jenn, Rich and families. George Duncan
George Duncan
June 13, 2019
Rich was a good guy, I played golf with Rich quite a few times a few years ago, may he rest in peace.
Lee Mustello
June 13, 2019
Mr. G you were a wonderful mentor at Ford City High School I will never forget you. Love and prayers to your Family and may you Rest in peace.Prayers to your family.Lori Ann Stivason (Stuchell)
Lori Stuchell
June 13, 2019
So sorry for your loss.
Bill & Jodi Beggan
June 12, 2019
We offer our love and friendship to you as you deal with this difficult loss.
Kelly & Dave Powers
June 11, 2019
We are so sorry to hear of Richard's untimely passing. He was a good friend. May God bless.
Brad & Colleen Magill
June 11, 2019
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