Richard E. "Zeke" Urko, 82, of Carroll Township, Monongahela died peacefully in Jefferson Hospital on Sunday April 22, 2018 after a brief illness.
Richard was born June 20, 1935 the son of the late Paul and Gabrielle J. Celensek Urko. After graduating from Rostraver High School in 1953 he enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps, serving three years to be honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.
He attended Citrus Junior College in Glendora, CA and completed his education with a football scholarship to the University of Idaho. Rich next went to Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA and worked as an art teacher at Finley Junior High School in the Ringgold school district. He then took a job with the R. J. Reynolds tobacco company for 28 years before retiring in 1993. He worked at Keith's Service Station and then spent over 15 years at the Knights of Columbus, delivering meals until health issues caused him to leave the job he enjoyed very much. A favorite activity was going to La Eda's restaurant.
In addition to his parents, Richard was preceded in death by an infant daughter who died at birth and his brother James Urko. Surviving are his wife of 52 years, Susan Hreno Urko and sons Richard and David, all of Monongahela, a sister Dorothea Pavlik and son Mike of Hunker, PA, nephews Keith (Diane) Urko, Monongahela, Paul (Noreen) Urko, Mark (Toni) Urko all from SC, sister-in-law Helen (Val) Veschio, nephews Val Gene (Lori) Veschio, Andy (Lisa) Pavlik, and a special niece Cindy (Mike) Pawelec all from Monessen and great-nieces and nephews.
Richard was a member of St. John The Divine Orthodox Church, Monessen. Friends will be received from 3-7 PM, Thursday April 26 in Robert A. Billick Funeral Home, Grand Blvd, Monessen with a Panachida service at 6 PM. Panachida service will be held at 9:30 AM at the funeral home Friday April 27 followed by a 10 AM funeral services at St. John's with Fr. Constantine officiating. Interment will follow at Grandview Cemetery with military honors.
Special thanks to Dr. Chauhan and associates, all medical staff and the nurses for the care they gave him.
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