FARRELL, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Leonard K. “Zeke” Bitchko, 94, of Farrell, passed away in the same home in which he was born, Friday evening, January 29, 2021.
Mr. Bitchko was born October 2, 1926, in Farrell, a son of the late Konstanty and Constance (Darzen) Bitchko.
He was a graduate of Farrell High School.
He served in the U.S. Merchant Marines during WWII. He then served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged as a Sgt. 1st Class.
At the age of 16, Leonard began working part-time at Sharon Steel’s former Farrell plant. Following his return home from service, he returned to the plant, retiring as the B.O.F. foreman in 1985. He then worked at the Daffin’s Candies plant in Farrell for several years.
Leonard was a member of St. Anthony Church, Sharon and formerly an active member of St. Adalbert Church, Farrell. While at St. Adalbert, he volunteered on the cemetery staff and actively participated in the Family Pierogi Club and Men’s Club.
A skilled gardener, Leonard enjoyed canning, especially tomatoes and was well-known for his delicious homemade bread and wedding soup. He also had a lifelong passion for music with a special appreciation for jazz and the blues. An animal lover, he spent his mornings bird watching from his back porch and hand feeding the birds who visited him daily.
Leonard was known for his wit and friendliness. He could often be heard saying, “If you make one friend in life, you have found a treasure.” He was a man of many treasures.
His beloved wife, the former Elaine Cheza, whom he married April 17, 1978, survives at home. Also surviving are three stepdaughters, Stephanie (Thomas) Alter of Masury, Ohio, Valorie (Wade) Gilliland of Sharon and Monica (Bernie) Sigler of Sharpsville; six grandchildren, Erica (Josh) Fusco, Lauren (Jordan) Murn, Christopher Alter, Marcus (Ali) Gilliland, Shawn (Olga) Alter and Shane (Jocelyn) Sigler; seven great-grandchildren and many beloved nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Leonard was preceded in death by two sisters, Alberta Logan and Wanda Brent and two brothers, Mitchell Mitchell and Wallace Walters.
Due to concerns presented by the Covid-19 virus, a private service will be held in the funeral home officiated by Rev. Matthew Ruyechan, pastor of St. Anthony Church.
Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Hermitage.
Arrangements handled by J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.
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