Our beloved father, Sylvester “Pete” Pokrifka of Lincoln Place, passed away on Tuesday, August 20. He was born in Munhall, PA on September 15, 1927, and is survived by his wife of 62 years, Norene “Connie” (Conley) Pokrifka, and his children Kenneth (Debra Evans) of Economy Borough, Kathleen (Steve Montay) of Atlanta, GA, Gary (Bridget Joyce) of Richmond, VA, and Jan (Todd Bulebush) of Pittsburgh. Pete is also survived by his brother-in-law, Rev. Roy Conley, sisters Dorothy Kostovny and Marcy Dospoy, sister-in-law Kathy Pokrifka, and grandchildren Brian, Gwenore, Brittany, Melissa, Kellie, Amy, and Shane Pokrifka and Alexandra and Lindsay Montay. He is pre-deceased by his parents, Frank and Anna Pokrywka, brothers Leo, Frank, Charles, Benny, John, Anthony, Gene, and Larry, and sisters, Josephine, Sr. Christina, and Eleanor.
Pete graduated from Munhall HS in 1945 and often joked that he could never get away with skipping school since his family lived directly across the street on Twelfth Avenue. Pete’s fondness for baseball led to youthful dreams of becoming a big league pitcher. However, the call to serve his country was strong and he enlisted in the Merchant Marines immediately after high school. His service resulted in ports of call to South America, Africa and Europe and he was later drafted into the Army during the Korean War. Following his time in the service, his passion for numbers led him to become an auditor with the IRS, after graduating from Saint Vincent College in 1955. Pete was also a volunteer firefighter with Munhall #1.
Pete and Connie met in 1956 and married in 1957, settling down in Lincoln Place to raise their family. Pete was a true gentleman, wonderful father and fun grandfather. He gave his time to St. Therese Church in Munhall, serving as a counter and joining in the annual men’s prayer retreats. He enjoyed tennis, skiing, and bowling (once rolling a 300 and later, a 279 after having to switch to his left hand), but golf was his favorite sport, playing numerous courses in the area. During retirement, he was a 7am regular at South Park. In his later years, he was able to spend time gardening, traveling with Connie, visiting his grandkids, and appreciating the best of Virginia. Pete will be fondly remembered for his subtle sense of humor and his grace on the dance floor. His wisdom will live on through his children, grandchildren, and all those who knew him as an honorable man in the community and church. A lifetime of hard work and study yielded many rewords for Pete, namely a beautiful wife and a career that allowed him to use his natural gifts to provide for his family. Pete led a virtuous life and was kind and just to all he met. Hope you’re enjoying the 19th tee, Pete, with a gin and tonic in hand!
Friends received Savolskis-Wasik-Glenn Funeral Home Inc., 3501 Main St. Munhall Friday 2-4 PM and 6-9 PM. Funeral Mass Saturday 10 AM St Therese Church Munhall. Interment to be held at Queen of Heaven Cemetery at 1:30 PM.
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