The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Obituaries

June 13, 2013

Paul E. Burkhart Sr.

EBENSBURG — BURKHART – Paul E. Sr., 91, a World War II veteran and retired foreman at Glidden Metals, died June 11, 2013, at Cambria Care Center, Ebensburg. Born July 29, 1921, in Johnstown, to the late Logan and Ida Mae (Fleck) Burkhart. Paul grew up in the area with his six siblings. He met Florence “Betty” Ella Drager in 1941 while roller skating at Westmont Grove. The two married three years later in Millersville. Paul entered the U.S. Army in 1943 and served on a ship tasked with clearing harbors in Western Europe. Although his ship evaded attack from enemy submarines, it was strafed by German fighter planes on at least one occasion. Paul acted as supply NCO on the ship and was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant on Dec. 1, 1945. He earned several decorations and citations, including the Meritorious Unit Award and Good Conduct Medal. After the war, Paul and Betty settled down in Johnstown and began raising a family, eventually having four children. When Betty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1953, Paul and Betty’s sisters looked after the children while she underwent radical surgery, followed by massive radiation. Betty survived treatment and lived cancer-free until her death in 2011. The couple embraced life after her illness, traveling and visiting family up and down the East Coast, from Florida to Niagara Falls. A 1940 graduate of Johnstown High School, Paul worked a variety of jobs, including a delivery driver and as a wheel-foundry worker at Bethlehem Steel Co. before eventually retiring as a foreman at Glidden Metals in 1984. He enjoyed socializing with his coworkers and friends, singing to children, fishing with his grandchildren, watching westerns and rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Survived by sister, Claire Bach, married to Charles. Also survived by children, Paula Bloom, Johnstown; Karen Strank, and husband, Walter, Johnstown; Paul Burkhart Jr., Palm Coast, Fla.; and Suzanne Boyer, and husband, Wayne Marshall, Charlottesville, Va. Also surviving are eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by wife, Betty; and siblings, Florence Passero, Beatrice Willey, Tootie Broseus, Robert Burkhart and Charles Burkhart. In keeping with Paul’s request, there will be no public visitation or service. Private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family. Paul will be remembered as a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. Henderson-Makuchan Funeral Home, 434 First St., Conemaugh, is in charge of arrangements.

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