ShareThis Page
Decorated veteran of East McKeesport believed in working hard |

Decorated veteran of East McKeesport believed in working hard

Jerry Vondas
| Friday, July 31, 2009 12:00 a.m

Throughout his life, Gene Fialkovich let his actions speak louder than his words.

As an Army infantryman during World II, Mr. Fialkovich was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Eugene M. Fialkovich, 85, of East McKeesport, formerly of Braddock, died Wednesday, July 29, 2009.

On Aug. 6, 1944, during the heavy fighting around Granville, France, Mr. Fialkovich volunteered to go into a battle area and help pull out wounded GIs so they could be transported to field hospitals.

On Oct. 29, 1944, while fighting at Saint Remy, France, he once again volunteered, while under heavy enemy fire, to help clear an enemy roadblock so U.S. trucks carrying supplies could go through.

And in 1945 during the last days of the fighting, he was wounded in Germany

“Very few of Gene’s friends were aware of his accomplishment in battle,” said his son-in-law, John Ontko of North Braddock.

Born and raised in Braddock, Eugene Fialkovich was one of five children in the family of steelworker Michael and Frances Bonn Fialkovich.

In 1943, a year after he graduated from Braddock High School, Mr. Fialkovich was inducted into the Army and placed in an infantry outfit. It wasn’t long before his unit was sent to the battlefields of Europe.

“Gene had quite a temper in his younger days,” said his son-in-law. “But he began to mellow in later years.

“He was also a strict dad,” John Ontko added. “When I was dating my wife, Lucy, he let me know in no uncertain terms what time she had to be home. And believe me, I had Lucy home on time.”

After his discharge from the military in 1945, Mr. Fialkovich began his 30 years of employment with Bethlehem Steel Co., in Rankin and later in the Leetsdale plant.

Two years later, he married Mary Loposky of Munhall.

“Gene was a hard worker,” said his son-in-law. “Even after he retired, he kept busy by working at small jobs.”

Mr. Fialkovich is survived by his wife, Mary L. Loposky; a daughter, Lucy Ontko of North Braddock; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and a sister, Velma Schcosky of Churchill.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Clarence and Michael, and his sister, Sissy.

Friends will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. today in the Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Ave., East Pittsburgh, where a Parastas will be prayed at 3:30 p.m.

A Divine Liturgy will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in SS Peter and Paul Byzantine Church, Braddock, followed by burial with military honors in Monongahela Cemetery, North Braddock.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.