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Mechanic had a passion for bowling

He suffered severe burns when a gas tank exploded while he dismantled a junkyard car, but Edward Choura went on to launch a successful auto service garage in Mars, Butler County.

“They didn’t expect Ed to live,” said his wife, Emma. “He was burned over 75 percent of his body. Ed never smoked or drank and the doctors attributed his lifestyle as having a lot to do with his survival. But he would pay the price in later years as his health began to deteriorate.”

Edward R. Choura, of Mars, died of congestive heart failure on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003, at the St. John Specialty Care Center in Mars. He was 85.

Since 1941, Ed Choura and his brother, Frank, operated what businessman John Hanovick called a first-class operation.

“I grew up across the street from Ed’s home,” Hanovick said. “And as soon as I was old enough to drive, Ed took care of my cars and sold me gas.”

Hanovick said there was only one way to describe Mr. Choura: he was a workaholic.

“I’d see him getting up early in the morning and going to the garage and coming back home late at night,” Hanovick said. “I found it hard to believe because of the long hours he spent at the garage that he would find time to bowl.”

But for Mr. Choura and his wife bowling was a passion.

“We made time,” said Mrs. Choura, who in 1986 was inducted into the Pittsburgh Bowling Hall of Fame. “We both looked forward to the evenings when we went bowling.”

Miss Flasher was 17 years old when she met her husband at a four-lane bowling alley in Evans City. They dated for six years and married in 1950. Mr. Choura and his father in-law, who worked as a mail clerk for the Pennsylvania Railroad, became the best of friends, Mrs. Choura said.

Born in Pine, Allegheny County, and raised in Mars, Mr. Choura was one of seven children in the family of Frank and Josephine Choura.

Before his death, Frank Choura was the gardener for E.V. Babcock, when Mr. Babcock served as the mayor of Pittsburgh.

To help his mother, Edward Choura dropped out of school in the eighth grade and worked a number of odd jobs, his wife said.

“Ed used to go down to the creek and dig out pieces of iron which he sold for a few pennies. He always turned the money over to his mother.”

The last few years were difficult for Mr. Choura, his wife said, as his old injuries combined with a recent infection limited his mobility.

“Ed wasn’t going to sit around and do nothing,” his wife said. “We bought him an electric wheelchair so he could move and work around the shop.”

Mr. Choura is survived by his wife, Emma Flasher Choura; and several nieces and nephews.

Visitors will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at the McDonald-Aerberli Funeral Home, 238 Crowe Ave., Mars.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Nancy Zahn, pastor of Valencia United Methodist Church, officiating.


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