World War II vet went extra mile for country, family
To his family, Matthew Rendulich was a hero on and off the battlefield.
Not only did the World War II veteran storm the beach in Normandy on D-Day, but he earned the Soldier’s Medal of Honor for his bravery in digging a trench around a cache of ammunition to prevent a nearby fire from reaching it and exploding, said his son, Matthew.
Moreover, Mr. Rendulich was a hero to his family when, at age 12, he took responsibility for his mother and four siblings when his father died in a coal mining accident, said his son Tom.
“He was forced to quit (school) to work. He always felt loyalty and responsibility for his mom and siblings,” Tom Rendulich said. “I look back at the whole framework of his life, and I just realize that he was a hero.”
Matthew Rendulich of Rillton died Wednesday, April 6, 2016, in his home from a form of Parkinson’s disease. He was 91.
Mr. Rendulich met his wife of 65 years, Mary, when both worked at Westinghouse, she as an office worker and he in the foundry.
He visited her in the office so often that her boss joked Mr. Rendulich would have to start donating 10 cents to the March of Dimes every time he came to see her, Mary Rendulich recalled. As a joke, other foundry workers started giving him dimes, she said.
Mr. Rendulich opened a store in half of his duplex home selling furniture and Westinghouse appliances at a discount. Around 1960, he moved the store to Route 30 in North Versailles, and he later opened a second location in Jeannette.
He always met his sales goals from Westinghouse and earned fabulous vacations, including trips to Spain, Italy and his favorite, Tahiti, his wife said.
Mr. Rendulich was a polka and ballroom-dancing enthusiast who loved to play pranks on his family and golf buddies, his family said.
“I just miss not having him here,” Mary Rendulich said. “I miss him everywhere I go in the house.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Rendulich is survived by his six children, Norine Andrew, Marilee Rendulich, Patti Suchko, Matthew Rendulich, Tom Rendulich, and Lora Rendulich-Klipper; eight grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; a sister-in-law, Carol Rendulich; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Herminie. Interment with full military honors will follow in Good Shepherd Cemetery, Monroeville.
Kari Andren is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-850-2856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.