Penn Twp. man loved golf, Albanian family roots
Theodore Peshkopia came home one day with a surprising announcement for his wife.
“He said he and a partner had bought a 100-acre property in Penn Township,” said Joanne Peshkopia.
Considering that Mr. Peshkopia was an elementary school principal at the time, his wife wasn’t sure what to make of it.
A decade later, though, he and his partner had begun developing the property into what is now the Penntowne Estates neighborhood.
“He was a good provider,” Joanne said.
Theodore T. Peshkopia of Penn Township died Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, of complications from dementia. He was 79 years old.
Mr. Peshkopia was born Sept. 10, 1939, a son of the late Fetah and Zahide Peshkopia. He grew up in East Pittsburgh, where he was a member of the East Pittsburgh High School basketball team that captured the 1956 WPIAL Class B Championship and finished runner-up in the PIAA state playoffs. He graduated high school in 1957 and earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in the early 1960s.
He met his wife of 49 years, Joanne, at the former Hollywood Show Bar in East Pittsburgh. The couple was married on Aug. 9, 1969.
While teaching history in the Plum School District, Mr. Peshkopia did course work at Penn State, earning his Ph.D. in education in 1974. He also served one term as a Chalfant Borough councilman in the 1970s.
Nearly 40 years of his career were spent as an elementary school principal in Plum, mostly at Holiday Park Elementary School.
“He loved education,” Joanne said. “He was for the kids so much. Parents and students wrote him letters over the years. He really loved his job.”
Mr. Peshkopia also loved his family, much of which was overseas in Albania.
“We traveled there twice,” Joanne said. “The country was communist at the time, so I had to get permission to travel there from the government. The countryside was beautiful, and it was just so different.”
Mr. Peshkopia was a member of the Norwin Elks, and spent much of his spare time golfing.
“That was his hobby: golf, and golf, and golf,” Joanne said with a laugh.
Mr. Peshkopia spent his final days a resident at Harmony Rehabilitation in Monroeville, “and they were just so wonderful to him and to us,” Joanne said.
Mr. Peshkopia is survived by his brother of Sedat (Jeanette) Peshkopia, of New Jersey; and special uncle of Dean Peshkopia, of New Jersey, Heidi (Rich) Colangelo, Joshua (Marcia) Bayko, Jennie (Chris) Mento and Dana Bayko, John and Linda Bayko; and by numerous grand-nephews and grand-nieces.
A 1 p.m. funeral service will be today, Friday, at Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Avenue in East Pittsburgh.
Memorial donations can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation of Western PA, 525 Lincoln Ave., Bellevue, Pa., 15202, or at PFWPA.org.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.