East Huntingdon woman of faith was sought-after organist
Pat Dreliszak loved to play the piano, learning as a young girl growing up in South Greensburg during the Depression of the 1930s and World War II, playing in high school performances, and later playing the organ for decades at churches in the Scottdale and Connellsville areas.
For many years, she primarily played the organ at Partner Parish of St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Scottdale, where she founded and directed the children’s choir. Her reputation as an organist was so good that she also played briefly at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, both in Connellsville, said her daughter, Teresa Dreliszak of East Huntingdon, with whom she resided.
She was a substitute organist at First Baptist Church and Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ, both in Scottdale, as well as her home parish of St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Mt. Pleasant.
“People knew about her. She continued to play regularly until 1986,” her daughter said.
Patricia F. “Pat” Dreliszak died at her home Wednesday, July 12, 2017, after a brief battle with cancer. She was 88.
She was born March 10, 1929, in South Greensburg, the daughter of the late Stephen and Helen Vrabel Forkey. She attended school in South Greensburg until 10th grade, when she went to Greensburg High School.
She and three sisters were young girls during World War II and the days of rationing, when her father would stand in line at a Greensburg store to buy nylon stockings for them, her daughter said.
Mrs. Dreliszak met her husband, John E. Dreliszak, while working in a clerical job at the former ITE plant in South Greensburg. The couple married in 1953 and built a house on his family’s farm in East Huntingdon, Teresa Dreliszak said. He died in 2000.
She was a woman of great faith, having read the Old Testament and New Testament 26 times. She read the Bible daily, her daughter said.
“Faith played a very important role in her life,” Teresa Dreliszak said.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Dreliszak is survived by her son, Mark Dreliszak of Connellsville; and three grandchildren.
Prayers of transfer will be held at 9:15 a.m. Saturday at Frank Kapr Funeral Home, 417 W. Pittsburgh St., Scottdale, followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, Mt. Pleasant.
Chapel services and interment will follow at Green Ridge Memorial Park.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or [email protected].