Monessen WWII veteran became steel union leader |
Obituary Stories

Monessen WWII veteran became steel union leader

Melvin Zubritsky, of Monessen, died Tuesday, March 27, 2018.
Melvin Zubritsky, of Monessen, died Tuesday, March 27, 2018.
Melvin Zubritsky, of Monessen, died Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

Melvin Zubritsky had a few brushes with greatness in his life, but it was his family that mattered to him the most.

He met and danced on the same floor as Gene Kelly, a Pittsburgh native. He was campaign manager for Judge Louis Manderino, the youngest judge to be elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

But he put his children and grandchildren first. “He would do anything for anybody,” said his daughter, Germaine Biksey. “Anything they needed done, he did.”

In retirement, he and his wife, Ethel, loved to babysit their grandchildren.

“They would drive down from Monessen to Washington and pick them up from school. They just adored their children and grandchildren,” their daughter said.

Melvin Zubritsky of Monessen died Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at the Donnell House in Washington. He was 92.

Born in Monessen on Feb. 13, 1926, he was a son of the late Wasyl and Mary (Klipnick) Zubritsky. He graduated from Monessen High School in 1944 and from Douglas Business School.

Mr. Zubritsky served in the South Pacific during the waning days of World War II. Although he saw combat and was injured, he did not talk about his wartime experiences, his daughter said.

After he left the Navy, he went to work for the Army Corps of Engineers before taking a job as an accountant at the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., Allenport Works. He was the longtime president of United Steelworkers, Local 3403, and was active with contract negotiations between the company and the union.

He retired in 1990 after 32 years of service, after which he enjoyed spending time with his family, vacationing at the beach and going to his grandchildren’s sporting events, recitals and concerts.

Later in life, he took care of his ailing wife until the family had to hire outside help. He always made sure to thank the visiting nurses who came into their home, his daughter said.

“He always had a smile for everyone and was grateful for everything,” she said.

Mr. Zubritsky was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Ethel Zubritsky; two sons, Thomas and Melvin; and a granddaughter, Marissa Biksey.

He is survived by two daughters, Germaine Biksey and her husband, Tom, of Washington, and Nancy Goodrich and her husband, Jack, of Gibsonia; and grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Rhome Funeral Home, 1209 Grand Blvd., Monessen. A panachida service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:30 at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Monessen.

Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Rostraver.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280 or [email protected].

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.