Carrier did much more than deliver the mail
Mention a name and George Andrejchak, a mail carrier for nearly 40 years in West Mifflin and Duquesne, knew the street and house number where they lived — an example of his dedication to his job and patrons.
“He was that good,” said Stanley Frank, a friend of many years who got to know Mr. Andrejchak because he delivered Frank's mail.
“He was just a good old friend ... to the people on his route,” Frank said. “He was very compassionate with the elderly.”
George B. Andrejchak of Blane Hill, Elizabeth Township, passed away on Friday, April 19, 2013, at home. He was 81.
On occasion, Mr. Andrejchak would help one man on his mail route to shave. He would help one woman get her property taxes paid by purchasing a money order for her and mailing it. If he detected an odor of natural gas on the route, he would report it to the gas company. Those are among other examples of how he did his job, friends and relatives recalled.
Hunting and woodworking were other passions in his life, said Mary Ellen Andrejchak, his wife of 58 years.
They met in 1953 in Atlantic City, N.J., literally in the ocean, she said.
He was there vacationing with relatives and friends. She was there with girlfriends, on a trip from her hometown of Van Buren, Ohio.
“We met in the ocean, swimming,” she said.
They had two children, Thomas Andrejchak of Bentleyville and Donna Welsh of Greenville, Maine.
“I can remember he had his big golf umbrella so that none of his mail would get wet,” Welsh said. “He really liked his route and looked after his patrons.”
Once in his wood shop, he injured his thumb while planing a piece of wood, she recalled. Her mom sewed a covering to protect his thumb and so he could still handle the mail, because he couldn't do that wearing gloves.
In his wood shop, he made furniture and other items that he gave to friends and that are still in use at home. Stereo and gun cabinets and a grandfather clock were items they remembered most.
As a hunter, he was proficient with both bow and rifle. He had a hunting dog, Rusty, a cocker spaniel, for many years.
“He has 15 trophies and awards hanging in the basement,” Mary Ellen Andrejchak said of the mementos from his hunting trips in Cambria and Washington counties and first- and second-place awards he won from gun clubs. “He enjoyed deer hunting with his cousins.”
His wife would prepare family meals of venison, pheasant and rabbit because he did not cook, she and Welsh said.
Mr. Andrejchak did not talk about his Army career and serving in the Korean War, they said.
In addition to his wife and children, Mr. Andrejchak is survived by sister Marian Chepanoske of Elizabeth and two grandchildren. A blessing service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in the Maloy-Schleifer Funeral Home, 915 Kennedy Ave., Duquesne. Burial with military honors will be in Holy Trinity Cemetery, West Mifflin.
The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to Family Hospice and Palliative Care Center for Compassionate Care, 50 Moffett St., Pittsburgh, PA 15243.
John D. Oravecz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7882 or firstname.lastname@example.org.