Civic leader, fireman served borough with love
By Bill Zlatos
Published: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Richard Senic served 12 years as a council member and one year as mayor of North Braddock, where he helped to improve the fire trucks and station and negotiated a contract with drivers of the fire trucks.
“I got from him how to deal with people,” said his nephew Al Senic of North Braddock, who joined the borough council after his uncle's departure. “He was a good public servant. He would listen to their complaints. He always worked for the people.”
Richard A. Senic of Hernando, Fla., formerly of North Braddock, died Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, in a hospice in Lecanto, Fla. He was 88.
He was born Sept. 10, 1925, in North Braddock to Anthony and Teresa Senic. His father was a machinist for Westinghouse Electric, and his mother was a homemaker.
He graduated from the former Scott High School in North Braddock and joined the Army. He served as a postmaster at Fort Lee, Va., and later had the nickname “Sam the postman” back home. When the war ended, he worked as a quality control engineer at Westinghouse Electric, where he was involved with reactors for the Nautilus submarine.
He used to ride the bus to work with Eleanora A. DeVincent, who worked at Bell Telephone in East Pittsburgh. He bought a car in 1948, and offered her a ride home. She accepted, and they were married for 61 years.
“You could see the affection they had for each other,” said their son Tony Senic of Lebanon. “They would kid with each other, but they would always end it with a kiss.”
Lightning struck his barn in North Braddock, and the subsequent fire killed his two horses. At 22, he helped found the North Braddock Volunteer Fire Department. His nephew said a broken fire hose once struck him at a house fire, and he was taken to a hospital. He remained a charter member of the fire station for 66 years.
Al Senic said his uncle served on the borough council from 1971 to 1983. The council appointed him mayor to succeed Elmer Devay, who died in office in 1983.
“He's probably the most honest guy I've ever known,” Tony Senic said. “He cared for everyone. He helped care for his mother and sister when they were getting up in age.”
Mr. Senic enjoyed hunting deer and fishing. He taught his grandchildren to fish and collected toy Hess gas trucks for them.
He was preceded in death by his son Patrick Senic and daughter Marilyn Joschak, brothers Albert Senic and Patrick Sonita and sister Della Sonita. Survivors include his wife, son Tony, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Ave., East Pittsburgh, where a fireman service with the North Braddock Volunteer Fire Department will be held at 7 p.m. Monday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Sacred Heart Church of Good Shepherd Parish, Braddock. Entombment with military honors will follow in Braddock Catholic Cemetery.
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Likely $2.3B influx puts PennDOT big-ticket road projects in play
- Pa. child abuse statutes faulted as too narrow
- Man shot by Pennsylvania state police at Pittsburgh International Airport was key witness in Massachusetts murder trial
- Hill District nonprofit’s finances are taking another dive
- American soldier charged in Iraq killings of deaf, unarmed teens
- Result hazy as historic-building vote nears
- Pittsburgh Poison Center warns of krokodil
- Baldwin-Whitehall board hits ‘magical line of dissatisfaction’
- Schmotzer says he got things done in Baldwin-Whitehall job
- Peduto puts on mayor hat at Harvard ‘camp’
- Veterans’ wait for World War II memorial to end soon with dedication of North Shore monument