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Construction firm owner from Hempfield known for kindness

| Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Barry Gradischek had nicknames for everybody. Whether someone was related to him or worked for him, he could stick them with an original one for just about any reason.

If one of the workers at his construction company was digging a hole, he might call him “Gopher.” Whoever was up on the roof was “Bird.”

“He just liked to call people different names. You never knew what he was going to come up with,” said his daughter, Amie Gradischeck.

Barry L. Gradischek of Hempfield died Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, in Select Specialty Hospital, Latrobe, of complications from pneumonia. He was 71.

Born Feb. 6, 1946, in Greensburg, he was the son of the late Ruth Gradischek Lavella and Francis Gradischek.

His family remembered him as a kind father and a good boss to his employees.

An Army veteran, Mr. Gradischek dropped out of the Hempfield Area School District when he was in the ninth grade and founded a business in his late 20s.

As owner of BG Crest Construction Co., he renovated homes and other buildings and built additions until he retired in the mid-2000s.

“I always loved working with him, and I always wanted to go to work with him,” recalled his son, Barry Gradischek. “Me and my dad had a bond that not many fathers and sons have.”

He said his father liked to work with his hands. He was street-smart and mechanically inclined for someone who dropped out of school at an early age, he said.

And he was a big fan of classic cars. Mr. Gradischek and his sons rebuilt several together.

Mr. Gradischek looked out for his employees, too, especially those who were going through tough times. They were often invited to dinner and, in some cases, to stay over if they had nowhere to go.

“He would open up our home to many people who were less fortunate than us,” Amie Gradischek said. “Some workers, some friends — whoever needed help.”

Mr. Gradischek is survived by his wife, Adele M. Ketter Gradischek; sons Barry James “B.J.” Gradischek and Nicola “Nick” DiMartino and his wife, Colleen; a daughter, Amie Lee Gradischek; and four granddaughters.

Friends will be received from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Ott Funeral Home, 805 Pennsylvania Ave., Irwin, where a funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday. Interment will follow in Westmoreland County Memorial Park, Hempfield.

Matthew Guerry is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2122, or via Twitter at @MattGuerry.

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