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Veteran imparted sense of responsibility to sons

| Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Henry Joseph “Hank” Wojdyla, of Ross, died Friday December 7, 2012.

Hank Wojdyla and his family were part of a Pittsburgh love story.

His parents met here, he met his wife here, and two of his three sons met their wives in the area.

“I think the family roots associated with Pittsburgh are so strong ... that sense of family is such a strong draw,” said his son, Ronald Wojdyla of Columbia, Md.

Henry Joseph “Hank” Wojdyla of Ross died Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. He was 84.

A Korean War veteran, Mr. Wojdyla told his son that he would have stayed in the military after the war but wanted to be with his wife and family in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Wojdyla was a history buff who stayed current on politics. When he vowed to do his civic duty and vote in this year's presidential election, the nursing home where he lived made sure he received an absentee ballot.

“He considered it not only a privilege, but an obligation,” his son said.

Mr. Wojdyla was a vice president with Household Finance for 14 years before going to work for the Small Business Administration.

He loved cars, reading and an occasional game of chance.

“He liked slots,” said his son, Alan Wojdyla of Cranberry. “Up until two years ago, he'd go to Wheeling a lot.”

Mr. Wojdyla's love of cars started with a 1954 two-toned blue Ford, his son said.

“He used to buy a new car every two years,” Alan Wojdyla said. “He still has a 1988 (Ford) Thunderbird and a 2005 (Ford) Mustang.”

He was adamant that his sons get a college education.

“He made sure we all went to college and had no bills afterward,” Ronald Wojdyla said.

His strong work ethic made an impression, said his son, Randy Wojdyla of Sarasota Springs, N.Y.

“We'd see him get up at 5:30 a.m. every day, suit and tie, never missed a day,” he said.

Mr. Wojdyla loved the outdoors and often took his sons hunting and fishing when they were younger.

“We probably fished all the lakes from North Park to Pymatuning,” Ronald Wojdyla said. “We used to hunt everywhere.”

In addition to his sons, Mr. Wojdyla is survived by five grandchildren and a great-grandson. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Kathryn Ann Wojdyla.

The family will receive friends from 9 a.m. Tuesday until the funeral service at 11 a.m. in H.P. Brandt Funeral Home, 1031 Perry Highway in Ross.

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or csmith@tribweb.com.

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