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Veteran lent a hand through public office, charities

| Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, 9:32 p.m.

Edward Palocsko was involved with his community's political and charitable activities, coached Little League and was well-known in local Big Band dancing circles.

“The focus of his life was always about making things better for everyone. He was amazing,” said son Gene Palocsko of Philadelphia. “He never stopped giving. He never asked for anything.”

Edward Palocsko, a Braddock native, retired U.S. Steel worker and former Chalfant mayor and council member, died Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. He was 92.

He was the son of Joseph and Anna Palocsko.

Mr. Palocsko met his second wife, Rose Marie Kushner Palocsko, in the Palisades dance hall in McKeesport.

“We ended up dancing together in 2002. It just grew,” Mrs. Palocsko said.

The couple went dancing several times a week until he became ill more than a year ago, she said.

“He was a wonderful man, very loving, very caring, funny, mischievous. He was a very, very good dancer,” she said.

The two enjoyed dining out together.

“He would say, ‘You don't have to cook; we'll go out to eat,'” Mrs. Palocsko said.

Her husband was a World War II Army Big Red I-North Africa veteran.

“He was very, very proud of that,” she said.

After the two married, he moved to her North Huntingdon home.

“We would watch the rabbits and birds and deer out our windows. We were entertained every day. He got a big kick out of that,” Mrs. Palocsko said.

During the Great Depression, Mr. Palocsko served in the Civilian Conservation Corps in various camps in New Mexico.

He was such a talented baseball player that he caught the eye of a recruiter, his son said.

“He turned it down because he did not want to leave his own family. He was one of 11 children, and the oldest son. He felt, ‘I have to stay home and help the family, make sure things were all right,” Gene Palocsko said.

Daughter Sandra Palocsko of San Francisco recalled her father taking her on a train from their home in Braddock to downtown Pittsburgh.

The family moved to her mother's hometown of Chalfant when she was 5, she said, and her father ran for borough council.

“From there it was a natural segue to run for mayor. He really enjoyed politics. Chalfant was a tiny town with a lot of civic pride,” she said.

Her father was involved with numerous activities, including an annual toy drive for needy children, she said.

“He was just a very kind and giving man. He had lots of friends. He met Rose and had a whole other life. He was very lucky. They took care of each other,” she said.

He and his first wife, Betty Cvetnic, were married for 45 years before her death.

In addition to his second wife, daughter and son, survivors include stepsons Andy Kushner and Ed Kushner and stepdaughter Barbara Komondor; siblings Richard Palocsko of North Versailles and Gizella Adams of Forest Hills; a granddaughter; and two stepgrandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Ave., East Pittsburgh. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Maurice Church, Forest Hills.

The family asks that memorials be in the form on contributions to Heartland Hospice, 3520 Route 30, Building 3, Irwin, PA 15642.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

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