Physician served families for 50 years
By Jerry Vondas
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Dr. Joseph Krotec trained with some of the finest surgeons in Philadelphia but became a leader in family medicine in Pittsburgh.
“Dad felt that he could best serve families as a family doctor, and for over 50 years he operated a family practice in Shadyside,” said his son, Mark Krotec of Indiana Township.
Dr. Joseph W. Krotec, formerly of Highland Park, a co-founder of the Family Practice Residency Program at UPMC Shadyside, died on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, in Concordia of Fox Chapel. He was 86.
Mark Krotec recalled his father's service to his country after the end of World II, when the Allies were liberating concentration and POW camps in Europe.
“Dad had been assigned to an intelligence unit of the American Army, and because of his knowledge of several European languages, including German, he was sent to the camps in an effort to help the survivors find their way back home or to a country that would accept them,” Mark Krotec said.
Dr. Krotec was raised in a Slavic home in Lawrenceville, an area of the city considered by many as a Slavic conclave, his son said.
“He acquired a rudimentary command of several languages, including Italian and Greek, while helping his father in the family's hotel and bar.”
Born in Sharpsburg and raised in Lawrenceville, Dr. Krotec was one of six children of Joseph and Sophia Novak Krotec.
“My father always considered himself as a common man,” his son said. “He felt that everyone was entitled to be treated when they were ailing. He never turned away anyone who couldn't pay, even if he had to make a house call in the middle of the night.
“And there were numerous times when he'd accept vegetables, fruit and baked goods for his fee.”
Mark Krotec remembered how his father stressed the value of education to him and his two siblings. “He also advised us to think through when faced with a difficult problem.”
In addition to his son Mark, Dr. Krotec is survived by his daughter, Dr. Susan C. Krotec of Shadyside; son, Dr. Joseph W. “Josh” Krotec of Philadelphia; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in McCabe Bros. Funeral Home, 6214 Walnut St. in Shadyside. A blessing service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the funeral home.
Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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