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Veteran worked 2 jobs to support family

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Stanley R. “Babe” Styk of Poland, Ohio, formerly of North Braddock, died of cancer on Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Sunrise Senior Living in Poland.

Stanley Styk served during World War II on the USS Midway, which pounded the beaches of Normandy with artillery fire to provide cover for invading Marines on D-Day.

“The (sailors) were the ones picking up the bodies out of the water and helping the wounded,” said his daughter, Deborah Hreha, 61, of Poland, Ohio.

Stanley R. “Babe” Styk of Poland, Ohio, formerly of North Braddock, died of cancer on Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Sunrise Senior Living in Poland. He was 87.

Born to Stanley and Mary Styk of North Braddock, he quit high school when he was 17 and persuaded his parents to let him join the Navy, in which he served as an electrician.

Mr. Styk met his wife, Alice, in Braddock after the war. They were married 60 years until her death three years ago.

“My mom had taken her sister and brothers to the movies, and she had this pink sweater on,” Hreha said. “He saw her come out of the movies and said, ‘Wow!' ”

The couple had seven children. Mr. Styk supported them by working from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. as a carrier and truck driver for the Postal Service. Then he would come home, take a nap and work from 3 to 11 p.m. as a brakeman and conductor for the Union Railroad. He worked at least 20 years for the post office and 35 years for the railroad.

“Everybody loved my dad,” Hreha said. “Even if you weren't friends at the beginning, you were friends at the end.”

Mr. Styk was a former commander of the American Legion post in Braddock, a volunteer at the former Braddock General Hospital and a bus driver for Good Shepherd Church in Braddock, taking parishioners to Mass.

Hreha said her parents loved to dance, and she enjoyed dancing with her father at weddings.

“And believe me,” she said, “you polka with him, you really spun around. I would be out of breath, and he wouldn't be.”

In addition to his daughter Deborah, Mr. Styk is survived by daughters Mary Catherine Baves of Homestead, Janis Ford of Beaver, Beverly Styk of Erie and Carol Caufield of North Braddock; sons Robert of Lawrenceville and Stanley Styk of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; a sister, Gertrude McCue of McKeesport; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, Alice, he was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Carlee Houghtelin.

Friends will be received from 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Ave., East Pittsburgh. A blessing service will be held in the funeral home at 10 a.m. Thursday, followed by a presentation of military honors.

Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or bzlatos@tribweb.com.

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