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Dedicated, people-loving pharmacist ideal for job

| Monday, May 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Stanley Kavel would often head to his pharmacy during off-hours, just to fill a prescription for a patient in need.

The Herminie man's customers counted on him, and his commitment earned him respect in the community.

“He'd go and fill the prescriptions in the middle of the night,” said Mr. Kavel's son, Stan Kavel Jr. “He was really hands-on.”

The elder Kavel ran a pharmacy for more than 50 years in Herminie before retiring in 1998.

Stanley C. Kavel Sr. died on Friday, May 17, 2013. He was 89.

Mr. Kavel grew up in Wendel, not far from Herminie, as the youngest of his seven brothers and two sisters. His parents had emigrated from Lithuania and settled in Wendel, where Mr. Kavel's father was a coal miner.

“My dad was so proud of his Lithuanian heritage,” Stan Kavel Jr. said.

After graduating from Sewickley Township High School, Mr. Kavel was working for U.S. Steel National Tube Works when he was drafted into the Army during World War II. He served in North Africa and Europe as a military policeman.

That turned out to be life changing — Mr. Kavel was able to afford college with the military's help.

“He would've retired from U.S. Steel if he wouldn't have gotten drafted,” Stan Kavel Jr. said.

Mr. Kavel earned a degree from the Duquesne School of Pharmacy and interned in a pharmacy in Jeannette before opening Kavel Pharmacy in Herminie. There, he would fill prescriptions and chat with the locals.

“He just loved talking to anybody and their brother,” the younger Kavel said, laughing. “He was a people person.”

Seeing the respect her father earned as a pharmacist encouraged Teresa Woods to follow the same path. After college, she gained experience out of state before working in Kavel Pharmacy, beginning in 1989.

She learned from her dad “how to relate with people” and build relationships with customers.

Mr. Kavel retired in 1998, and the pharmacy closed, Woods said.

Mr. Kavel's “second life” was on the golf course with three friends.

“He golfed with his buddies quite often,” Stan Kavel Jr. said.

He and his wife, Rosemary Kavel, loved to dance. Woods recalled learning the polka from her father.

“He had a lot of fun,” she said.

Rosemary Kavel passed away in 2011. The couple is survived by two sons, Stan Kavel and William Kavel; and four daughters, Woods, Mary Ann Kavel, Rosemary Cipollone and Katherine Ripka; and 16 grandchildren.

Arrangements are being handled by Joseph W. Nickels Funeral Home, Inc. in Herminie. Viewings are from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, with a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Edward Roman Catholic Church. Interment with military honors will follow in Westmoreland County Memorial Park.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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