Marine's tradition of service a boon to church
Theodore Sowko was a constant presence in Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church, just a half-block from his home, his family said.
Whether he was setting up tables for church events, filling in for altar boys when necessary, serving at the altar during funeral services, even calling bingo games, Mr. Sowko gave countless hours of his life to his church without complaint.
“He always loved his church, his faith,” said daughter Debbie Clinton. “It was just ingrained in him.”
Theodore E. Sowko of Clairton, formerly of Monessen, died at home Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, after an illness. He was 83.
Mr. Sowko had worked at several of Westinghouse's facilities in the area, including Green Tree, Churchill and Murrysville, working as a nuclear project manager, Clinton said.
Much of his spare time was devoted to his church, however.
Mr. Sowko volunteered at the church auditorium for 40 years in a variety of functions, including serving as a bartender at events, his daughter said.
Mr. Sowko served as president, secretary/treasurer and auditor for the Greek Catholic Union Lodge 288, and vice president of District 1. He was a delegate at several of the union's national conventions, his daughter said.
“He raised us the same way (as himself),” Clinton said of her family. “We feel the same way as him. We feel it's a big responsibility to be a part of a church community like that.”
Mr. Sowko was an avid golfer and reader, his daughter, said. He spent two or three hours every Sunday reading the newspaper from front to back. As he developed eye problems, he switched to books on tape.
Mr. Sowko was a Marine veteran, serving in the Korean War.
“He was very proud of his service,” Clinton said. “He's going to be buried on Veterans Day. That would have meant a lot to him. He was really proud of being a Marine.”
Along with his daughter Debbie Clinton of Whitehall, Mr. Sowko is survived by his wife, Helen, to whom he was married for 60 years; sons Michael of Forward, and Theodore of North Huntingdon; daughters Betsy Davis of North Augusta, S.C., Susan Kurin of Michigan, and Carolyn Nista of Whitehall; 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Friends will be received from noon to 4 and to 8 p.m. Sunday in A. J. Bekavac Funeral Home, 555 Fifth St., Clairton. Parastas service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the funeral home. Panachida service will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in the funeral home, followed by a funeral Liturgy at 10 a.m. at the Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church. Interment will be in Ascension Cemetery in Clairton.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Winfield man is one of a few to attend all 49 Super Bowl games
- Pens get physical, trade Goc for Blues’ Lapierre
- Springdale puts limits on adult businesses
- Plum’s 1st property tax hike since 2006 could reach 6.2%
- Pirates trade Snider to Orioles for minor league pitcher
- Plum School Board OKS teachers contract
- Letang produces 5 assists in return as Penguins defeat Jets, 5-3
- No cross-checking here: Penguins misspell ‘Sidney’
- Charleroi preps for showdown
- Second career choice leads to business ownership in Charleroi
- Cal U’s 22 Pushups effort draws attention to suicide by veterans