Share This Page

Shaler man leaves $350K to Game Commission

| Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, 3:54 p.m.

Joseph Trempus was not a man who made friends — or even wanted any.

But he did have one.

And when Trempus died at 93 last November, that one was left to deliver some pretty amazing news to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Ronald Petronio, who lived across the street from Trempus in Shaler, went to the commission and said his neighbor had left virtually his entire estate to the agency. The donation totaled $349,198.79.

“They didn't spend a dime,” Petronio said of Trempus and his wife, Kay, who died a few years earlier. “Almost every penny he had, and everything that was sold, went to the Game Commission.”

That's unheard of.

The Game Commission gets donations from time to time, usually one or two a month. But they're rarely for more than $250, and often more like $25, commission spokesman Travis Lau said.

It's gotten bequeathals before, too, he said, but it's “extremely rare” for anything to approach the size of the one left by Trempus.

“The secretary who works in that department said she's never seen anything like it in her 13 years here. I realize that's not well-sourced, but hopefully it gives you some idea,” Lau said.

Joseph and Kay Trempus had no children and did not associate with their extended family, Petronio said. They didn't spend much time with their neighbors either.

No one ever knew exactly why.

“You didn't ask why. And he wouldn't have told you anyway,” Petronio said.

They loved the outdoors, though. Joseph Trempus was a billboard installer who loved goose and rabbit hunting and trout fishing; Kay spent 40-plus years working for Sears and was his companion afield.

“All they did was hunt and fish. That was their whole life,” Petronio said.

When Petronio approached the commission, he asked if it might honor his friend's donation in some way. The commission paid tribute to Trempus at its recent meeting in Delmont and said his donation will go toward displays and exhibits for the new wildlife learning center to be built at Pymatuning.

A room there will be named for Trempus, Petronio said. That's something his friend would be proud of, he added.

“I miss Joe. He was a nice guy, a great guy. He was just different,” he said.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bfrye@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

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.