Former Irwin police officer loved hunting, fishing, family
Mark Garbin can remember his father, Alfred, coming home for lunch and dinner, Irwin police car gleaming and his uniform pressed.
“He was always working,” Mark said of his father’s 27 years with the borough police force. “He loved being a police officer and doing the right thing.”
Alfred A. “Fred” Garbin of Irwin died Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, of natural causes. He was 88.
Mr. Garbin was born June 25, 1931, in Westmoreland City, a son of the late Angelo and Ida (Bianchi) Garbin. He graduated from North Huntingdon High School and was a member of its 1948 Westmoreland County championship football team.
Mr. Garbin worked for a time at the Hockensmith Foundry in Penn, before joining the Irwin Borough Police Department.
When he wasn’t on patrol, Mr. Garbin enjoyed being outdoors.
“It was always stream fishing around Indiana, or hunting up around Punxsutawney or Yellow Creek State Park,” Mark Garbin said. “We used to go target shooting and, later in life, he really enjoyed hanging out with his grand-kids.”
Mr. Garbin came from a military family: his brother, John, was killed in action during World War II, and he served overseas during the Korean War with the Army’s Division of the Air Force Special Company Army with Air Force.
“They built runways for fighter aircraft,” Mark said. “He talked about the good times, but some of his stories would lead into bad times and he’d sort of trail off and stop telling them.”
Mr. Garbin was stationed at K-55, the largest American airbase in Korea at the time, and the same place where baseball legend Ted Williams was stationed when he served in the military.
Mr. Garbin was preceded in death by his first wife, Marlene (Anthony) Garbin. Later in life, he was at a wedding when he met Susan Moyer. He married her on Oct. 26, 2002.
“He was just a wonderful man to be around,” Moyer said. “There was nothing too far above or beyond for him to do to help people.”
Mark said his father was very tough on the outside.
“He had a rough exterior but he loved his family and he loved being a police officer.”
Mr. Garbin is survived by his wife, Susan (Moyer) Garbin; two children, Kathleen DeGuffroy and her husband, Robert “Bud” of Irwin, and Mark Garbin and his wife, Amy, of McDonald; a brother, Robert Garbin of North Huntingdon; son-in-law Tim Siefert; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; step-children, step-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A 10 a.m. service will be held today at Ott Funeral Home, 805 Pennsylvania Ave. in Irwin, with interment to follow at Irwin Union Cemetery.
Memorial donations can be made to the American Legion Bushy Run Post 260, 3002 Main St., Claridge, Pa., 15623.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .