Hempfield WWII veteran Joseph Churbock Sr. valued family
Joseph Churbock Sr. of Hempfield Township was part of the Greatest Generation of Americans, who served their country in war and came home to marry and raise a family.
“He instilled the importance of family in us,” said his son, David Churbock of Hudson, Ohio. “He was always busy with his kids (five sons),” Churbock said. That meant attending his sons’ Little League and high school games, Churbock said.
The family ties he nurtured continue today. Every Sunday morning, his five sons — who are spread across three states — plus a cousin from Michigan join in a conference call to talk to each other, Churbock said.
Joseph J. Churbock of Greensburg died Monday, July 8, 2019, at St. Anne Home, Greensburg. He was 95.
He was born Feb. 24, 1924, the son of Joseph and Anna Churbock of Loyalhanna.
After graduating from Derry Township High School in 1942, he worked at the Walworth Co. valve plant in South Greensburg, then enrolled at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, the forerunner of Carnegie Mellon.
Mr. Churbock was studying to be an engineer when the Navy drafted him. He served aboard the USS Nassau, which moved helicopters from the West Coast to Pearl Harbor, where they would be shipped to battle zones across the Pacific, Churbock said.
When World War II ended, Mr. Chubock was assigned to Ford Motor Co.’s River Rouge Complex in Detroit, to assist with decommissioning the plant from military production back to automobiles. While walking in Detroit in June 1946, he bumped into Grace Mikelsavage. After they chatted, she invited him home for dinner. By October, they were married in Detroit and remained together for 52 years, David Churbock said.
Mr. Churbock returned to the Pittsburgh area after leaving the Navy and finished his education at Carnegie Institute of Technology, earning a degree in electrical engineering.
He spent his career at Westinghouse Electric Co’s East Pittsburgh plant, retiring as a senior engineer in the switchgear division. David Churbock recalled that after a day at work at Westinghouse, and after driving home along Route 30, his dad liked to wind down with one shot and a beer before eating dinner.
Mr. Churbock enjoyed playing in golf leagues and various bowling leagues. He took great pride in maintaining his yard in the West Point neighborhood of Hempfield, Churbock said.
In addition to his son, David, he is survived by four other sons, Joseph, Steve and Scott Churbock, all of Houston, Texas, and Thomas Churbock of Hollidaysburg; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Friends were received at the Clement L. Pantalone Funeral Home Inc., 409 W. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg. Parting prayers will be held in the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. Friday, followed by a funeral Mass to be celebrated at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Grace Church. Interment with military honors will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .