Murrysville Army vet enjoyed fishing, camaraderie
Ronald Germanoski carried the lessons — and more importantly, the camaraderie — he learned in the Boy Scouts well into manhood.
“When he was young, he was in the Boy Scouts, and he dropped out just a few merit badges shy of becoming an Eagle Scout,” said his son Brian, 46, of Meadville. “His old Scoutmaster had bought property along the Allegheny River in Emlenton, and they’d have ‘Old Timer Weekends’ when all the old Boy Scouts would head up there. I’d go there with him until he wasn’t able to go anymore.”
Ronald Germanoski died Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. He was 73 years old.
Mr. Germanoski was born on V-E Day, May 8, 1945, and grew up in Braddock.
He was a 1963 graduate of Braddock High School. Shortly after graduation, he, like many other Braddock graduates, began working at U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Steel Works along the Monongahela River.
He married his high school sweetheart, Kathy (Massung) Germanoski on July 6, 1966. But before he could do that, he was drafted into the Army in 1965, training at Fort Jackson, S.C., before heading to Sikorsky Aircraft in Connecticut to train on the company’s helicopters.
Mr. Germanoski served as a helicopter machine gunner during the Vietnam War, returning home with an Army Commendation with “V” device (awarded for heroism or valor in combat), a National Defense Service medal, a Vietnam Service medal, a Republic of Vietnam Campaign ribbon with device, and a Sharpshooter badge with a rifle bar.
After returning from military service and getting married, Mr. Germanoski and his wife moved briefly to Wilkinsburg before finding a home in Murrysville in 1971.
Mr. Germanoski spent nearly four decades working for U.S. Steel Corp., first at the Edgar Thomson plant and then at Irwin Works in West Mifflin, where he served as an accountant. He later worked in the company’s downtown Pittsburgh office as part of U.S. Steel’s real estate division.
Brian Germanoski said he can remember his father taking him fishing at Shawnee State Park in Bedford County.
“Our family had a fishing camp near the park. My dad used to hunt small game a lot, too. He and a buddy drove all different places to hunt, and he’d hunt up at the scout camp as well,” Germanoski said.
In the 1970s, Mr. Germanoski began coaching Franklin Regional youth football, and also ran in several marathons during the 1980s.
“At the time, there was a big running fad in the country. He completed the Presque Isle (in Erie) and New York City marathons, and did the Johnstown Marathon twice,” Germanoski said.
Germanoski described his father as a “guy’s guy.”
“My uncle said he was a hard guy, but he’d do anything for you. He had a tough exterior, but he was soft on the inside,” Germanoski said.
Mr. Germanoski is survived by his wife of 52 years, Kathy; son Brian (Jennifer) Germanoski of Meadville; and granddaughters Krysta, Kayla and Sydney Germanoski.
Friends and family will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, at the Patrick Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Ave., East Pittsburgh. A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Good Shepherd Church, 1025 Braddock Ave. in Braddock. Interment will follow with military honors at Braddock Catholic Cemetery.
Memorial donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or at StJude.org.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .