Greensburg mailman remembered for time in service, love of family
R. Ronald Joseph had a knack for telling Greensburg residents where they lived.
“His recall is phenomenal,” said his nephew, Rick Joseph. “He couldn’t wait to hear you were from Greensburg so he could ask what your name was and he could tell you where you lived.”
Ronald Joseph spent 25 years as a mailman for the Greensburg post office, memorizing roads and getting to know the community.
That was after he spent four years in the military, the first two serving in the Air Force, and then working as a technical instructor in Japan during the Korean War.
R. Ronald Joseph, 87, of Greensburg died Monday, July 1, 2019.
Born in Greensburg on April 3, 1932, he was the son of James and Najeebie Joseph.
Growing up as the youngest son of Syrian immigrants, he worked in the family store, Joseph’s Children’s Shop, along South Main Street in Greensburg. As he grew older, Mr. Joseph spent time with his parents, taking his dad down to Pittsburgh’s former garment district along Fifth Avenue and shopping for clothes and home goods.
Attending Juniata College after graduating high school, he dropped out to join the Air Force, where he instructed service personnel how to use radar to guide American planes. When he returned, he worked as a sales representative for H&T Sales and then co-owned The Town and Country Restaurant along Route 30 for two years with his brother.
After that, he started his career as a postal carrier.
In his free time, Mr. Joseph attended St. Michael’s Orthodox Church, where he served on parish council and was a member of the church’s men’s club. At night, he would drive to Kings or Denny’s, where he would have late-night coffee, chats and arguments with his friends.
“If something was black, he would argue it was some shade of gray,” Rick Joseph said. “There would be situations where if you got him into an argument, he would totally reverse his opinion.”
Rick Joseph added he would stay out until 3 a.m. chatting with his friends.
“At times those guys would jump in their car, they would meet, then someone would say, ‘Let’s go to Somerset,’ or ‘Let’s go to Johnstown,’ or ‘Let’s go get something to eat,’ ” his nephew said.
Mr. Joseph also spent time playing softball, and started coaching for Greensburg Salem and the South Greensburg Recreation League, and worked as a volunteer coach for the Seton Hill University girls softball team.
But he loved to spend time with his family. No matter how far family moved, his nephew said, they always came back to visit.
“Over the last two years, at least once a month, we’d go get something — whether it was breakfast or dinner,” Rick Joseph said. “We got to talk a lot and also argue. I wasn’t any different than any of his friends.”
Mr. Joseph is preceded in death by his three brothers, Victor, George and Henry Joseph; and his sisters, Theodora Solomon, Victoria Massouh, Lily Shehab, Harriett Monsour, Loretta LaHout, Jeanne Anton and Alberta Joseph.
In addition to his nephew, he is survived by his sister-in-law, Helen Joseph, 20 nieces and nephews and 40 great-nieces and great-nephews.
Family and friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, in St. Michael’s Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, 1182 Ashland Ave., Greensburg. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, in the church.
Contributions can be made to St. Michael’s Orthodox Church.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .