Penn Township man remembered as hard-working, coolest dad around |
Obituary Stories

Penn Township man remembered as hard-working, coolest dad around

Renatta Signorini

The drummer meets the majorette.

The drummer marries the majorette — and plays the drums at their wedding.

Gary Kozain was a hard-working guy who sometimes liked to embarrass his two daughters while being the coolest dad around. His family has troves of good memories from Sundays spent together to watching him wow a crowd at Kennywood while playing a drumming arcade game.

“He was so good and such a great guy that he would make you laugh, he would make you smile,” said his wife, Joyce Kozain. “He was the party. Everybody loved him.”

Gary L. “Guppy” Kozain of Penn Township died Thursday, April 4, 2019, at home from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 70.

Born June 28, 1948, in Harrison City to Robert and Betty Kozain, he got into drumming at an early age and his love for percussion continued through his life.

Mr. Kozain worked at Westinghouse in Trafford as a production coordinator and then in other tool shops before retiring as an inspector and seller for Stellar Precision Components in Jeannette, his wife said.

They met while he was a drummer for the Twirlettes, the majorette group she belonged to in high school. They marched in summer parades together in the mid-1960s and became high school sweethearts.

Mr. Kozain was involved with bands since that time, most notably Spellbound and Odyssey.

He even performed at his own wedding in 1971 while his bride watched.

“All our family who had never seen Gary play with a band, they had the opportunity to do that,” Joyce Kozain said.

Music was in his blood — his daughters remember being woken Sunday mornings by loud music, then a dance lesson downstairs.

“We always had music; there was never a time when we did not have music,” said Melissa Glenn of Penn Township.

After the music and dance lesson, the family would go for a walk somewhere together.

Ranee Fitzwater of Greensburg remembered all the neighborhood kids crowding around a basement window to catch a glimpse of her father’s band practicing in their game room.

“Everybody thought he was the coolest guy that ever lived,” she said. “You could hear them from outside. There’d be seven to 10 kids.”

The family loved visiting their cabin in Tionesta, but no matter how far Mr. Kozain was from his drum set, he always found a surface that would work as a stand-in.

“He played the drums on everything, everywhere that we were,” Fitzwater said.

In addition to his wife and daughters, Mr. Kozain is survived by his mother, eight grandchildren, four siblings and his father-in-law.

Funeral services and burial were held Monday. Lindsay-Jobe Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Memorial contributions can be made to Bridges Hospice, 515 Pleasant Valley Road, Trafford, PA 15085.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Obituaries
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