Jeannette teacher Raymond Bronzie wrestled most out of life on and off the mat
In his long life, there was very little that Raymond Bronzie couldn’t or didn’t do.
He helped train the chimpanzees in the Johnny Weissmuller “Tarzan” movies. He was a finalist for the Olympic swimming and wrestling teams. He was a Golden Glove boxer. He rode a bicycle cross-country. He was a longtime wrestling coach at Jeannette High School.
“That was his passion,” said his daughter, Rae Ann Sheedy.
Sheedy said her father was a state championship wrestler in high school and college and loved coaching wrestling at Jeannette, where he taught for 35 years.
Raymond C. Bronzie of Jeannette died Thursday, May 16, 2019, at Walnut Ridge Memory Care. He was 91.
Born in Greensburg on Feb. 16, 1928, he was a son of the late George and Eleanor (Mensch) Bronzie. He graduated from Greensburg High School and Edinboro University (then Edinboro State Teachers College).
Mr. Bronzie’s time in the Navy taught him that conflict was not the answer, his daughter said.
“My dad was a true believer in communication and not fighting. He said it takes a real man to talk his way out of something,” she said. “Look inside yourself — that’s what he always taught us.”
He continued his education until age 31, attending classes at Penn State, West Virginia University, Saint Vincent College and Slippery Rock University.
“He had more credits than it took to be a doctor,” Sheedy said.
As a high school teacher, Mr. Bronzie taught algebra, biology, general math and general science, she said.
His love of coaching wrestling started with his own wrestling career in high school and college. He made it to the Olympic wrestling finals at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, in 1952; however, he did not make the team, she said.
Mr. Bronzie got involved in the “Tarzan” movies from trips he took to California to visit his brother and sister-in-law, Sheedy said.
“He was back and forth all the time,” she said.
Upon retirement, Mr. Bronzie indulged his passion for golf, at one time living at the Hannastown Golf Club. He worked as a guard for the Bob Hope Golf Tournaments, traveling to places like Pismo Beach, Calif.
“It was nothing for him to play 18 rounds of golf twice a day (at Hannastown), once in the morning and once in the evening,” she said. “My mother was a golf widow.”
Mr. Bronzie was preceded in death by a brother.
He is survived by his ex-wife, Norma (Cerra) Bronzie; a daughter, Rae Ann Sheedy and her husband, Richard, of Hunker; a son, Rex Bronzie and his wife, Cathy, of Greensburg; four grandchildren; and a sister.
Mason-Gelder Funeral Home, Jeannette, was in charge of arrangements.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .