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Obituary Stories

UPS driver had a finely tuned work ethic

Stephen Huba
| Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 11:00 p.m.
Joseph B. Skrobacz, 64, of Ruffsdale, died Monday, March 5, 2018.
Joseph B. Skrobacz, 64, of Ruffsdale, died Monday, March 5, 2018.

Joe Skrobacz was a driven man who drove for a living.

His route as a UPS driver took him mostly into Oakmont, where his customers came to know and love him, said his longtime friend and coworker Randy Peltier of Jeannette.

“We always told him he ran that town,” Peltier said.

Mr. Skrobacz started at the New Stanton UPS facility as a sorter and then successfully bid on a job as a driver. He retired in 2012 after 35 years of service.

“He was a mover at work. The older workers took pride in that because, sometimes, the younger workers don't have quite the same work ethic,” said Peltier, who started at New Stanton at the same time.

Joseph B. Skrobacz of Ruffsdale died Monday, March 5, 2018, in Scottdale Manor and Rehabilitation Center in East Huntingdon. He was 64.

Born in Mt. Pleasant on July 6, 1953, he was the son of the late Bernard A. and Rose C. (Kuzar) Skrobacz Valentovish.

During his early years with UPS, before he became a driver, Mr. Skrobacz also was a tax assessor for Westmoreland County. He worked that job during the day and the sorting job at night. During his off hours, he enjoyed playing softball and refereeing basketball games.

“Joe was like the Energizer bunny,” said his wife, Karen. “His work ethic was — he never missed a day's work. I think he retired with 120 sick days. … He was dedicated. Whenever he did something, he devoted himself to it.”

Mr. Skrobacz also had a way of making work fun, Peltier said.

“If anything would stand out, it was just his sense of humor. He loved to pull pranks. It just made work more bearable,” Peltier said.

When he wasn't working, Mr. Skrobacz enjoyed polka music, golfing and driving his 1963 Corvette, his wife said. He listened to polka music while washing and waxing his car, and danced to polka music at the Everson Polish American Club.

“He could polka like there was no tomorrow,” Mrs. Skrobacz said. “I tried, but I couldn't keep up, so everybody else got to be his partner.”

Mrs. Skrobacz described her husband as honest, friendly, decent, moral and fun.

“He could start a conversation with a rock,” she said.

In addition to his wife of 34 years, he is survived by two sisters, Janet L. Garcher and her husband, Joseph, of Mt. Pleasant, and Bernadette M. Niemiec and her husband, Wayne, of Scottdale; a stepbrother, Edward Valentovish; and several nieces and nephews.

Prayers of transfer will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the Frank Kapr Funeral Home, 417 Pittsburgh St., Scottdale, to be followed by a 10 a.m. funeral Mass in St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Everson. Committal services and interment will follow in St. Joseph Parish Cemetery, Everson.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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