'Mr. Bluebird' remembered for loving nature
Alberth Goga once trained a bluebird he named “Bluey” to perch on his shoulder when he called.
Though he had lost his eyesight at the end of his life, he told his daughter he still found joy in life and the birds he loved.
“He described bird watching as, ‘I picture at creation how God held each little bird in his hand while painting the multitude of colors on them, then thoughtfully kissing each one and letting them fly from his hand to be enjoyed by us,' ” Cheryl Sturm said.
Alberth Thomas “Mr. Bluebird” Goga of Penn died Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. He was 93.
For many years Goga was a fixture on radio variety shows, sharing his knowledge about bluebirds.
A proud moment came when a child pointed him out to his mother as “Mr. Bluebird.”
“He had an entire box with letters addressed to ‘Mr. Bluebird' from Pittsburgh, West Virginia, as far as the radio shows reached,” Sturm said.
He received national awards for his Audubon conservation work.
Mr. Goga worked for PCB Westinghouse in Trafford until retirement.
A disabled veteran of World War II, Mr. Goga belonged to the Caterpillar Club, whose members have survived emergency parachute jumps.
A prize-winning photographer, he honed his talent as an aerial photo-grapher on 23 missions with the “The Flying Circus,” a nickname for The 380th Bombardment Group, which flew B-24 Liberator bombers for the Air Force in the Pacific during World War II.
He once helped to solve a Pittsburgh crime ring by hiding in the woods and taking photos of a truck used by construction site thieves, his daughter said.
He took pleasure in walking around his neighborhood looking for opportunities to help.
“He would stop at a stranger's house and mix cement, if needed,” Sturm said.
Mr. Goga was a member of Zion's Lutheran Church in Harrison City and enjoyed attending Cornerstone Ministries and Christian Life Church with friends and family.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Cathy Kasha Goga. He is survived by his daughter, Cheryl Sturm, and son Rick Goga, both of Penn; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Visitation was held Friday in Lindsay-Jobe Funeral Home Inc. in Harrison City.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in Christian Life Church, Seventh Street Extension in Trafford. Private interment will be in Twin Valley Memorial.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or email@example.com.