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Obituary Stories

Wasn't much 'gadget guy' couldn't repurpose

| Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, 9:00 p.m.

Ed Jendeski was always good with his hands.

An avid gardener, he grew anything that was edible, his family said. And he was constantly taking things apart or repurposing items, such as tin cans into wind chimes.

“He was a MacGyver,” said daughter Leah Alea, of Boston.

Edward Jendeski, formerly of North Braddock, died Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. He was 85.

“There's just so many stories that we've laughed about,” Alea said, referring to her father's tinkering.

Mr. Jendeski was born in 1930. His parents immigrated from Poland around the turn of the century, and he was the youngest of their eight children, Alea said.

The family lived in the South Side before moving to a farm in North Braddock. Like his older brothers, Mr. Jendeski built his house not far from the family farm.

He met his wife of 61 years, Loretta, at a party and later had two daughters. Mr. Jendeski made a career as a machinist for the E.L. Wirgand/Emerson Electric Co.

“He made everything out of anything,” Alea said. “He took recycling to the max before recycling became popular. He was a gadget guy.”

He even did all of the mechanical work on the family car until one day when there was an issue with the transmission, his daughter said. He took the vehicle into the shop only because he didn't have a car lift.

Mr. Jendeski maintained a colorful garden of various vegetables and fruit trees where he had only one rule, his daughter said: “You always had to be able to eat whatever he planted.”

Mr. Jendeski loved nature and reading the newspaper and National Geographic, she said.

“He was a very quiet, low-key guy,” Alea said.

Mr Jendeski is survived by his wife, Loretta; his two daughters, Joyce McNash of McCandless and Leah Alea of Boston; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Friends are welcome from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Ave., East Pittsburgh. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Sacred Heart Church.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association.

Elizabeth Behrman is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. She can be reached at 412-320-7886 or lbehrman@tribweb.com.

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