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Army vet loved working and making new friends

| Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003

Whether he was flipping hamburgers or grilling hot dogs at the Texas Luncheon in Scottdale as a teen or managing a supermarket produce department as an adult, it was said that Sonny Skoneczny had a work ethic second to none.

And even when the stores and doors of companies he worked for closed, Mr. Skoneczny was ready to move onto another job and another challenge.

Walter J. "Sonny" Skoneczny Jr., of Everson, Fayette County, died on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2003, in Frick Hospital, Mt. Pleasant. He was 72.

"My brother always worked," Alicia DeSantis said. "Prior to working at the Texas Luncheon, Sonny held a number of small jobs after school and on weekends. He enjoyed working hard and having the opportunity to meet people and make new friends."

Born and raised in Everson, Mr. Skoneczny was one of four children in his family. His father was employed at the former Anchor Hocking Plant in South Connellsville.

It was while attending Scottdale High School that Mr. Skoneczny began working at the Texas Luncheon. Besides hamburgers, he became adept at grilling hot dogs for a busy clientele that had a limited amount of time for their breaks.

"Sonny worked at the restaurant for several years," said DeSantis, "until he was drafted during the Korean War and sent to Germany.

"He enjoyed the years he spent in the Army and the time he spent in Stuttgart, Germany, with the 1577th Army Headquarters and Headquarters Battery and often talked to us about it."

Mr. Skoneczny managed the produce department at the Scottdale IGA for 12 years prior to retiring.

He also worked at the Volkswagen Plant in New Stanton and as a manager of the dairy department at the Scottdale A&P.

In 1972, he married Elizabeth "Libby" Ulery, who died in 1992.

Mr. Skoneczny was a lifelong member of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Everson, and Hamilton Maloy Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 595, Everson, where he served as quartermaster for a number of years.

He was also a member of the Scottdale BPOE Lodge No. 777.

Mr. Skoneczny is survived by his sister, Alicia DeSantis, of Scottdale; a brother-in-law, Paul R. Thomas, of Everson; and a number of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was predeceased by his sisters, Eleanor Killinger and Margaret "Marge" Thomas.

A funeral Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. today in St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church. Committal services and interment will follow in St. Joseph Parish Cemetery, Everson, with full military honors accorded at the gravesite by the Southmoreland Veterans Association.

Arrangements by the Frank Kapr Funeral Home Inc., Scottdale.

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