CENTERVILLE — BITZKO – Joseph T., Lt. Col. retired, Air Force, 90, Centerville, Pa., passed away Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Born Sept. 25, 1921, in Franklin Borough, to the late Thomas and Mary (Sokol) Bitzko. Preceded in death by wife of 62 years, Irene Mitroka, in 2010; sisters, Mary Paladino, Ann Morris, Martha DeNeve, Eva Bitzko and Julia Foley; and brothers, Charles, John, BITZKO – Joseph T., Lt. Col. retired, Air Force, 90, Centerville, Pa., passed away Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Born Sept. 25, 1921, in Franklin Borough, to the late Thomas and Mary (Sokol) Bitzko. Preceded in death by wife of 62 years, Irene Mitroka, in 2010; sisters, Mary Paladino, Ann Morris, Martha DeNeve, Eva Bitzko and Julia Foley; and brothers, Charles, John, Nicholas and Michael C. Bitzko. Survived by devoted daughter, Donna Marie; and numerous nieces, nephews and relatives. Joseph enlisted in the CCC in 1940 and was stationed at Camp NP 3, Shenandoah National Park, Elkton, Va. He entered military active duty on Aug. 17, 1942, and was then commissioned a second lieutenant in the USAAC in February of 1944 in Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, N.M. Joseph then went overseas in July of that year and was Squadron Bombardier-Navigator with the 86th Squadron, 47th Bomb Group, 12th AF, Italy, where he completed 68 combat missions over Italy, France and Germany. He was one of the original founders and member of Sgt. Michael Strank VFW Post in Franklin Borough and held office of vice commander and served as a trustee for several years. Joe was recalled to active duty during the Korean War as a clinical laboratory officer. His assignments were Air Force hospitals located in Omaha, Neb.; Washington, D.C.; Burderop Park, England; Dayton, Ohio; and Wiesbaden, Germany. His last laboratory assignment was at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. Joe retired after 28 years of active duty on Aug. 1, 1970. The deceased officer was a 1940 graduate of Franklin Borough High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1949 and a master’s degree in 1950 from the University of Pittsburgh. Lt. Col. Bitzko attended University of Wisconsin, Madison, from 1953 to 1955 for post-graduate work. He completed Air War College in 1968 in Wiesbaden, Germany, and received his secondary teaching certification from the University of Dayton in 1974. As a teacher, he taught sciences and math in the Dayton and Montgomery Public School System. Joe received faculty appointment at Wright State University in July 1977 as director of chemistry laboratories. He later retired from Wright State University in 1992 after 15 years of service. The late Lt. Col. Bitzko held these decorations and awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, with three Oak Leak Clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal, with one Oak Leaf Cluster; Presidential Unit Citation, with one Oak Leaf Cluster; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, with two Oak Leaf Clusters; European Theater of Operation Medal, with five Oak Leaf Clusters; National Defense Medal, with one Bronze Star; the World War II Victory Medal; and other decorations. Burial will be held at Arlington Cemetery with full military honors. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.routsong.com.
- District Deaths May 18, 2013
Melody Ann Black
BLACK – Melody Ann, 55, Johnstown, passed away May 17, 2013, at Memorial Medical Center.
CHARNEY – Gloria, the former Gloria Burskey, 64, Carrolltown, passed away May 15, 2013, at Memorial Medical Center.
Jacqueline (Winning) Griffith
GRIFFITH – Jacqueline “Jacquie” (Winning), 51, Ebensburg, passed away suddenly May 16, 2013, at Memorial Medical Center.
Esther L. (Weaver) Hyde
HYDE – Esther L. (Weaver), 91, Lawrence Park, Pa., passed away Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at Forestview Healthcare Center, Erie.
Richard Miller McQuade
McQUADE – Richard Miller, 94, Stoystown, died May 15, 2013 at Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown.
Elmer L. Piper Sr.
PIPER – Elmer L. Sr., 75, Johnstown, died May 16, 2013, at Good Sam Nursing Care Center.
William W. Resick
RESICK – William W., 70, Altoona, died Thursday, May 16, 2013, at his residence following an extended illness.
Joseph W. Robey Jr.
ROBEY – Joseph W. Jr., 83, New Florence, passed away Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
SEKERAK – William “Pap,” 86, Johnstown, passed away May 16, 2013, at Memorial Medical Center.
Stella Ann (Francek) Sewalk
SEWALK – Stella Ann (Francek), 95, Johnstown, went to be with her Lord May 16, 2013, at home.
Doris J. Sowerbrower
SOWERBROWER – Doris J., 71, Johnstown, died May 16, 2013, at home.
Michael G. Yurasek
YURASEK – Michael G., Ohio, 71, passed away May 10, 2013.
- Today's Funerals May 18, 2013
- District Deaths May 17, 2013
Charles Richard Allison
ALLISON – Charles Richard, Florence, S.C., died Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, after a sudden illness.
Roberta E. Heming
HEMING – Roberta E. “Bertie”, 67, Robinson, died May 15, 2013, at Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown.
OMASTA – Mary, 83, died May 15, 2013, at Meadow View Nursing Center, Berlin, formerly of Old Orchard Way.
- Today's Funerals May 17, 2013
- District Deaths May 16, 2013
Ruth C. (Coppersmith) Anderson
ANDERSON – Ruth C. (Coppersmith), 71, passed away May 9, 2013.
Elsie E. Beichner
BEICHNER – Elsie E., 98, passed away May 15, 2013, at Memorial Medical Center.
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