17 June 2012

Father's Day ... my paternal ancestry

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!
My dad is Joseph P. Ruczhak Jr. He was born and raised in Coatesville, worked in the Mill (Lukens Steel mill that is) like every male graduating then. He put in 40+ years at the mill. The only time away from the mill was when he served our country in Vietnam. He was drafted and served his time, eluding Death on more than one occassion.

His dad - my Gigi - was Joseph Ruczhak. Born in 1918, my Gigi worked various jobs, even ran his own steak shop a while, before he too worked at the mill. He loved to play golf and in fact was on Luken's golf team (see photo on the right). He was very active in the parish - Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Church and today is buried in our cemetery alongside my Baba - Anna Kurenda Ruczhak.

Gigi's father was Panko Hruszczak (1893-1968). He came over from "the Old Country" to find work assumably. He was born in Prusy, Sambor, Galicia. He met my great grandmother - Bessie Matyz - here and they were married at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Church. They had nine children survive to adulthood. Both were active in the parish and both are buried together at out cemetery. Panko worked for the railroad and for the iron works before setting in and retiring from the steel mill in Coatesville. I never got to meet my great grandfather. He passed away two months before I was born.

Panko's father was Theodore Hruszczak. Sadly, I know only his name ... at this point. Theodore never came overfrom Galicia.

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