Luke G. Zitzler

Luke ZitzlerLuke G. Zitzler, 83, passed away after lunch on Saturday, May 24 at Elk Haven.  He was a lifelong resident of Vine Road in St. Marys.

He was born July 12, 1930 in St. Marys, the son of Joseph and Leona (Hallermeyer) Zitzler.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Martha (Mrs. Alex Hill), Marion (Mrs. Richard Nachtway), and two brothers and a sister, Joseph, Daniel, and Emily who died as children.

He married Mary Grace Schlimm, on August 21, 1954, who survives.  He is also survived by six children: Paula Zitzler of Williamsburg, PA; Steven Zitzler (husband of Cindy) of St. Marys, Pam (Mrs. Michael) Dippold of Columbus, OH, Bridget (Mrs. Barry) Rucki of Benezette, PA, Susan (Mrs. James) Dippold, of Glen Hazel, PA, and Ann Zitzler (long-time partner of Randy Hollabaugh) of Cyclone, PA.  He is also survived by his sister Eileen (Mrs. John) Quatroche of Punxsutawney, PA and his brother, Ralph Zitzler (husband of Sharron) of Lincoln, CA.  His greatest legacy is the nine grandchildren who also survive: Frank Rucki; Andrew, Megan and Michelle Dippold; Sarah, James and Elizabeth Dippold; and Joseph and Jenna Zitzler.

Luke was an accomplished machinist and welder; his early career began in the shop of Brownie Seel where he learned his trade after completing elementary school.  He also worked at Keystone Carbon Company for a few years.  For more than two decades, he worked at W & H Machine Shop, which he managed until his retirement.

During the Korean War, he served stateside in the US Army at Fort Knox.  He was a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a member of the Crystal Fire Department, and a life member of the St. Marys Sportsmen Club, a reflection of his passion for the outdoors, especially deer hunting and trout fishing.  His success in the local woods and streams, as well as his talent for gardening, kept the cupboards (which he built) and freezers stocked with venison, trout, green beans, tomatoes, blueberries and many other fruits and vegetables.

An expert craftsman, there were few things of wood or metal that he couldn’t make, or make better.  He drafted his projects on the margins of the Daily Press and the envelopes of yesterday’s mail.  His creations and handiwork benefit many every day, whether it’s drawing inspiration from the stainless steel cross atop the Methodist Church in Benezette, or enjoying a fun and safe summer day climbing the sturdy steps of the slide at the Community Pool, or having the perfect corner cupboard, or the custom tool that is just exactly the right gadget to make a job easier, the work of his hands will last for decades.

There will be no visitation.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated in the Queen of the World Church on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at 10:00 AM with the Rev. Richard Allen, Pastor, officiating.  Full military rites will be accorded by the St. Marys Servicemen’s Burial Detail.  Burial will follow in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Crystal Fire Department, 319 Erie Avenue, St. Marys, PA  15857.

Mary Ann McCluskey May 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Dear Mary Grace & Family,
Our Sincere condolence on the passing of Luke. I’m sure that he and dad have already trod the paths of the trout streams in heaven. I’ll bet they have really made a bit “Splash”! You all are in our prayers.
Mary Ann and Donald

Cindy Cortinovis May 27, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Dear Paula, I am so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Paul and Patti Bierley May 28, 2014 at 8:04 am

Deepest sympathy on the loss of Luke. He was always quick to tell a story of a deer he harvested or a bag of fish he caught from a rarely traveled part of a stream. The life lessons he taught are obvious in the generations of wonderful people he left behind.

Doug Kellogg May 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm

To Ann,

My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

from your ex-boyfriend Doug Kellogg

From Bradford, PA

Chris Valentine Denayer July 15, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Dear Bridget, Siblings and Mrs. Zitzler,

My deepest condolences to each of you. I remember your dad’s fabulous gardens from our childhood. All the best to you during this difficult time.


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