Edward J. Sloff | 89
Edward J Sloff, 89, of Walnut Street, St. Marys, PA passed away with his family by his side Monday, February 13, 2023 at his residence.
Edward was born July 16, 1933 in Sykesville, PA to the late Joseph and Mary (Shema) Sloff.
On August 26, 1961 he married the love of his life, Ruth “Pug” Hasselman, who survives. They celebrated 61 years of love, laughter, happiness, and faith. Their marriage set an example to be followed by their family for generations to come.
Together they built their greatest treasure, their family. He loved spending time with his family, enjoying holidays with them, watching them in sports, or singing “You Are My Sunshine” to nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Ed is survived by a daughter, Amy Higgins, a son, Michael Sloff and his wife Kim, a daughter, Molly Uberti and her husband Curtis; grandchildren: Jimmy Higgins and his wife Crystal, Nathan Higgins and his wife Laura, Seth Higgins and Diana Nguyen, Abbey Sloff, Rachel Sloff, Nickolas Sloff, Christian Sloff, Taylor Uberti, Joshua Uberti; great grandchildren Luka Higgins, Finn Higgins, Harper Higgins, Jackson Higgins, and Lennon Higgins.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Marie Sloff, and his brother, John Michael Sloff, who passed in infancy.
Ed was a graduate of Sykesville-Henderson High School, class of 1951. Nicknamed “Topper”, he is considered to be one of the best basketball players of Sykesville High with a record of 43 points via the two handed set shot and jump hook. His record setting performance preceded the three-point line by decades. In addition to excelling on the basketball court, Ed also played baseball and football. As a left-hander growing up in a coal mining community of Slovak immigrants, Ed had to fashion his own left-handed baseball mitt until one was given to him by a soldier returning from service. When the coal mining business was poor, Ed and his father made additional money digging graves by hand. Although Ed grew up in material poverty, he was surrounded by a wealth of love and support in his early years.
Ed initially wanted to follow his father into work in the coal mines. But standing at 6’3”, Ed made a poor fit for the vocation, which his father made clear after one trip down a mine shaft. As a result, Ed spent his life in the pursuit and promotion of education. He believed in the ability of education to transform lives and lift generations from poverty. He began his education at Indiana State College but it was interrupted when he was drafted in 1953. Ed was a reluctant draftee but proudly served two years in the Army, including a tour in the Korean War. Throughout the rest of his life, Ed generously donated to many veterans’ organizations and retained a strong belief in the importance of service.
After separating from the Army, he completed his Bachelors of Science in Education at Clarion University. During his college years, he continued to play basketball. He went on to get his masters in counseling education at Penn State University in 1962. Ed remained an avid Penn State fan throughout the rest of his life.
During his 40 year career, he taught at Dayton Area High School, Ridgway Area High School, and St. Marys Area School District for 34 years. In addition to teaching, Ed was also a guidance counselor and acting principal. Ed loved his students and was loved in return. Decades after having taught a student, Ed could still recall names when running into a former student throughout town. Ed strongly believed all students, no matter their background or upbringing, were worthy of a quality education and respect. Ed also spent decades as a football and basketball coach. Long after his sports career ended, Ed remained committed to athletics.
In his later years, Ed enjoyed watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow with his wife, Pug. They attended as many school events for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren as possible. Even in their old age, Ed and Pug could still two-step to their favorite polka music, which was a sight worth seeing and brought his children and grandchildren tremendous joy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in the St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Saturday, February 18, 2023, at 11:00 AM, with the Rev. Ben Daghir, officiating and the Rev. Jeffery Noble, concelebrating. Full military honors will be accorded by the St. Marys Servicemen’s Burial Detail. Burial will follow in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.
Visitation will be held at the Lynch-Radkowski Funeral Home on Friday, February 17, 2023 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM.
As Ed supported those that he loved, in lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to: Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, National Headquarters, ATTN: Financial Operations, 733 Third Ave, Suite 510, New York, NY 10017, www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org or to: Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh, 2211 Lesnett Road, Unit 12864, Pittsburgh, PA 15241, www.dsapgh.org/donate or to: Boys and Girls Club of St. Marys, 25 N. St. Marys Street, St. Marys, PA 15857, https://smboysandgirlsclub.com/donate/ .
Sincere condolences to Pug, Molly, Taylor & Josh. To be blessed with a mentor like Coach Sloff is a once in a lifetime thing for which I am grateful. Thank you for the time, energy and dedication you gave to our team and to so many others. I will always remember you. Rest in peace Coach. ‘How sweet it is ‘
Mr. Sloff was a respected coach, guidance counselor, teacher and friend.
Gratitude to him for his many contributions and prayers to his family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. We are sorry for your loss.
Very sorry for your loss, enjoyed the time working with him at SMAHS,he always had a smile on his face.
So sorry for your loss. God bless you during this time of sorrow.
How I always cherished Mr. Sloff…my high school guidance counselor! Always a gentleman, always kind, and always had time for you. He was my favorite! Sincere condolences!
I only met him a few times but from the first time he made me feel like family. I am so sorry for your family’s loss and just know that he is at eternal piece. Mike, you made him proud.
All those many years ago when I was bad in your class you still had faith in me and believed in me. To you standing on my side from teacher to counselor to mentor to friend! You got me excited about college and you and Pug attending my wedding. You had more faith in me back then more so than I had for myself. All the way to still exchanging Christmas Cards yearly without fail. I will do my best to make it there from SC not to say goodbye but to say see you later in heaven. You were a true vision on how to live.
Rest In Peace Papa Sloff
Ed Sloff was always someone I thought to be larger than life. He always had a smile on his face. He and Pug were friends with my family. I’m the daughter of Jim and Shirley McGonnell. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Very sorry for your loss.
So sorry Mike… Ed was an awesome person! I will pray for you and your entire family.
What a wonderful man Ed was. We shared the same birthday and both left handed. What a great guidance counselor he made. I have many cherished moments of smiles, and conversation with him. Just loved running into him and chatting. RIP Ed, you will be missed by so many.
Thoughts and prayers to Pug, Molly and family. RIP ED
So sorry for you and your family’s loss.
Condolences to you and your family
March 1990, Mr. Sloff called me to this guidance office and asked me where I was planning to go to college or what were my plans after high school. I remembered taking a deep breath and saying well, I can’t do math and my SAT scores are not good at all. He smiled and said don’t worry about that, what do you want to do? We chatted back and forth for several minutes and came up with “my love for people and what kind of careers might work for me. He found me a 2 year Human Service Program at a college that did not require SAT scores and helped me fill out the application on the spot. 3 weeks later. I was accepted to college.
I ended up staying there for a 4 year degree and began a life of helping and caring for people who may not have their own strong voice. He is the reason, I went to college, and believed that I could actually graduate from college.
Many years later while visiting St. Marys I ran into him with my teenage daughter and was so proud to introduce him to her as the the man who sent me to college. Even though he had retired, he still had that encouraging twinkle in is eyes and always so humble about his work with his students. Thank you Mr. Sloff for believing in me when I did not believe in myself. Rest In Peace and love and sympathy to your family.
So sorry for your loss.
Our deepest condolences. I never met a person my uncle didn’t like. I will always remember watching fireworks at the Sloff house with everyone and anyone else who wanted to join. Christmas time was always a special time for the Hasselman family and memories of our family gatherings will always be remembered. To my aunt and cousins….we send our love and prayers and we will miss Ed dearly.
What a first class gentleman, I have fond memories of Ed having been able to teach and coach with him.
You have my deepest sympathy.
May you rest in peace my friend.
My first encounter with Ed was via his Thursday night phone calls to his sister, Marie in Michigan. She would regale me with tales of her brother playing and coaching basketball and the loving “hoops” family he and Puggy raised. After many years (too many to count) I finally met Ed and his family in person at Marie’s funeral. He was so much more than the man in the phone to Marie. I was fortunate to have met Ed and his loving family. I feel fortunate to have met, Puggy, Amy, Mike and Molly and I am so sorry for your loss of this great man who touched so many lives.
Pug and family,
So very sorry about Ed’s passing. He was such an awesome person and will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time
Molly, Mike, Amy and Pug, I am deeply saddened to learn of Ed’s passing. He truly was one of the good guys!! Prayers for you all and your families.