Basil Petach

Obituary of Basil Peter Petach

Basil Peter Petach - 1926-2016 Basil Petach died peacefully at home on Friday, May 27, 2016 He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Elaine Petach, daughter Ann Marie Petach (married to Jeffrey Janowicz), grandchildren Alexander and Maggie Janowicz and sister, Patricia Babcock. His loving son Basil Peter Petach predeceased him. Basil, one of the “Greatest Generation,” was originally from McKeesport, PA, the son of Ruthenia-born Alex and his wife Mary. Basil grew up during the Great Depression where he learned life-long habits of frugality and generosity. He served in the Army Air Corp in the Philippines during World War II where he exaggerated his age to enlist and served in the US Marine Corp in Korea during the Korean War. While he was on the vocational track during high school due to a lack of financial resources, the GI Bill afforded him the opportunity to change his life trajectory. He received a BA from California State College of PA and a Master’s Degree from the University of Pittsburg (and ultimately a second Master’s from Montclair State). He acquired a passion for the power of public education and went on to dedicate forty years of his life to teaching as an elementary school teacher in Rumson, NJ. He instilled his love for learning and education into thousands of students as well as his own children. If you encounter one of his former students, he is remembered for his dedication, high expectations and ability to help everyone to learn and achieve. He fell madly in love with his wife Elaine whom he married in 1959. They began and built their married life together in Rumson, NJ. Rumson was their home for over forty years and will always be home in their hearts. They had a marriage built on love, shared values and a shared faith in God and humanity. Their love not only remained but also grew stronger over the years. Basil’s favorite sight and company, until the very end, was Elaine who was a loyal partner through good times and bad each and every day of their life together. He saw beauty and smiled every time he looked at her and never lost the spark that was first ignited so long ago. After Basil retired, he spent his life serving others including volunteering for many years for the Sisters of Charity, the Basilian Fathers of Mariapoch and the volunteer Fire Corp. He and Elaine then moved, first to Michigan and later New York, to help to raise their grandchildren. They assumed the daily duties of school pick up, frog catching, stroller pushing and rug wrestling when the kids were young and became trusted confidants, advisors and coaches as the kids grew older. Nothing delighted both Basil and Elaine as much as the kids’ smiles and laughs and sneaking them a few bucks or that extra snack that Mom and Dad wouldn’t. Basil was a lifetime Pittsburgh sports fanatic and spent hours of leisure time cheering on the Steelers and Pirates in good times and bad, be in person in the old Forbes Field, the Three Rivers Stadium or remotely on KDKA radio or TV. Basil was kind and generous and lived his life joyfully. Everyone who met him would remark on his kindness and love of life. He touched many lives in powerful and positive ways and left the world having served God, his country and his fellow man. There will be a mass of Christian Burial at Holy Cross Church in Rumson, NJ on Wednesday, June 1 at 10:00 AM followed immediately by interment at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Middletown, NJ. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Missionaries of Charity or the National Brain Tumor Society.


10:00 am
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Holy Cross Church
30 Ward Avenue
Rumson, New Jersey, United States


Mount Olivet Cemetery
65-40 Grand Avenue
Maspeth, New York, United States
Share Your Memory of