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Richard Andrew Gavula, Sr., 72, of Butler, passed away early Monday morning, June 10th, 2019, at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
Rich was born March 26, 1947, he grew up in Lyndora and was a son of the late Andrew Gavula, Jr. and the late Mary (Krul) Gavula. He was a devoted altar server at St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church.
Rich was married to his loving wife, the late Patricia (Morgus) Gavula, whom he married on November 30, 1968, she passed September 20, 2016. He has two incredible children; Jennifer (Paul) Roush of Mars and Richard A. (Christina) Gavula, Jr. of Butler. He was blessed with five wonderful grandchildren (Emily 20, Nate 16, and Lauren 13 Roush; Brady 16 and Lindsay 13 Gavula) whom he loved and treasured dearly. They were Papa’s favorite starting line-up and were the main source of light in his life.
His dedicated immediate family consisted of one brother: the late Robert J. Gavula and sister-in-law, Barbara Gavula Whitaker of Franklinton, NC and Robert J. (Connie) Morgus of St. Peters, MO; Nicholas J. Morgus (Nada) of Huntsville, AL. He has two nieces and five nephews.
Richard graduated from Butler High School in 1965 and graduated from Slippery Rock University in 1970. He was an Armstrong School District Health and Physical Education school teacher where he taught for 35 years. Mr. Gavula spent time teaching and coaching at Ford City High School along with East Franklin, North Buffalo, and West Hills Elementary Schools. His love of sports and recreational activities were some of his most special lifelong hobbies and interests. He played football, baseball, and basketball throughout his youth and high school years. He was an Eagle Scout and a volunteer fireman where he served as Fire Chief of the Lyndora Volunteer Fire Company for 20 years. He continued to keep up with his love of sports by officiating basketball, softball, and baseball. Rich was the most senior active member of the 75 member BCSOA umpire group. He was also the longest tenured member of the PIAA Officials with over 49 years of experience.
Throughout his life he valued and cherished his dearest family/friends and enjoyed many trips & activities together. He was fortunate to have traveled the world and visited 47 countries throughout his life’s journey. Rich’s interest in reading began as a young boy where he had a paper route in his neighborhood which lead him to becoming an avid reader especially newspapers. He led a very active life with passions for fishing, swimming, cycling, and golfing. In addition, he has always been characterized as an extremely hard worker with many projects in the yard and around the house. Even though he was often found behind home plate umpiring or running up and down the hard courts refererring – he always put his grandchildren’s sports & activities as his highest priority to support and encourage them all! He will always be remembered by his character, integrity and unique sense of humor.
Friends of Richard Andrew Gavula, Sr. will be received at the Geibel Funeral Home, 201 East Cunningham Street, Butler, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friday, June 14th. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, June 15th at 10:00 a.m., at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Butler. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Butler.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, his family strongly requests that donations be made for a specially designed field for special needs children and adults to play baseball - In Loving Memory of Richard Gavula, Sr. to the Miracle League Southwestern PA (MLSWPA) P.O. Box 1519 – Cranberry Township, PA 16066)