John Pigza

Obituary of John Michael Pigza

John M. Pigza, 77, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, after a long illness. Friends and family will be received at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 1 Guthrie Lane, Morgantown, on Friday, November 5, 2021, beginning Memorial Mass at 10:00 a.m., with Rev. Msgr. Anthony Cincinnati, STD, VE, as Celebrant. John M. Pigza, 77, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, after a long illness. John was born in Altoona, PA, on August 6, 1944, the son of the late Michael and Cecelia Pigza. Raised in Gallitzin, PA, John was the first in his family to attend college and earned a degree in engineering at Penn State University. He lived in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Canada. John is survived by his wife and best friend of nearly 54 years, Jill Pigza; his children, Jennifer (married to Frances Sweeney), Jessica (married to Sean Concannon), and Joshua (married to Kasey Kesner). He loved his grandchildren, Julian Sweeney and Luna Pigza. He is also survived by four siblings: Tim Pigza, Mary Anne Amer, Cecelia Marie Lenz, and David Pigza. Whether you knew him as John or Jack, you knew him to be a problem-solver, great conversationalist, and strategist with a fun sense of humor and endless curiosity. He worked in coal mining his entire life and was proud to be a third-generation miner; he was especially proud when his son, Josh, followed in his footsteps. Until COVID, he enjoyed weekly lunches with his friends, the self-styled ROMEOs – Retired Old Men Eating Out. He loved good pie, fishing, golfing, and hanging out at the beach. Avid travelers, John and Jill visited 10+ countries during their retirement. Inspired by an OLLI class at WVU, John wrote a book about his family's everyday life and adventures. John was committed to service whether through his parish, Catholic Charities, his homeowners' association, and other non-profits. He assisted with tax preparation for low-income people, organized donations, and support for arriving refugees, and served on the finance committee at his parish. While in his 60s, John was diagnosed with FSHD, a rate type of muscular dystrophy. Active in research that would benefit future patients, he was also instrumental in forming the Western, PA Chapter of the FSHD Society. A celebration of John's life will be in early November at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 1 Guthrie Lane, Morgantown. Consult www.hastingsfuneralhome.com for details. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to one of John's favorite organizations; Carmelite Community of the Word, 394 Bem Road, Gallitzin, PA, St. Ursula Food Pantry & Outreach, P O Box 18, Pursglove, WV 26546 or Catholic Charities West Virginia, 827 Fairmont Road, #203, Morgantown, WV 26501. Send condolences online at www.hastingsfuneralhome.com
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