Obituaries July 27

July 26, 2013

Joan P. Ruby Aiassa

School teacher had passion for art

Joan P. Ruby Aiassa, 74, passed away June 14, 2013, in Kissimmee, Fla.

She was born July 29, 1938, in Washington County, a daughter of the late John and Margaret Ruby.

Mrs. Aiassa received a degree in teaching from California University of Pennsylvania and was employed as a teacher in Pennsylvania, Florida, New York and California. She lived in San Diego, Calif., for 20 years before moving to San Jose, Calif., and then to Kissimmee in 1997.

In recent years, she had been a homemaker and loved to crochet socks for underprivileged children. However, art was her passion. She was a talented artist and through her art, she met many people and made many friends from all over the world.

Surviving are her husband, Dale; a daughter, Cynthia Sutphin (Albert) of Vienna, W.Va.; a grandson, Kyle Sutphin of Parkersburg, W.Va.; a great-granddaughter, Kinley Sutphin; and brothers John Ruby (Donna) of Newton Falls, Ohio, Jim Ruby (Clare) of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Tom Ruby (Cheryl) of Brentwood, Calif.

Mrs. Aiassa requested to be cremated and there were no services. Conrad-Thompson of Kissimmee handled the crematory services.

Robert Carter Andrew

Former Greene County commissioner was farmer

Robert “Bob” Carter Andrew, 69, of Waynesburg, and formerly of Nineveh, died at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Washington Hospital, from a cancer-related illness diagnosed in June, with his loving family by his side.

He was born March 9, 1944, in Waynesburg, a son of the late Jesse Carter and Eva Luella Percy Andrew.

He resided in the Nineveh area all his life prior to moving to Jefferson Township in 2010.

Mr. Andrew was a 1962 graduate of West Greene High School and earned his bachelor of science degree in animal science from Penn State University in 1966.

He owned and operated a beef and sheep farm in Morris Township, Greene County, for many years. He formerly served as a Greene County commissioner and was last employed as a service agent with the Greene County Conservation District, prior to retiring in 2007.

Following retirement, he continued to raise horned Dorset sheep.

Mr. Andrew was a member of Nineveh United Methodist Church, member and past master of Masonic Lodge 153 F&AM of Waynesburg, a 32nd Mason with the Valley of Pittsburgh and formerly served on West Greene School Board.

He was also a former 4-H leader and served on the Greene County Extension Service Committee. He enjoyed the time with his family, golf, gardening, sports and helping others.

On July 16, 1966, he married Rosemary Guthrie, who survives.

Also surviving are a daughter, Jessica, wife of Michael Wassil; two sons, Adam R., husband of Dana Andrew and Scott N. Andrew and partner, Ethan Jerrett; six grandchildren, Brad, Carter, Ella and Hayden Andrew and Matthew and Mark Wassil; a sister, Ada Lou (Dotty), wife of Samuel Hopkins; a brother, Charles, husband of Carol Ann Andrew; mother-in-law Virginia Butcher Guthrie; a brother-in-law, Kevin, husband of Kathy Guthrie; and several nieces and nephews.

Deceased, in addition to his parents, is a son, Mark Hiram Andrew, who died shortly after birth.

Friends will be received from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday in Rush Funeral Home Inc., Rogersville, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 29, with the Rev. Bruce Judy officiating. Interment will follow in Prosperity Cemetery. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Greene County 4-H Scholarship Fund, 26 West High Street, Room 1, Waynesburg, PA 15370-1324. Family and friends may view the obituary and send condolences at

Mary E. Baker

Washington teacher enjoyed reading, gardening

Mary E. “Tommy” Baker, 67, of East Washington, died Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Southmont of Presbyterian SeniorCare, Washington.

She was born April 11, 1946, in Johnstown, a daughter of Mary E. Gosbee Sargent of Washington and the late C. Clifford Sargent.

Mrs. Baker was a graduate of Tolman High School in Pawtucket, R.I., and was a 1969 graduate of Rhode Island College, with a degree in special education and a minor in elementary education. She also attended Washington & Jefferson College to complete her English degree.

While her husband, Ken, was in the military, she was director of the post nursery at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, N.Y.

She taught for Washington School District and the Intermediate Unit. She loved teaching and her students.

Mrs. Baker enjoyed reading, gardening and arts and crafts, particularly of late, rug hooking. She also enjoyed visiting her native New England.

On June 27, 1970, in Washington, she married Kenneth L. Baker, who survives.

Also surviving are a son, Dan (Tiffany Poole) Baker of Washington, and a sister, Karen Johnson of Vanport.

Friends will be received from noon to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday and 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in Piatt and Barnhill Funeral Home, 420 Locust Avenue, Washington. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 30, in First Presbyterian Church, 100 East Wheeling Street, Washington, with the Rev. Kenneth Schott officiating.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Washington County Community Foundation at or Chapman Annex, 331 South Main Street, Washington, PA 15301. Please bring any pictures to the funeral home, to be uploaded in our system for the family to view in real time. Condolences may also be expressed and photos uploaded at Piatt and Barnhill Funeral Directors Inc., Charles R. Piatt, owner/supervisor, and Lawrence K. Donovan, director

Beverly June Buckels

Washington Hospital employee enjoyed ceramics

Beverly June Buckels, 85, of Eighty Four, died Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Canonsburg General Hospital.

She was born May 7, 1928, in Scenery Hill, a daughter of Kenneth Horne and Olive Cheerful Swart Horne Rose.

Mrs. Buckels was a graduate of Ellsworth High School.

In 1963, she was employed as a certified lab technician at Washington Hospital, where she worked for 23 years.

She enjoyed ceramics, antiques and baking. She was an avid gardener and loved spending time with her grandchildren.

On September 20, 1947, she married Paul E. Buckels, who died January 19, 2007.

Surviving are two sons, John Buckels (Cindy) of Brentwood, N.H., and Kent Buckels (Gloria) of Canonsburg; four grandchildren, Heather Woods (Colin), Kelly Quidley (Eric), Jennifer Mayers (Scott) and Shelly Witzel (Adam); seven great-grandchildren, Emma, Ella and Ava Quidley, Miranda, Hollis and Avery Woods and Finn Mayers; a dear friend, Jane Liston (Red) of Scenery Hill; and several nieces and nephews.

Deceased, in addition to her parents and husband, are a sister, Beryl Bottone, and stepfather Kenneth Rose.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in McIlvaine-Speakman Funeral Home Ltd., Robert K. McIlvaine, owner/supervisor, 27 Cherry Avenue, Houston, PA 15342, where services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, July 29, with the Rev. Catherine Peternel officiating. Interment will follow in Forest Lawn Gardens, McMurray.

Condolences may be left by viewing the obituary at

Lucian Caste

Developed Caste Village in Whitehall

Lucian Caste, 88, of Upper St. Clair, passed peacefully on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, in Family Hospice in Mt. Lebanon, surrounded by his family.

He was the beloved son of the late Felix and Assunta Caste and nephew of the late Tony and Margaret Caste.

Mr. Caste was preceded in death by his wife, Joan Elizabeth Walton; his second wife, Rita Ebner Caste; and sisters, Mary Caste Danielson and Philomena Caste Teodori.

He was the proud, devoted father of Cicely Caste and husband Emmett O’Boyle of Salinas, Calif.; loving grandfather of James Lucian McCreight and wife Chappell Marmon of Boulder, Colo.; beloved brother of Felix Caste Jr.; and cherished uncle of many nieces and nephews, and especially Christine Danielson Isham, who was also his goddaughter.

Mr. Caste was an accomplished architect of great renown, as well as a developer, builder, philanthropist, world traveler, art collector, farmer and gardener. He was particularly proud of his Italian heritage and his service in World War II.

At 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was part of the second amphibious wave of the 5th Marine Division, which attacked the Japanese stronghold on Iwo Jima. Along with his fellow soldiers from the 28th Infantry regiment, he fought for 36 days in a ferocious and pivotal battle on the Pacific Front in World War II. In 1985, Caste returned to Iwo Jima for a gathering of American and Japanese survivors who came together to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the battle and dedicate themselves to work for world peace. He wrote a personal journal of that reunion and dedicated it to his grandson, James Lucian McCreight.

Following World War II, he studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and at Carnegie Institute of Technology, earning a bachelor of architecture degree in 1950. Raised in a family of craftsmen and builders, he applied his architectural education to work beside and learn from his father, who built homes throughout the South Hills.

After graduation from Carnegie Tech, he joined his father to complete development of Caste Village in Whitehall, which was one of the first community shopping centers in suburban Pittsburgh. Caste Village provided retail shopping stores, bowling alleys, residential apartments, professional office buildings and community gathering places, surrounded by affordable homes for young families.

Mr. Caste’s architectural and engineering designs can be found across Western Pennsylvania and beyond. His most prominent works include St. Louise de Marillac Catholic Church and School; the John M. Conroy School for Exceptional Children; the Mercy Hospital Ambulatory Center; Christ United Methodist Church; Reliable Savings Bank; and the Upper St. Clair Post Office.

In the 1990s, he became more involved with Carnegie Mellon University as an eager alumnus. He served on the CMU Board of Trustees and continued as trustee emeritus until the time of his death. He was president of Andrew Carnegie Society, co-founder and president of Academy of Life Long Learning, and founding president of Cornerstones: Center for Architecture, Development and Building. Mr. Caste was a vigorous advocate for Carnegie Mellon’s global academic expansion, which began in the Silicon Valley of California and extended to Qatar in the Middle East. He also chaired the university’s design review committee and co-chaired the Carnegie Mellon 2000 Master Plan and the campus design statement committee.

Mr. Caste took great joy in nurturing the cooperative agreement between Oxford University in Great Britain and Carnegie Mellon University. He also was responsible for reuniting Andrew Carnegie’s family in Scotland and the Carnegie Mellon “family” in Pittsburgh. He was instrumental in bringing together 22 worldwide Carnegie Institutions, originally established by Andrew Carnegie, for an international conference in Pittsburgh.

He served on the board of Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Advisory Board for Fallingwater and was president of the art society of the Duquesne Club.

Mr. and Mrs. Caste traveled extensively to more than 50 countries around the world. He loved returning to his heritage country of Italy, to Japan, to the Scottish Highlands and to Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Mongolia.

Although he put in long days, he always looked forward to returning in the late evening to his Upper St. Clair home, which he called Farmstead. He tended his large garden, taking great pride in raising vegetables, which he shared with neighbors. He enjoyed his Belted Galway cows, playing the clarinet, and collecting books on art, architecture, history, philosophy and many other subjects. He loved good food and fine wine, and lifted many a toast to family, friends, colleagues and associates. One of his favorite culinary activities was the annual fruit cake cook-off with special friends Art and Sally Schwotzer.

Lucian Caste was a man of great passion, intellect, curiosity, and loyalty. He treasured his family and had many good friends from all walks of life in his community and around the world. His family asks friends and colleagues to celebrate his incredible life and treasure happy memories of him.

Family and friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in Beinhauer Funeral Home, 2828 Washington Road, Peters Township. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 31, in St. Louise de Marillac Church, Upper St. Clair, followed by a gravesite service for family members and invited friends in Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery, Peters Township. The family is requesting no flowers. Memorial donations may be made to Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture or Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Hope Elkins

Hope Elkins 67, of Daisytown, died Thursday, July 25, 2013, in the emergency department of Mon Valley Hospital.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and under the direction of John B. Greenlee Funeral Home, 2830 Main Street, Beallsville. A complete obituary will be published in a later edition.

John William Ely

Sorice Trucking owner-operator

John William Ely, 60, of Washington, died Thursday, in Donnell House, Washington.

He was born May 1, 1953, in Washington, a son of James Walter Ely and Helen Lawrence Ely.

Mr. Ely was a graduate of McGuffey High School and attended Bowling Green University. He was owner and operator of Sorice Trucking and later worked for Estees and Regional Trucking. 

He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and all Pittsburgh sports and NASCAR.

Surviving are two sons, Jace (Meghan) Ely of Pittsburgh and Drew Ely of Washington; a daughter, Amber (Chad) Bentz of Wheeling, W.Va.; a sister, Doris (Charles) Fairchild of Taylorstown; four grandchildren, Isaac, Elsie, Bridget and Jude; and a former wife, Debbie Ely.

He also leaves behind a companion, Donna Pettit.

Deceased is a brother, Lawrence W. Ely.

Private services were held followed by burial in Washington Cemetery. William G. Neal Funeral Homes Ltd. handled arrangements. Additional information and guest book are available at

Clara Jean Gorby Frazee

N. Buffalo Presbyterian Church member

Clara Jean Frazee, 84, of Washington, passed away July 24, 2013, in Presbyterian SeniorCare.

She was born December 1, 1928, a daughter of Clarence Gorby and Nellie May Blue Gorby.

Mrs. Frazee was a 1946 graduate of Trinity High School.

She was a member of North Buffalo Presbyterian Church, Claysville.

On July 22, 1950, she married Boyd R. Frazee, who went to be with the Lord on May 29, 2013. They had been married for 62 years at the time of his death and were still very much in love. The couple never had children of their own, but loved all children.

She was called Jean by friends and family.

Mrs. Frazee worked for Bell Telephone Co. for 45 years and belonged to the 10-year Club and Pioneer Club.

Surviving are two sisters, Ruth I. Walker of Washington and Lois (Bob) Moore of Washington; and many nieces and nephews and their families, including Rick McFeely (Marlene) who served as her caretaker, along with her sisters and other loved ones.

Deceased, in addition to her husband and parents, are six brothers, Glenn Gorby, Orville Gorby, Donald Gorby, Ralph Gorby, William Gorby and Jack Gorby; and two sisters, Margaret Thelma Ammons and Florence Howard.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in William G. Neal Funeral Homes Ltd., 925 Allison Avenue, Washington, where a service will be held at 1:30 p.m., Monday, July 29, with Pastor Gary Gibson officiating. Interment will be in North Buffalo Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Claysville. Memorial contributions may be made to Family Hospice and Palliative Care, 50 Moffett Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15243. Additional information and guest book are available at

Anna Jane Gove

Pianist, organist was active in church

Anna Jane Gove, 85, of Washington, formerly of Peters Township, died Wednesday, July 24, 2013, Southmont of Presbyterian SeniorCare, Washington.

She was born May 19, 1928, in Perryopolis, a daughter of the late Norman K. and Anna L. McIntire.

Mrs. Gove was a 1946 graduate of Washington High School and a 1948 graduate of the Washington Women’s Seminary.

She was a homemaker.

Mrs. Gove was a member of Center Presbyterian Church, McMurray, where she served as elder, organist, Sunday school teacher and president of the women’s association.

She was an accomplished pianist and organist and played in many area churches.

Mrs. Gove was past matron of Shawnee Chapter 545, Order of Eastern Star and past district deputy grand matron of District 6B.

She was active in and a volunteer of the Auxiliary of the Washington SeniorCare and served as its president. In 1990, she received the Auxilian of the Year award.

On November 22, 1950, in First Methodist Church by the Rev. John Allison, she married David W. Gove, who survives.

Also surviving are a son, David N. Gove of Washington; a sister, Mary E. (Raymond H.) Helfrick of Venice, Fla.; a niece, Hilary Ann Della Pietro; and a nephew, Jeffrey K. Helfrick.

Friends will be received from 10 to 11 a.m., the hour of services, Monday, July 29, in Center Presbyterian Church, 255 Center Church Road, Mcurray, PA 15317. Interment will follow in Forest Lawn Gardens, McMurray. Condolences may be expressed at Piatt and Barnhill Funeral Directors Inc., Charles R. Piatt, owner/supervisor, and Lawrence K. Donovan, funeral director. The family suggests memorial contributions to a charity of one’s choice.

Sara A. Shrontz

Life member of Lone Pine Christian Church

Sara A. Shrontz, 91, of Washington, died Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Washington Hospital.

She was born September 26 1921, in Washington County, a daughter of the late Charles and Ethel Bristor Moninger.

Mrs. Shrontz was a Trinity High School graduate.

She was a lifetime member of Lone Pine Christian Church, where she was a member of the choir for more than 50 years.

On May 12, 1940, she married Willard “Dean” Shrontz, who died September 25, 2007.

Mrs. Shrontz was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Surviving are a son, Terry and wife Carol Shrontz of Fredonia, N.Y.; a sister, Norma Faye Neil of Berea, Ky.; a sister-in-law, Margaret Bonner of Washington; two granddaughters, Terrilyn (David) Meel and Sherriann (Dave) Robinette; three great-grandchildren, Caleb Meel, Josiah Robinette and Bryson Robinette; and several nieces and nephews.

Deceased, in addition to her husband of 67 years and parents, are a daughter, Sally Lee Shrontz; two sisters, Eleanor Fait and Marjorie Nichol; and four brothers, James, Donald, Delbert and Edgar Moninger.

Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in Nichol Funeral Home, 1873 East Maiden Street, Washington, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 29, with Pastor John Owens officiating. Interment will follow in Forest Lawn Gardens, McMurray. A guest book may be signed at

Grace E. Skrobacs

Immersed in family and community

Grace E. Skrobacs, 90, of Smyrna, Del., passed away Thursday, July 25, 2013, at home in Smyrna.

Mrs. Skrobacs was born July 14, 1923, in Walkertown, a daughter of the late Frank and Elisabet Illar.

She was a member of West Pike Run Ladies Aid Society and a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church of Daisytown.

Mrs. Skrobacs was a multifaceted woman and held many roles throughout her 90 years: daughter, sister, wife, sister-in-law, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, Godmother, aunt and friend. She took all of these roles seriously and tried her best to provide for each. Family and community were everything to her, and immersing herself in them was her profession.

She lived her 90 years as best she could, and she’ll continue to live in the hearts and memories of her loved ones.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Milton, and a son, Lawrence M. Skrobacs.

Surviving are a daughter, Kathy Castro and husband Bob of Smyrna; two grandchildren, Nick Castro of Smyrna and Maria Correll and husband Rob of Smyrna; five great-grandchildren, Chloe, Dominic, Colton, Chase and Leah; and several nieces, nephews and extended family members.

A viewing will be held from 10 to 11 a.m., the time of service Sunday, July 28, in Mariscotti Funeral Home, 323 Fourth Street, California. Burial will be in Phillipsburg Cemetery, California. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Delaware Hospice, 911 South DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901. Condolence letters may be sent by visiting

June F. Wheeler

Member of Nazareth Baptist Church

June F. Wheeler, 71, of Washington, died Monday, July 22, 2013, at 9:20 p.m. in ManorCare, McMurray.

She was born February 2, 1942, in Harrisburg, a daughter of David and Lillybelle Barkley Brown.

Mrs. Wheeler was employed as a nurse’s aide at Western Center and Canonsburg General Hospital. Many years ago, she also was employed by Woolworth.

She was a very active member in Nazareth Baptist Church and a member of NAACP. 

On May 23, 1992, she married Clyde T. Wheeler Sr., who is deceased. 

Surviving are four daughters, Celeste Ann Brown of Harrisburg, Rochelle McPhail of Virginia, Doris McPhail of Virginia and Stephanie Lynn McPhail of Miami, Fla.; two sons, Roosevelt Eugene McPhail of Virginia and Kenneth Anthony McPhail of Washington; a brother, Andrew Brown of Harrisburg; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  

At the request of the family, there will be no public visitation. Burial will be private. Arrangements have been entrusted to Warco-Falvo Funeral Home Inc., Wilson at East Katherine Avenues, Washington, S. Timothy Warco, supervisor/director, Susan Falvo Warco, director, S. Timothy Warco II, director. Condolences may be expressed at



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