Andrew “Zeke” Szoke jr., born March 26, 1936 in Portage, Pa, age 84, was called home to be with the Lord on December 25, 2020, surrounded by his granddaughter, Brenda, and her family.
Andrew is the son of the late Andrew & Julia (Patney) Szoke. He is preceded in death by his parents, sister, Priscilla (Szoke) Olshavsky, former wife, Rose Marie (Buckingham), daughter, Deborah (Greene) Hare, Son-in-law, Robert J. Hare, and loving, long-time companion, Stephanie Berezansky.
He is survived by two loving daughters and their husbands, Charlene (Greene) and Gregory Walko, and Cynthia (Greene) and Chester Emerick and seven adoring grandchildren, Brenda, Gregory, Jennifer, Jonathan, Justin, Jeremy, & Krystal.
Andrew also leaves behind 13 beloved great-grandchildren.
Whether you knew him by Andrew, Andy, Zeke, Dad, Daddy, Pap Pap, Pap, or Pappy, if you had the chance to meet him, you loved him. He was truly a beautiful human. “They broke the mold when they made him” is said about many, but it was absolutely true in the case of Andrew Szoke.
Andrew spent many years working for Portage cleaners. You may have been on one of his routes; if you’re reading this now, please know that he still knew your name. His mind was like a steel trap. Andrew loved to live life and have fun. He loved a good Polish feast and never missed a chance to polka or head to a church festival. He made friends wherever he went. Every once in a while he would like a little whiskey in his morning coffee, but not Maker’s Mark because, even though he liked how it tasted, he couldn’t get over the fact that they spelled whiskey without the “e” so Wild Turkey it was because they spelled it right.
In his younger years, Andrew loved to go on vacation with Charlene, Greg, Gregory, and Jennifer and spend weekends with them watching Steelers games and playing pinochle…he was always Charlene’s partner.
His grandson’s Jon, Justin, & Jeremy share a fond memory of playing penny ante poker and smoking Backwoods cigars with Pappy at his daughter, Cyndi's, house in Schellsburg.
Andrew’s youngest granddaughter, Krystal, remembers going camping with Pappy and how he would whistle through his hands, taking long walks with cigars, and how he was always down to watch Disney movies with her when she was small.
His granddaughter, Brenda, and her family have fond memories of watching old movies together, summer cookouts, and birthday parties, but Bren will always remember holding his hand, their long talks and figuring things out like the difference between fireflies and lightning bugs.
Pappy will be dearly missed by Lynette (Berezansky) Dixon and her entire family who welcomed him into their lives and hearts and became his second family. He loved them as much as they loved him.
Due to covid-19 restrictions and Andrew’s wishes there will be no viewing. A simple, private graveside service is planned for 1PM Thursday, December 31st at Armagh Cemetery. As per state regulations, masks are to be worn during the service.
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