George J. Wasko
George J. Wasko, 82 of Portage died Monday, Oct. 23, 1995, at Good Samaritan Medical Center, Johnstown.
He was born Dec. 11, 1912, in Portage, the son of the late George and Theresa (Wassel) Wasko. He married Margaret Peg Vidinsky.
Mr. Wasko was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Portage. He served his church in many capacities: He was the first altar boy of the newly formed Hungarian church in Portage in 1921, servicing under eight priests. He served as a lector from 1958 to 1981 and interpreter for Hungarian priests. He taught catechism and Hungarian reading and writing, supervised the choir, helped re-enact Easter passion plays for 40 years and assisted the priests for 30 years with the blessing of the homes. He was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus, organizer and first president for 10 years of the Nocturnal Adoration Society.
He received the first Man of the Year Award from the Portage Development Association and the first Prince Gallitzin Cross from the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.
Mr. Wasko was a self-employed businessman who established, owner and operate several area businesses including Wasko Auto Supply from 1940 to1972, Rex Theater in 1950, Rivoli Theater in 1953, and Bar-Ann Drive-in Theater from 1954 to 1994, all of Portage; Dale Theater, Johnstown, from 1960 to 1965, WWML-AM radio station, Portage, from 1964 to 1977, Norge Wash and Dry Laundry, Geistown, from 1962 to 1966, and a closed-circuit TV station in Portage.
He was formerly employed as a coal miner from 1929 to 1935, PennDOT bridge inspector from 1935 to 1938, Prudential insurance agent from 1938 to 1940, and fireman and engineer on the railroad from 1941 to 1945.
Mr. Wasko served as president of the Portage Volunteer Fire Company in 1950, president of the Cambria County Fire Association in 1952, president of the Mainline Industrial Development Association from 1950 to 1959, trustee of the Pennsylvania State Hospital, Hollidaysburg, board member of the Portage Water Authority from 1956 to 1960, member of the Portage Area School Board, Portage Township supervisor from 1975 to 1981, president of the Portage Area Businessmen’s Association, organizer and first president of the Portage Lions Club and organizer of the Low Cost Housing Project in Portage.
Surviving are his wife, two daughters: Peggyann Trimbath and Barbara Prostejovsky, both of Portage; three grandsons and three great-grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today and Thursday at Mark A. Serenko Funeral Home, Portage.
SOURCE: ALTOONA MIRROR (Altoona, Blair County, PA) Wednesday, 25 October 1995, “Death Record,” page B3, col. 2; Altoona Area Public Library, Altoona, PA.