April 18, 2017
John Petruska, 93, of McCandless and Ross Townships passed peacefully on April 18, 2017. He was born in Woods Run, son of Michael and Tekla Petruska, Ukrainian immigrants.
John was the beloved husband of Theodora (Fedyna) for 68 years, loving father of Deborah Wheeland (Richard), Jonathan Petruska and Paula Petruska Needham, dear grandfather of Christopher (Andrea), Jonathan (Brieanna) and Theodore Wheeland, Julianna and Veeka Needham, great grandfather of Asa, Nadia and Olivia Wheeland, Brother of Michael, William (Jean) and Olga Petruska. John was preceded in death by six brothers and sisters and survived by many wonderful nieces and nephews.
John was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He proudly served our country, was a highly decorated veteran of the US Army during WWII, received numerous medals for bravery including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and was honored in France in 2004 with the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (the French Legion of Honor), the highest honor awarded by the French Government. John, an infantry rifleman, was proud to belong to his band of brothers, the “dog faced” Soldiers, who served in the 3rd Infantry Division (Rock of the Marne), K Company, 3rd Battalion, 30th Regiment. He landed, fought and was wounded in the brutal battle of Anzio, Italy, and later landed in Southern France, in Operation Dragoon. He fought his way through Eastern France to the Vosges Mountains and Colmar Pocket, where he was captured in Holtzwhir and became a Prisoner of War in a German camp in Markt Pongau, Austria.
John traveled to Italy and France in 1994, 2004, and 2009, to be honored by the Italian and French governments for the 50th, 60th and 65th Anniversaries of their liberations.
John was a machine repairman at Modulus Corp, Mount Pleasant. He was an avid sports fan of the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins, enjoyed vacationing with his family, gardening, fishing, hunting and visiting grandchildren. John met many famous people during his life including President Franklin Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Luis, President Bill and Hilary Clinton.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, April 23 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 at Devlin Funeral Home, 806 Perry Hwy, Pgh, 15229. Mass of Christian Burial at 10am at St Teresa of Avila, 1000 Avila Court, Pgh, 15237. Donations can be made to the church or West View VFW Post 2754, 386 Perry Hwy, West View, PA 15229. John will be buried with military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC.