I received the following from Tammy Chonko on April 5th:
From Tammy Chonko:
This Easter, well March 10th, my husband for 39 years and high school sweetheart from DHS class of ’76 passed away suddenly from an aneurysm. Our time on earth is precious. Live every moment as though it is your last. He was in the hospital talking with me one moment, called out my name, and slumped into the chair with his last breath.
He and I lived in Duquesne all but for 3 years while he was in the Army. I will never forget him saying as we rode through the streets recently, “Tam, I love this town. I just love it.”
There IS something about Duquesne that sticks in your heart. Tim knew someone everywhere we went, mainly because he grew up in the Burns Heights projects. He shared many fond memories of that time. Funny, but he even knew someone who was buried about ten stones down from him in the crypt at Cemetery of the Alleghenies. forgive me if I get this wrong, but I think it was his baseball coach, Mr. Ted Barker.
I write to say Tim’s good-bye to all he knew. He loved everyone and treated all is if he knew them forever. His Chonko laugh and sweet blue-eyed infectious smiling face will be missed in this world.
Hope lives in the resurrection of Our Lord that we will meet again.
Thank you for your beautiful heartfelt tribute to Tim. I am sure that he is smiling down on you, proud of your incredible strength of character to remember him to the people and city that he loved. As remarkable a husband that he must have been, you too are an incredible wife. Thank you for your thoughts and conveying his love for Duquesne. God bless you and your family on behalf of all of those who shared Tim’s love for the place he called home.
Jim Volk – The Duquesne Hunky
Timothy M. “Tim” Chonko, 57, of Duquesne, died Thursday, March 10, 2016, at UPMC Shadyside. He was born Aug. 22, 1958, in McKeesport, to the late Joseph and Marian (Koontz) Chonko. He worked for Field Environmental Instrument as an electrical technician. He formerly worked at Pittsburgh Brewing Co. as an electrical foreman. He proudly served his country in the Army. He was the husband of 39 years to Tammy Chonko; father of Jeffrey (Erin) Chonko, Julia Chonko and Kara (Ryan) Sharp Dixon; grandfather of R.J. Dixon; brother of Esther (late Joseph “Bud”) Kratzenberg, Patricia (late Carl) Bucy, Ruth (George) Pisko, Virginia “Ginny” (Ralph) Lemak, Ona (Mark) Horgas, James “Jimbo” (Marie) Chonko, late JoEllyn “Jody” (late Calvin) Wigton; also nieces and nephews.
My husband Doug Kosko also a Duquesne boy was on our computer doing searches of Kennywood and came across this site. I read it and immediately it brought tears to my eyes. The Chonko family is well known in Duquesne and I had the pleasure of working with Ona for the City of Duquesne and I can honestly say it was one of the most memorable times that I hold dearly. Coming from this small steel town I am so happy to find out that my dad, Ted Barker, has one of his Little Leaguers close by in both of their resting places. God Bless you Timmy keep an eye on Ted for us.
To those who didn’t know them, Tim and Tammy have been loved by so many for a long time. ‘Tim and Tammy’ is a common phrase in the lexicon of Duquesne High School graduates from the Class of 1976. Tim and Tammy have been an ‘item’ since seventh grade! And they still are, as Tim and everyone waits for us to cross over.
I met Tim at Grace Church on 7th & Kennedy, probably in 1961. We grew up in that church. Our moms were good friends. Tim and Tammy both had wonderful moms. That has to be one of the main reasons they became such great people. I graduated high school with them and cherish every moment I would catch them, at the store, the ATM, or just passing on the street in Duquesne. I last saw Tim two weeks before his passing, and I in front of Darrel Lawson I convinced him that it’s okay for men to hug each other! We laughed hard.
There are only good things to say about our friends Tim and Tammy. I am surely blessed to have ever been in their company, and Duquesne has lost a good son.
The Class of 1976 will celebrate its 40th reunion this month. And there will be no dry eyes when we toast this magnificent couple who have brought joy to many, raising a beautiful family, and loving Our Lord.
Thank you Tammy for posting this. I had to take some time to respond, as it is not easy to type with tears falling onto the keyboard. I pray that God keeps you in comfort as we wait for that biggest of reunions.
my sympathies——Gary Stoj
I am sorry sorry for your loss. What a special person he was.
So sorry to here about the recent loss of your husband. Please accept my deepest sympathy at this time. I’ll pray for that meeting of you and Tim.
I noticed, as Jean Welty did, a familiar name in the obituary that of George Pisko. We were pals in our childhood. Would it be possible to connect with him someway if it’s ok with him? It’s probably been 60 years we last saw each other. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t know how to get a hold of Luddo and Ruthie via internet, but they now live in Pymatuning. Thank you. Tammy
Michelle- I am Ginny’s oldest daughter. Email me at AML2283@yahoo.com and I’ll give you her number. She is also on Facebook- Virginia Lemak, though I’m not sure how often she is on. I’m sure she would love to hear from you!
Jim- thank you for posting this. My Uncle was a wonderful man and is greatly missed!
Your Uncle Jim as well! He drew my mom’s blood for many years. We certainly love your family. Your grandmother was the best!
Sad to hear this news, Tammy. My condolences to you and your family. Cherish your memories. With sympathy.
Hi Tammy, i am so saddened by the passing of our buddy Timmy. My grandfather Ted Barker was buried there about two weeks prior to Timmy s passing and it is awesome knowing that they are neighbors. They re in good hands with each other. Love ya xoxo
Becky Bowen Plake
My sympathy to you and your family. I have been away from Duquesne for 56 years now.
One of the names I recognized was George Pisko. I went to school with Olga Pisko and
I think he is her brother. He was younger than we were.
I knew the Pisko family. George and Olga were brother and sister. They lived on South 5th Street near the Crawford School. I lived behind the Piskos on Hill Street. Olga was older and George was 2 years younger than myself.
Thank you. Very beautiful and touching.Lorraine (Stanko) SmithClass of 58′
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2016 16:46:04 +0000 To: email@example.com
I am very sorry for your loss, you have my deepest sympathies. Ginny was my babysitter as a child. Would love to get in touch.
Michelle- I am Ginny’s oldest daughter. Email me AML2283@yahoo.com and I’ll get you in contact with her. She is also on Facebook- Virginia Lemak. I’m not sure she goes on often though. I’m sure she would love to hear from you.