Devout veteran embraced life's simple pleasures
Jan 08, 2013 (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
When bombs started falling around him during World War II, Steve Bialobok gathered the other Army cooks and prayed the rosary.
"He had that little rosary that he carried with him. ... It was his First Communion rosary," said his wife of 64 years, Catherine G. "Kitty" Bialobok. "He said it got him through the war."
Stephen J. Bialobok of Duquesne died on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, in Kane Regional Center. He was 97.
Mr. Bialobok served in the Army during World War II and was in Patton's Army when Paris was liberated. A VFW Post 188 and American Legion lifetime member, he was second vice president of Catholic War Veterans Post 1559, Duquesne-West Mifflin.
Once married, the couple prayed the rosary twice a day, his wife said.
"When we were first married, we would get down on our knees," she said. "But then we would just sit."
A big baseball fan, Mr. Bialobok took his daughter, Stephanie Bialobok of Metairie, La., to see her first baseball game at Forbes Field in 1963.
"I was hooked. I started collecting baseball cards," she said. "He taught me how to read a box score and how to keep score."
In the 1930s, Mr. Bialobok used to ride the streetcar from Duquesne to Homestead to watch black players such as Satchel Paige before integration, his daughter said.
Mr. Bialobok liked to garden, and designated sections of the garden to each of his children for their care.
"Except the tomatoes -- he did those himself," she said.
A retired assistant meat manager for a grocery store, Mr. Bialobok was a family man, said Sam DeMarco of Glassport, who worked with Mr. Bialobok for about 10 years.
"He was a good man. ... We always kept in touch ... called each other, sent cards every year," he said.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Bialobok is survived by a son, Thomas Bialobok of Portland, Ore., and a granddaughter.
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Maloy-Schleifer Funeral Home, 915 Kennedy Ave., in Duquesne. A blessing service will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the funeral home, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in Holy Trinity Church, West Mifflin, with the Rev. Joseph Grosko as celebrant.
Interment will be in Holy Trinity Cemetery with military honors.
Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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