Saturday, February 05, 2000

Obit for Joseph A. Rauterkus, Jr.

Printed in the newspaper. Age 77, in Allegheny General Hospital; beloved husband of Elizabeth (Scopel-Amity) and the late Claire (Erny); very proud father of David, Joeseph III, Leo, Jackie Kirby, Rock, Daniel and the late Vincent; brother of Leo, Margaretmary Zoffel and the late David; also survived by nine grandchildren; three step-children and six step-grandchildren. Joe attend St. Fidelis for six years where he was an all around athlete in baseball, basketball and tennis. While serving in WWII, he studied pre-med at Tulane and also attended the University of Nebraska. He received his Bachelor's and Master's Degree at the University of Pittsburgh. He began his teaching career at Central Catholic where he taught Science and was coach of the swimming and tennis teams. He then went on to teach in the Pittsburgh Public School System for 35 years. After retiring, he served as a substitute teacher for both the Pittsburgh and the Parochial School Systems. Joe could also be seen and heard in the stands of Three Rivers Stadium vending, and was well known by his many catchy phrases selling his product from 1979 to the present. He also enjoyed the notoriety of being the one and only vendor at Mt. Lebanon High School stadium. Many Pittsburgh's may also have learned their driving skills from Joe, as he was a Driver's Ed Instructor. Friends received 2-4 & 7-9 Sat & Sun at Anthony G. Staab Funeral Home, 900 Chartiers Ave., W.E. Pgh. Mass and Christian Burial in Guardian Angels Parish, St. Martin Church on Mon at 10 am.

Thursday, February 03, 2000

Uncle Joe - words from my dad (Leo M. Rauterkus) about his big brother, Joe

Joseph A. Rauterkus, Jr. Born: June 21, 1922 Died: Feb. 3, 2000 

For Big Bro

I'm here because the one we are paying tribute to my Big Brother. But he was more. He was my mentor, my friend. 

He love me, and was great to be around. He has always been something special. Joe was a great loving father who encouraged every one at every turn. He was non-judgmental - and even though he was given much reason to -- he never raised his voice. 

Joe lived life to the fullest.

He had extreme faith in God which spread to all around him. He was a fine teacher who managed to teach even if you weren't in his classroom. I venture to say that most of you were never in his classroom but if you knew Joe very well, he taught you many of the important things about life. 

Joe loved to be involved with people, no matter what they were doing. He thoroughly enjoyed vending at the ball park. That's where the action was. And it was another opportunity to serve ... to teach ... to be on stage as when pushing ice cream as with 'The Ice Man Cometh.' Oh, sure, you could get a bag of peanuts for $.35 at the Giant Eagle, but these are "older, more mature Ball Park Peanuts -- $2.25, please. Here, enjoy this gum - on the house." 

Joe was very competitive. He loved the thrill of the game and encouraged his children to enjoy the same. Joe was a fine tennis and baseball player. He enjoyed the game for what it was. he never rubbed it in. I can remember of time Joe was in a tennis tournament down in New Orleans while he was in the Army. The top seeded player was quoted as saying, "If I had to lose, I'm glad it was to Joe." He was a worthy opponent and a true gentleman. 

Joe's life was divided into several parts. Some were constant like raising and caring for his kids. He cared and encouraged to the very end. He took care and nursed Claire though cancer. There wasn't anything that she wanted that he couldn't get for her. He said if he had know the outcome that her last breath would have been tinged with nicotine. 

Then a new chapter in his life -- Betty entered the picture. In Joe's own well organized, point-driven way of determining another suitable spouse, Betty won -- hands down. Betty told me that God gave Joe to her as a special gift, and I know that Joe thought of Betty as his special gift. And that's the way the past 5-and-a-half years went, after Father Kevin here tied the Nuptial Knot. Joe and Betty treated each other as special gifts from God. And rightly so -- they deserved each other. 

I feel in my heart that Joe wanted to teach us to treat each other as Special Gifts.

I am going to stop now. Good-bye my dear Big Brother. You'll be sorely missed by us all. 

 We love you.