"As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, you, too, shall be. Prepare for death and follow me."
This epitaph was one of many sayings that Edward William Kropar remembered and taught to his family.
Ed cherished life because he knew it could be brief. He was born on May 30, 1926, to Frances and John Kropar in the coal mining town of Yukon, Pa., where he worked alongside his father and brother in the mine.
In 1944, he graduated from South Huntington High School and entered the Army, serving in the Pacific Theater. He was discharged on Veterans Day in 1946 after many months in Japan.
Edward graduated from Vale Technical Institute and began his career as a mechanic in various businesses from typewriting repair to diesel mechanic in Westmoreland County.
He owned and operated his own garage and bus line with his partner, Mike Millovats. He attended the University of Pittsburgh for vocational education, but his true passion was mechanics and fixing anything that needed fixing.
On Aug. 15, 1959, he married Miriam Martin Cochenour; his two step-sons gave him the affectionate name, "Pap." He was a diesel mechanic for Cooper-Jarrett Trucking Co, and moved to Sharon in 1970.
Eddie loved the Bavarian Fun Fest and could play several instruments including the buttonbox accordion. He was a member of the Penn-Ohio Buttonbox Club and Covenant Presbyterian Church. Pap was blessed with a keen sense of humor and loved to make music and make people laugh.
After losing his first wife to cancer on May 14, 1979, he married Anna Mae Kraynak Fic on July 1, 1988; she survives him. He is also survived by his children, Lois Ann Schneider (David), Brookfield, Ohio; William J. Cochenour (Diane), Mercer, and Timothy O. Cochenour (Lyn), Mount Pleasant, Pa. Step-children include Monica Ramp (Darrell) and Linda Ruffo (Mike), all of West Middlesex. Nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren also survive him as well as many nieces and nephews.
Edward was preceded in death by his father; mother; brother, John; and sister, Frances Tyburski.
A special thank you is extended to the tireless staff of Sharon's Clepper Manor all of you are unsung angels.
Edward passed away at Clepper Manor at 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Mercer County Veterans Association, Mercer County Courthouse, Mercer, PA 16137.
Edward William, 91, of Wheatland.
Calling hours and service: Private. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com.
Arrangements by J. BRADLEY McGONIGLE FUNERAL HOME and CREMATORY Inc., 1090 E. State St., Sharon.
Interment: Mill Bell Cemetery, Westmoreland County.
Published on September 9, 2017