Obituary of James Ziemba (1943 – 2021) – Carmichaels, PA

James B. Ziemba, 78, of Rices Landing, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, surrounded by the love of his family and friends. Jim was born on May 7, 1943 in Isabella, son of the late Anthony and Joséphine Wytko Ziemba.

Jim was the beloved husband of Dolores “Dolly” for 56 years; father of Lori Sagosky and her husband, Kenny of Masontown; godfather of Pete “Poe”, Lynne, Scott and Shannon; and friend of many.

Jim was one of five siblings, including sisters Marilyn and Antionette; and his brothers, Joseph, who died in infancy, and Stanley.

After graduating from Brownsville High School in 1961, Jim continued his education at Uniontown, where he learned the trade of a welder. Jim worked at Hillman Barge in Brownsville, Lee-Norse in Charleroi and US Steel Homestead Works in Homestead before starting what would be a 32 year career with Allegheny Power System at Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station, where he worked as a welder at maintenance until his retirement in 2003. Once retired Jim never slowed down and was on the move, always helping Dolly and anyone who asked.

Jim has been a worker his whole life, even until the end. In his early childhood years, he helped his father chop, feed chickens and build garages. Later he became a metal worker and liked to create specialty items. He was happy to fix anything that was broken or make something for someone in need, from lion cages to garden sprinklers to whatever gear he could imagine. Jim enjoyed drying and smoking meats in the smokehouse he had built and roasting a pork on his pork spit. He was also looking forward to roasting lambs with his Serbian friends at St. George’s annual lamb roast. He was always outside working in his shed or in his garden, a garden that could be considered a showcase. Jim found pleasure in sharing the fruits of his labor by offering vegetables, smoked turkeys, smoked salmon and kielbasa to his friends and family. Although he would never admit it, Jim loved to cut the grass. Then he would watch the hummingbirds feed, one of the few times he was still.

Although Jim enjoyed being home to work in his shed or garden, he had an adventurous spirit. He particularly enjoyed traveling to Florida. Whether it was taking Dolly and Lori on their first of many trips to Walt Disney World for the Grand Opening, looking for the perfect seashells along the beach with Dolly (he was especially good at finding the prized shark eyes), snook fishing in Gulf Waters with Lori and Kenny; Jim loved to travel. Disney cruises around the Bahamas, vacations in Las Vegas with Dolly and her dear friends John and Marie, and the many trips to local casinos provided Jim with another favorite pastime, eating. Jim loved a good meal and savored every bite, but he always had room for dessert, especially a banana split.

Jim was a man of many words and everyone who spoke to him knew that. He loved to talk to people and always had a story to tell or some gardening advice to offer. Wherever he was, he struck up a conversation with the blue collar worker because that is what he was. A man of strong convictions and beliefs, Jim was a proud trade unionist and a member of Local 102-M of the Utility Workers’ Union of America. Jim was also proud of his Polish heritage and always had polkas to play while he was riding his truck. He was a member of Elk’s Lodge # 0846 and was a member of St. Matthias Parish in Carmichaels.

Jim will be missed by his furry companion, Leroy Brown (Little Girl), but his many beloved pets were waiting to welcome him to the “Rainbow Bridge” including Smokey, the jelly bean-eating pony. and beer drinker; Hot Shot, his ever loyal German Shepherd; and his feline buddies Hobie, Deuce, Lucky and Kimba.

The family would like to thank the amazing caregivers and staff at Arden Courts of Jefferson Hills who are now part of our family. Their quality care, constant kindness, benevolent compassion, full understanding and endless support during this part of Jim’s journey are much appreciated.

Family and friends will be received from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 23 and from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, October 24 at Paul M. Lesako Funeral Home, Inc., 204 Dowlin Avenue, Carmichaels, PA 15320, 724 -966 -5100, Paul M. Lesako, funeral director / supervisor. A prayer service will be held at 10:30 am on Monday, October 25 at the funeral home followed by funeral mass at 11 am at St. Hugh’s Church, Carmichaels.

Posted by Observer-Reporter on October 22, 2021.

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