Gabriel "Baba" Medich, 87, passed peacefully at home in White Oak on April 16, 2017. He was born Nov. 3, 1929 'below the tracks' in Duquesne, Pa before moving to Polish Hill in West Mifflin where he raised his family. He moved to White Oak to live with his daughter and family in 2010. He was the son of the late George and Maria (Boban) Medich. He was married to the late Dorothy (Gavlik) Medich for 57 years when she passed in 2008. Surviving are his son David (Teresa) Medich from Conway, SC and his daughter Marcie (Michael) Ward from White Oak. His grandchildren, Cassandra and Gabriel Ward, were his world and shining stars. He is survived by a sister Diana (Jerry) Drobac of Finleyville and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brothers William and Alex and sister Alice Cheke. At the age of 16, Gabe quit high school in 1945 to join the US Navy. He served abord the U.S.S. Washington BB-56 and became a veteran of World War II. He did eventually earn his GED high school diploma. He worked as a gandy dancer and bridge painter for Union Railroad before becoming a U.S. Letter Carrier in West Mifflin. He was known to many as the 'singing mailman'. After retiring in 1991, he worked part-time as a custodian for his church, Holy Name Parish in Duquesne. Gabe loved sports. He was an avid basketball player in high school and in the US Navy where he played on his ship's team. In the 1950s, he played basketball for the Duquesne Serbian team, Duquesne Croatian team and Monessen Croatian team. With these teams, he won 3 national titles. In one game he scored 38 points, his all-time high. He received numerous awards including the AAU Sun-telegraph Dapper Dan Award for basketball and the M.A.S.A. Sportsman of the Year Award. He is also a member of the McKeesport Athletic Association Hall of Fame. He also loved to coach and had such a positive impact on his players. Gabe loved everyone he met. He always wanted to make people happy and leave them laughing. for those that knew him, we know this was Gabe. Gabe said that he did all he could to help his family and friends in this lifetime. Gabe was a member of Christ the Light of the World Parish in Duquesne where he was a member of the choir, Caring Ministry, Men's Club and was a Eucharistic Minister and an usher. He was a member of the VFW Post 914 and American Legioin Post 683, both in West Mifflin and NARFE for federal employees. He was a lifetime member of the Serbian National Federation and Croation Federation. Friends received Teichart-Gracan Funeral Home, Inc., Duquesne, Wed. 2-4 and 7-9 and Thurs. 2-4 and 6-8. A funeral blessing will be held Fri. 9:30 am in the funeral home followed by a 10:00 am mass at Holy Name Church with Rev. Tom Lewandowsky. Interment following Holy Name Cemetery.
Originally published April 17, 2017.