Eric Joseph Kozak, age 60, of Whitehall, died on Saturday, January 16, 2021. He was born in McKeesport on August 15, 1960 and is the son of the late Zolton and Mary Ann Gillingham Kozak.
He is survived by his children Steffanie Kozak and Ethan Kozak. He was predeceased by his brother, Richard Willenpart of Rimersburg, PA. He is survived by brothers; Michael (Sue Ann) Kozak of Whitehall; Patrick Kozak of Whitehall; sister, Cheryl (Kenneth) Snyder of Geneseo, NY; sister- in-law Kathy Willenpart of Rimersburg, PA, nephews, and nieces; David (Maureen) Snyder; Daniel (Elizabeth) Snyder; Christine (Mark Foreman) Church; Pamela (David) Furner; Justin (Emily) Kozak, Josh (Amanda) Kozak; 12 great-nephews and nieces, and lifelong friends Amitha Wickrema and David Thompson. Eric was a 1978 graduate of McKeesport High School, a 1982 graduate of Duquesne University BA Psychology/BA Sociology, and a 1984 graduate of the Duquesne University Graduate School of Business with a MBA Finance/International Business. Eric was a graduate teaching assistant and received a full scholarship with stipend. Following graduation Eric was recruited by his finance professor to his first job at Willard F. Rockwell's aerospace start-up Astrotech Int. Eric worked at various Pittsburgh corporations, advancing to higher levels of financial responsibility; National Intergroup (Manager of Mergers); PNC Merchant Banking (Investment Banker); and Adience Inc.(CFO). A few years after the attack of September 11th Eric left private industry and volunteered to serve in both the Iraqi and Afghan theaters of operation managing a joint US Army/ Intelligence Agency Counterinsurgency Program. While in Afghanistan Eric escaped injury from 3 suicide bombings and a rocket propelled grenade attack through uncanny luck. After 8 years overseas Eric suffered kidney failure in Afghanistan and returned home. Following a lengthy period of declining health Eric entered the hospital in early December and passed away peacefully while sleeping on January 16th.
Remembrances may be made in Eric’s name to the National Kidney Foundation:
2403 Sidney Street, Suite 230 Pittsburgh, PA 15203
or the Duquesne University General Scholarship Fund
Two Chatham Center, Suite 450 112 Washington Place Pittsburgh, PA 15219
A family gathering was held at Strifflers of White Oak Cremation and Mortuary Services, 1100 Lincoln Way, White Oak, PA 15131 (Sue Striffler Galaski, supervisor, 412-678-6177).
To share a memory or condolence, visit strifflerfuneralhomes.com
Originally published January 18, 2021.