John J. Gatchie, age 70, a lifelong resident of McKeesport, passed away peacefully on November 20, 2021, at UPMC McKeesport Hospital with his daughter Beth and his girlfriend Debbie by his side. He was born March 13, 1951, in McKeesport, the son of the late John Sr. and Catherine (Coulter) Gatchie. John was a United States Army Veteran who proudly served his country and in his early years, worked as a bricklayer/construction worker. Later in life, he worked for and retired from the City of McKeesport Parks and Recreation Department. John was a member of several organizations, including the AMVETS, 11th Ward Club, PNA, various American Legion Posts, the Moose Club, the VFW, and the Polaris Lodge No. 375. John had a passion for music and had an impressive collection of records that he would always play. He took great joy in teaching his granddaughters how to use the record player. He was known to always have the window open and the music volume up so all the neighbors could share that love of music with him. He enjoyed relaxing on his porch and welcoming his neighbor’s cat “Sid” to keep him company. Most importantly, John was a family man and spent a lot of time with his daughter, Beth, and granddaughters Kayla and Jenna. He was a man who was always willing to lend a helping hand to anybody in need, and he will truly be missed.
He married Ruth Seitz on June 15, 1981, and she preceded him in death on November 22, 2011. As his granddaughters said, Nana and Pappy are now dancing in heaven together.
In addition to his parents and wife Ruth, John was also preceded in death by his brother Thomas (The Late Gina) Gatchie.
John is survived by his significant other, Deborah Willochell; daughter, Elizabeth (Tim) Grum; granddaughters, Kayla and Jenna; siblings, Darlene (Ed) Soles, Kathleen (Robert) Caparelli, Donna (Rick) Faix, and Joseph (Monica) Gatchie; brothers-in-law, Timothy (Jill) Seitz and William Seitz; sisters-in-law, Roberta Vrooman and Amy McShane; nephews, Joseph, James, Michael, Tony, Shane, and Ben; nieces, Gina, TJ, Crystal, KC, Kelly, Lauren, Ricki, Jenna, Emily, Jessie, Chelsy, and Carly; his uncle Chuck (Beth) Coulter as well as his many loving great-nieces, great-nephews, many dear friends, and his wonderful neighbors.
Relatives and friends will be received at Willig Funeral Home & Crematory on Friday, November 26, 2021, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the funeral home chapel with a short viewing from 10 a.m. to the time of service at 11 a.m. Inurnment will be private. Memorial contributions are suggested to a local veterans association of your choosing in memory of John.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.willigfuneralcremationservices.com.
Originally published November 22, 2021.