Gerald M. “Jerry” Volchko, 74, of Butler, the ultimate Steeler fan, lost the game of his life on March 2, 2019. But from the first play until the clock expired, what a game it was.
The quarterback found his perfect teammate 51 years ago in his wife, Judith F. (Jonczak) Volchko, and together they staged a fourth-quarter rally for the ages. Helping to run the no-huddle and draw up a Hail Mary or two, were Daughters Kimberly J. Kraynak-Lambert (Scott) and Gerri M. Volchko Paulisick (Joseph); son, Andrew S. Volchko (Teresa); and “son” Jeffrey A. Deller (Joni).
In the second quarter, Jerry engineered one touchdown drive after the other. He worked at the Shenango Coke Plant, serving as a grievance representative for Local 2687 of the United Steelworkers, served in the Army in Greenland, and was an active member of the Dubois American Legion and Punxsutawney FOE. His most impressive red zone work came via his founding, along with his Wife, of a support group for Desert Storm soldiers (HOTODS) as well as his many rewarding years spent coaching C.Y.A.A. Lions football and Outlaws Girls softball in Coraopolis, PA.
The early game began in Crucible, Pa., with his parents, Elizabeth (Sabo) Volchko and Joseph Volchko, and his sisters, Cheryl Harding and Mary Kay Volchko, all of whom were forced out of the game far too early. Still cheering on the sidelines is his sister, Victoria Barker (Earl), his big brother and hero Joseph Volchko (Diana) as well as his many nieces and nephews and most devoted fans, Bill, Tammy, Lisa, Tater, Scott and their families.
Like all great games, the fourth-quarter heroics couldn’t have happened without the early contributions provided by Jerry’s dazzling special teams, via grandchildren Nick, Cullen, Chloe, Karsyn, Shelby, Hayden, Harrison, Garrett, Katie and Andrew James.
His longstanding performance with all those who love him have no doubt landed him a spot in the Hall of Fame. His next game is scheduled at a stadium where there are no fumbles, where every day feels like Super Bowl Sunday, and where he will finally earn his very much-deserved Immaculate Reception.
His team welcomes you to pay your respects at Thompson-Miller Funeral Home, 124 East North St., Butler, PA 16001 on Thursday, March 7th from 1-4 and 6-9.
A funeral service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 200 North St., Butler, PA 16001, at 11:00 a.m. Friday March 8th. The family requests that in honor of Jerry, for funeral services on Friday, everyone wear their favorite Steeler apparel. The family invites everyone to a final tailgate luncheon immediately following.
Military Honors will be provided by the Officers and Members of the American Legion Post #117, Butler, American Legion Post #778, Lyndora, and the VFW Post #249 of Butler at a graveside service at Greenlawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to IATW – Outdoors Program, 12590 Perry Highway, Suite 700, Wexford, PA 15090.
Online condolences can be given at www.thompson-miller.com.