Debra A. Bertoty, 46, of White Oak, passed away Saturday, February 16, 2019 after a brief illness. She was born October 4, 1972 in McKeesport and was the daughter of John G. and Sandra (Shaffer) Bertoty of White Oak. She was a 1990 graduate of McKeesport Area High School and attended Penn State McKeesport and California University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary and Mentally and Physically Handicapped Education. Debra was employed 23 years as a special education teacher in McKeesport Area School District where she was a second through fifth grade learning support teacher at George Washington, Cornell, and Centennial Elementary Schools and, most recently, at Francis McClure Intermediate School where she was the third, fourth and fifth grade life skills teacher.
She was a member of the MAEA, PSEA, and the NEA. She was also a member of the former Holy Trinity Parish and St. Martin de Porres Parish where she was a member of the Choir, Handbell Choir, and Resurrection Choir. She was an auxiliary member of the White Oak American Legion, a member Jacktown Ride and Hunt Club, and the Pitcairn Monroeville Sportsman’s Club. Debra was a longtime Benefactor Life Member of the National Rifle Association. In addition to her parents, she is survived by her brother, David A. (Jill) Bertoty of North Huntingdon, and sister, Sharyn L. Bertoty of White Oak, nephew, Matthew D. Bertoty of North Huntingdon, numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, best friend, Robert Ponchak of McKeesport, and her precious kitties, Peaches and Peanut. She was especially close to her Godfather, George Shaffer, of McKeesport. She was preceded in death by her maternal and paternal grandparents, and her first beloved kitty, Spencer. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Church in McKeesport. The Rev. Gregory Madeya will be officiating. Arrangements are by the Gilbert Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. 1638 Lincoln Way, White Oak. (412) 672-6322 Troy J. Gilbert, Director. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Debra A. Bertoty Memorial Scholarship Fund. To make a memorial contribution, please visit http://tiny.cc/dabmsf Condolences may be made at Gilbertfuneralhomeandcrematory.com
Originally published February 20, 2019.