Joseph John Harchar, 96, a resident of Jefferson Hills for 67 years, formerly of Glassport, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 25, 2019. He was born in Glassport on May 4th, 1923 to the late John and Mary Jackabcin Harchar. Joseph was the loving husband of Mary Ducko Harchar for 67 years. He is also survived by his sons, Joseph Harchar, of Woodbridge, VA, John (Judie) Harchar, of The Woodlands, TX, Kenneth Harchar of Jefferson Hills, and Robert Harchar of Jefferson Hills, nephew, Sidney (JoAnne) Cicchini , of Belle Vernon, and nieces, Phyllis Usko, of Forward Township, and Claire Marie (Tony) Cicchini Monias of Belle Vernon and Diane (Ed) Hickley of Port Vue. Joseph was preceded in death by his brother, Albert, and sisters, Helen, Ann, Irene, Teresa, Bertha and infant siblings, Mamie, Mamie and John. He was a U.S. Navy Veteran of WWII, and was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal for his service. Joseph was a graduate of Penn State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1949. He attained membership in Tau Beta P, National Honorary Engineering Society, Chi Epsilon National Honorary Civil Engineering Society. He was a member of the Phi Kappa fraternity while attending college and is a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association. After graduating college his working career began at the American Bridge Company, and continued through several engineering firms including Koppers Corporation and ending with the U.S. Corps of Engineers for 25 years. He was a project engineer on several local flood protection projects, and project manager on multipurpose dam projects from which he retired in 1983. After retirement he was selected to join President Ronald Reagan’s Goodwill Ambassador Team to go to China and consult with the Chinese on the construction of the recently completed dam on the Yangtze River. He had to refuse this appointment due to the simultaneous illness of his wife, who underwent successful cancer surgery during the same period. Joseph was a former member of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Clairton, which later became part of St. Clare Assisi. He enjoyed walking in the woods, fishing, gardening, including his “WWII Victory Garden”, was an ardent sports fan, a hobbyist mechanic and tinkerer, and enjoyed bird-watching, and was a dedicated family man. Joseph was a member of many organizations including: the Society of American Military engineers, Who’s Who in Engineering (1982), U.S. Committee on Large Dams, American Society of Civil Engineers, Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers, Tou Beta Pi Engineering Honorary Society, Chi Epsilon Civil Engineers Honorary Society, former member of the Jefferson Hills Borough Planning Commission, St. Joseph’s Branch #479 of the First Catholic Slovak Union, and the National Slovak Society. Family and friends will be received on Monday from 2-4 and 6-8 at E.C. FINNEY FUNERAL HOME, 235 Monongahela Ave, Glassport, PA 15045. A service will take place on Tuesday, at 10:00 at St. Clare of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Clairton. Interment with military honors will follow at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, 1158 Morgan Road, Bridgeville, PA. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to: the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517, or National Audubon Society, 225 Varick St, New York, NY 10014, or the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123. Online condolences may be offered at www.finneyfuneralhome.com.
Originally published September 27, 2019.