GROSIK – Thomas D. Sr. “Pap,” 79, South Fork, died January 22, 2024, surrounded by his loving family. Born August 15, 1944, in Vintondale, son of John G. “Red” and Anna (Dulashaw) Grosik. Preceded in death by parents; beloved wife, Karen A. (Hajzus) Grosik, who died July 24, 2005; and son-in-law, Sam Cobaugh.
Survived by children, Thomas Jr. (Laurie Coughenour); Ann (Michael Eppley); Theresa (Shannon Fisher); James (Susan Mohle); Carol Cobaugh; and Diana (Ryan Farabaugh); girlfriend, Ann Warholic; grandchildren, Austin, Ryan, Deven, Jacob, Sammy, Seth, Nicholas, Kaitlin, Olivia, Tristan, Brylinn, Nyah, Camden, and Ava; great grandchildren, Calvin, Lincoln (twins), and Colt; brother, John Grosik, Jr.; and twin sister, Maryann Grosik.
Pap loved his family and pets more than anything, but if you asked him, he would tell you that raising six kids turned his hair gray and that all the grandkids made it fall out.
Tom was a graduate of Nanty Glo – Vintondale High School, class of 1962. Member of St. Michael Catholic Church where he served as an usher for many years. In his younger days, Tom’s nickname was “Goose,” and he loved racing cars, especially his blue corvette. He was known for raising heck around Vintondale and everywhere he went. Tom was a US Army veteran and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Boy did he have the stories to tell. Tom “Rockman” saw much of the east coast as a commercial truck driver for various companies, including: Merlo, Sani-Dairy, Schneider Trucking, and Exact. He could give you directions to go anywhere and knew where all the best restaurants were located. Tom’s favorite place to eat was the Corner Coffee Shoppe and he loved going for Chinese to celebrate birthdays. Pap enjoyed the outdoors, spent many hours on his lawnmowers, and was so proud of his beautiful yard. Pap loved to go fishing, especially for walleye, and he could quickly fillet a trout in under a minute. Summer fishing trips as a family were the best. Pap smiled ear to ear, even though he’d spend more time untangling rods and retying hooks as kid after kid got stuck in a tree or broke their fishing line. Pap also enjoyed hunting with his boys and was always so proud of the big bucks they pulled out of the woods. Pap made the best venison steaks and grilled BBQ chicken. He was the best at figuring out car issues and enjoyed working on the family’s vehicles, although that also caused a few gray hairs.
Pap was an avid bowler his entire life and enjoyed bowling with his family and in various leagues through the years. His family often joked that he was the mayor of Richland Lanes. Pap enjoyed trips to Atlantic City and Rocky Gap Casino where he always managed to be the lucky big winner in the group. Pap loved the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates and would often say “it’s all rigged” after a close game. He also enjoyed watching western movies, NCIS, gameshows, and was the best Saturday night movie buddy. Pap shared his love of music with his kids and grandkids, especially his golden oldies and country music.
Pap was strong, resilient, patient, and hardworking. He made sure to instill those values in his family. He smiled a lot and brought joy and laughter everywhere he went, especially if it meant picking on someone or teasing them (which he was the best at). Pap taught us many life lessons, including how to fix just about anything. He loved meeting his grandkids for the first time, playing silly games, and spoiling them every chance he got. A Baconater date with pap was the best. Pap left the funniest voicemails and gave the best nicknames like “kiddyland” and “beep beep.” He always had snacks, oranges, and candy to share, or even the change in his pocket, especially if you were one of “pappy’s girls.”
Pappy, while you’re bowling and fishing in heaven, we are going to try our best to make you even more proud. You were brave and so strong in a world you couldn’t even see, never showing any fear to put one foot in front of the other. “Don’t be afraid because now it’s our turn to chase the monsters away.” And Pap don’t worry, we know that you were never sleeping on the couch, you were just resting your eyes. Heroes are celebrated no matter what God has planned for them. The tougher road to the end, the greater favor they have with the Lord. Breaker, breaker 1-9, we’ll see you on the other side Pap, give Gram a big hug for us.
Friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Charles O. Dimond Funeral Home, Inc., South Fork.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, New Germany; Father Joseph C. Nale, celebrant.
Committal, St. Marys Cemetery, New Germany.
Military graveside service by St. Michael American Legion Post 551.