Joseph P. Furayter, age 101, of Masontown, Pa, passed away on Thursday May 9, 2019.
He was born on Monday November 19, 1917 a son of John and Maria (Smorada) Furayter.
Joseph was preceded in death by his parents, wife Kathryn (Mihallik) Furayter, his brother John Furayter, and sisters; Irene, Elizabeth and Marie. His father and brother were killed in a roof fall at Oliver #3 in February 1935.
Despite only attending school through 4th grade he was self-educated in math, carpentry, electrical wiring and plumbing. He was musically and artistically inclined as well, learning to play the guitar and piano on his own. Along with his brother in law Mike Mihallik, he sang in St Mary’s Choir for many years. Joseph was a coalminer, handyman and was also employed for many years as part of the custodial staff at German Township High School.
Joseph was a lifelong Democrat and proud to have voted for the first African American President and the first female Presidential candidate. He stayed current in the political events of the country he loved and served to the very end. His other interests were Pittsburgh sports teams and military history. In the past 20 years he attended many World War II reenactment in Virginia Beach, VA & Fort Indiantown Gap, PA., He was also an honored guest at the dedications of the D-Day Museum in New Orleans, LA and the National WWII Memorial in Washington DC.
He loved his family, including his many four legged companions in his later years, he was comforted by his dog Duke and cat Charlie. In addition, he loved to fee the many beautiful birds that visited his backyard.
He served in the peace time Army from 1938-1940 with the 6th Field Artillery of the 1st Infantry division at Ft. Hoyle, MD. His first unit was amazingly still horse drawn artillery. After Pearl Harbor, he reenlisted and was assigned to the 5th field artillery in support of the 18th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division. He made the 3 amphibious assaults in the European theater of operations, participating in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Normandy.
Blessed with good luck, divine protection and excellent soldering skills, Joseph saw action in every 1st Division campaign from 1942-1945 and survived without a scratch. His wartime exploits in North Africa are included in a book about the British & American alliance in defeating Rommel, “Together We Stand” by James Holland, a British military historian.
He was a member of the former Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Mary’s Leckrone and currently a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Masontown. He served his Country in the United States Army and was a life member of the Fort Mason American Legion Post 423, Faith Gray McArdle VFW Post 4584, The United Mine Workers of America Local 6310, The Society of the First Division and The Artillery of the First Division Association.
Left to cherish his memory is his daughter Marcy Roberts and her husband Gene Crum, grandchildren Leah F. Roberts and partner Keith Lachapelle, Joshua R. Roberts and his wife Faith, great granddaughter Kathryn Roberts and numerous nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received in the Terravecchia-Haky Home for Funerals, Inc., 515 N. Main St., Masontown, PA, on Thursday May 16, 2019
2-4 & 6-8 p.m.; and on Friday May 17, 2019 until 9:30 a.m. when prayers of transfer will be said.
The Funeral Mass will follow at 10 a.m. in St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Masontown PA.
Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, McClellandtown, PA
Memorial contributions can be made to Fayette Friends of Animals 223 Searight Herbert Rd, Uniontown, PA 15401