Obituary Notice: James Richard Petrunyak Sr.

Obituary Notice: James Richard Petrunyak Sr. (Provided photo)

Obituary Notice: James Richard Petrunyak Sr. (Provided photo)

James Richard Petrunyak Sr. loved a motor as much as he loved music. He was an electrician by trade, great accordion player and a wonderful singer and entertainer.

Careers and hobbies paled in comparison to the love he felt for his beloved wife, Donna; his children, Terri (Teddy Bear), James Jr. (Champ) and Jo Marie (Dodo); his son-in-law, Scott Lysko (Scotty); his grandchildren (the Muglets), Jordan (Mug-z), Alex (Little-bear) and Tyler Lysko (Poohbear); and his granddaughter, Erica Mullen.

He adored his nieces, nephews and great-nieces, and they adored him, too. Spending time and watching his “Muglets” grow gave his life new meaning.

He was generous and would do anything to help family, friends and neighbors. He’d change a transmission in his neighbor’s garage, help financially and happily lend his time and skills.

He enjoyed nature, fishing, chopping wood and working on his gardens and lawn. Years ago, he and Donna had twin riding lawn mowers to which he designed affixed cup holders long before today’s shopping cart trends.

He had many other garage inventions that he loved to create, and he chuckled every time they came in handy.

He spent hours researching what happened to his brother during the Korean War. As his Internet skills improved, albeit “classified,” he had the events (maps included) figured out and examined.

His acumen and athletic skills earned him a football scholarship to Pitt. He lost his dad at an early age and turned down the scholarship to support his Mom.

Providing for others, working hard and taking the time and care to do things right the first time were important to him. He worked two jobs to ensure his children had the opportunities to succeed.

He may have been the only father to attend little league in a tuxedo before heading to work, but he was always there and his cheers were often the loudest.

He remembered every person, experience and detail he read and loved to share his opinions and stories. His sense of humor never failed, and he chuckled every time he said “the only advantage to becoming old and decrepit is you get great parking.”

A great day was one spent telling stories on the front porch after dinner and dessert with a Courvoisier or an ice cold Yuengling.

On Friday, May 13, 2016, a wonderful man, husband, father, brother and Poppy departed this life. Many called him, “Big Jim.”

He was tall and strong with large, skilled and talented hands.

For him big really defined his laugh, voice, hugs that took your breath away, and most of all his heart. At his request, there are no services.

Contributions to his memory may be made to: The Korean War Veteran’s Memorial Foundation:, or Ramey Fire Co., 161 Market St. Ramey, PA 16671.

Condolences may be made at

Obituary Notice: Mary Beth Gorman
Obituary Notice: Janice R. Mathews

Leave a Reply