Leo James Haky, 76, of Sykesville died Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 at UPMC Shadyside Hospital. He was surrounded by the love of his family for whom he cared so deeply.
He is survived by his loving wife, Eleanor; devoted daughters and son, Shannon Shaffer, Marcia Snyder and Mike Haky; his beloved grandchildren, Josh Krach, Briana Carr, Ben Shaffer, Isaac, Sarah and Megan Haky; his beloved daughter-in-law, Karen Haky; and his son-in-law, Brian Shaffer.
Mr. Haky was a kind man. He was the most optimistic human being you could ever meet. He always believed that everything would be OK, no matter what.
He was an avid sports fan, attending many local events. He enjoyed playing poker with his friends and also competitively. He was considered a top-rated player.
He had a soft spot in his heart for special needs children. He often reached out to those children and their families as well as other folks in need.
Mr. Haky was from Ford City, Pa., and the only child of Elizabeth and Leo Haky. After losing his parents at an early age, he moved to Yatesboro, Pa., to live with his grandma, grandpa, and uncle.
He was a 1958 graduate of the Shannock Valley High School, and he attended Staunton Military Academy in Virginia.
During his high school years, he was a local sports legend in football and baseball, but he was most famous for basketball. He actually is considered one of the best high school basketball players in the history of Pennsylvania.
He was named first team all-state for two consecutive years, and he was inducted into the Armstrong County Hall of Fame. He was a veteran who served his tour of duty in Germany.
On Aug. 24, 1963, he married Eleanor (Mehok) Haky. She survives.
Mr. Haky retired as a supervisor from Beverage Air, and he was the truant officer for the DuBois Area School District. He also drove the special needs school van for Jewell Bus Company for 10 years.
He was a wonderful, caring and kind person with the heart of a giant and a love for his family that was without equal. In dying, he taught us how to be strong, brave, dignified and he exhibited such a will to live in such dire circumstances.
Friends will be received from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Goble-Baronick Funeral Home.
A Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Church in Sykesville with Fr. Vasyl Banyk as celebrant.
Burial will follow in Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Cemetery.
Although flowers are appreciated, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Sykesville Library, 21 E. Main St., Sykesville, PA 15865 and or the Sykesville Ambulance, Attention: Victor Kosko, 218 W. Liberty St., Sykesville, PA 15865.
Online condolences may be sent to www.gbfuneralhome.com.