LEROY J. KORB SR.
Our gentle, beloved father, Roy Korb, passed from this world into heaven early Thursday morning at the John and Orpha Blair Hospice House with his daughters Victoria and Becky present to help guide his transition.
In the mid1800’s Roy’s grandparents began moving into the Tionesta and Tidioute, PA areas, primarily from Bavaria and Ireland. His parents, Manasseh and Pearl, settled in Pleasantville, PA where they lived above a general store his father owned and operated. At the end of her last pregnancy, Pearl, a school teacher, traveled to her mother’s home in Youngsville for the delivery as had been her custom for five earlier children. Delivered on his grandmother’s sewing table, Roy made his howling appearance in the world on a cold, snowy January 20, 1926.
When he was only ten, Roy’s father died of pneumonia necessitating his mother quit teaching to take over the operations of the family store. With the help of Roy and his five older sisters, his mother kept the store running; attaining her goal of putting all her children through college or career school. Soon after graduating from Pleasantville High School in 1943 near the peak of World War 2 in Europe, Roy enlisted in the US Army and was assigned to the Air Corp. He was ultimately stationed in England where saw combat as a waistgunner in a B24, surviving several bombing runs over Germany. He was honorably discharged at the rank of Staff Sergeant with numerous commendations and medals including 3 bronze stars all by the ripe “old” age of 19.
Following the war, Roy attended Grove City College on the GI Bill, graduating in 1950. After a short stint at Cyclops in Titusville, he moved to Warren working as personnel director at Warren General Hospital. There he met our mother, Theresa Russo, one of ten children of recent immigrants from Italy. After a few years, he moved to Struthers Wells, working first in Personnel and later in accounting, ultimately retiring from Struthers in 1991.
Roy and “Tess” were married on March 31, 1956 in Warren. Despite the inevitable clashes of disparate cultures and tight money, they raised three healthy and wellfed (“clean your plate!”) children with an emphasis on success through education. Dad ensured ours was an enjoyable childhood. He lived his life around his kids. Besides going to work, there were few activities where he didn’t try to include us. Our memories of dad are filled with kids’ sporting events, bike rides, camping and fishing trips, tennis games, swimming at Chapman Dam, and many, many road trips. Looking for inexpensive entertainment, he made sure we saw the last train through Kinzua, rode the last passenger train to Corry, saw the old brick stack topple down on Dorcon Road, and visited every fish hatchery in Northwest PA. Some of our best recollections involve so many wonderful Korb family holiday get togethers filled with the laughter of dad and his siblings. Oh, how that clan loved their practical jokes much to our mother’s chagrin.
After his retirement from Struthers, Roy and Tess started spending winters in Clermont, Florida, finally moving there full time. n Florida, they enjoyed the companionship of other transplanted northern friends and family, participating in bridge, board games, accompanying visiting family to nearby Disney World, and shuffleboard tournaments. As their health declined they choose to come back to their roots, returning to Warren in mid2005. Tess died on December 8 of that year leaving Roy on his own for the first time in almost 50 years.
Roy and Tess’s greatest joy was the accomplishments of their children: Becky Bissett (Dave), a speech language pathologist in Charleston, WV; Victoria KorbBrown, a physical therapist in Canfield, OH; and Leroy Korb (Laurie), a physician in Warren, PA. Only one of Roy’s longlived siblings survives: Clare (William) Barger of Bellevue Washington. His other sisters and their spouses are all gone: Lois (Harold) Benedict, Ruth (Nick) Antonovich, Edna (Leo) Dowling, and Eleanor (Paul) Shutt. Always the proud Grandpa, Roy took great joy in his six grandchildren, Christine, Charles, Lauren, Emmelina, Branden, and Eli, as well as his many nieces and nephews.
Roy has been a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, serving in years past as a Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church in Warren. He held a profound belief in God and His wisdom in all worldly matters. He went willingly to be with his Lord and his flock. After nearly a day of a deep, unresponsive sleep, Roy’s last gift was a brief flicker of his wonderful grin and then he was gone.
A private graveside service is planned for the family at Fairview Cemetery in Pleasantville. A public memorial celebration of his life will be announced later this spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to Hospice of Warren County or Paws Along the River.