School 31

Jerome A. Yetsko

January 12, 1934 ~ December 18, 2020 (age 86)


Yetsko, Jerome A., 86, Portage passed away Friday at UPMC-Altoona due to complications of the COVID-19 virus. Born Jan. 12, 1934 in Thorpe, Wisconsin, the son of Joseph and Helen (Klein) Yetsko. Deceased family members include his parents, brothers Walter, James, Regis and Robert; sisters Margaret Totaro; Mary Sybert, Rozetta Havrilla, and Dolores Yetsko. He is the last member of his immediate family, but is survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Survived by loving wife of 60 years Frances (Willis) Yetsko; as well as his four Children and Grandchildren, Catherine Yetsko, her children Allison Painter wife of Jeremy Painter and Justin Sherbine; Jerome David Yetsko and companion, Lisa Colavitti; Karen, wife of Mark Kleman and her children Stephanie Krumenacker married to Jonathan Krumenacker, Dawn Fassnacht wife of Steven Fassnacht, and Nicodemus Usry, Mary Yetsko-Krol, and her children, Julia Yetsko, Jared Krol and companion Ed Hartwell. He will be sadly missed by his great grandchildren, Maurah Krumenacker; D'Mitrius Krumenacker; Sean Fasschnat; and Rachael Fassnacht. Jerome was an outstanding athlete playing Football at Portage Area High School and for the semi-pro Portage Bulldogs. He received a full scholarship to play football for St Francis College, in Loretto, PA, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Upon graduation, he was immediately sent to Ft. Jackson, SC, then to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO for basic training and finally to Ft. Lewis, WA for combat engineering. He proudly served in Korea near the end of the conflict and played for the United States Army Football team. Nearing the end of his career in the Army, he received letters of intent to play for several professional football organizations including the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Colts. After his service, Jerome’s passion for education led him to start his career at Sparrows Point High School in Baltimore, MD. He returned home to Portage, accepting a position at the high school teaching Social Studies, Problems of Democracy, History, and Driver’s Education. His enthusiasm for teaching and love of football led to coaching during his teaching tenure. He obtained advanced certifications in Education Administration (principal certification, assistant superintendent, and superintendent certification) from Penn State University, where he also taught adult education. He then accepted a position as principal of Tussey Mountain School District and served for 8 years. During that time, he and his wife were instrumental in the foundation of Cub Scout Troop 15 in Portage, for which he received the Citizen of the Year Award as Cub Master. He simultaneously held positions as Superintendent of the coal preparations plant in Hooversville and President of the Portage Area School Board. Jerome returned to the high school as Principal, ultimately retiring as Superintendent. In total, he devoted nearly 38 years to the field of education. After retirement, Jerome enjoyed family, served on the Portage Water Authority, Portage Boro Council, traveled, visited casinos, and attended sporting events. He was an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates, Penn State Nittany Lions, and let’s not forget the St. Francis Red Flash. The Serenko-Claar Funeral Home, PC, Portage, is serving the Yetsko Family. Committal will be in Calvary Cemetery, Altoona. Due to COVID restrictions, services will be at the convenience of the family. A funeral/memorial service will be held in his honor at a later date. Military Funeral Rites will be performed by the Portage Rifle Team. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Jerome to Holy Family Parish in Portage, PA, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, for the Jerome A. and Frances D. Yetsko Scholarship Fund, or the Athletic Department at St. Francis University, Office of Advancement, PO Box 600, Loretto, PA 15940 or online.

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