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Harry Elmer KirschOctober 23, 1923 ~ August 23, 2017 (age 93)
Harry Elmer Kirsch, 93, of Adams Township, passed away peacefully at Holy Family Manor on August 23, 2017 with his family and dedicated caregivers by his side. Born October 23, 1923 in Ross Township, he was the son of the late William Kirsch and Margaret Staab Kirsch. Harry is survived by his devoted son and daughter-in-law, Harry Alan and Christine Wauchter Kirsch. He was the cherished grandfather of Heidi Kirsch Thomas and Linard Thomas, Jill Kirsch Beach and Banker Beach III, as well as special great grandfather to Juliet and Genevieve Thomas and Mina Jane and Banker Harry Beach.
Upon his graduation in 1942 from Perry High School, Harry enlisted in the United States Marine Corps to serve his country during World War II. He did not return home to the United States until his honorable discharge in 1945. He served with the rank of Corporal as a rifle sharpshooter and aviation armorer in the Pacific Theater of Operations. He participated in the Bismarck Archipelago Operations, consolidation of the Northern Solomon Islands, defense of Piva Yoke, and capture and occupation of Guam and Marshall Islands.
In 1948, Harry purchased his “dream”, his beloved farm in Adams Township. Along with his brother, Robert, he enjoyed many years of serving northern Pittsburgh communities with their home egg delivery route. During his working years, he was employed first as a Pittsburgh Railway Company Trolley operator, then as a Port Authority of Allegheny County bus driver until his retirement.
In the second half of his life, he gained fame as “Hot Harry”, founder and leader of Hot Harry’s North Park Runners. Harry ran his first marathon at the age of 58, and completed 50 marathons by his 80th birthday. Among these were the elite Boston Marathon, and his own personal favorite, The United States Marine Corps Marathon held in Washington DC. Harry was also a regular volunteer with the Evans City Food Cupboard for over 30 years.
In his passing, Harry joins so many whom he dearly loved. His parents (William and Margaret Kirsch), his beautiful wife (Gertrude Solman Kirsch), gone so early, his siblings (Robert, William, and adored little sister Peggy Ann Kirsch).
Harry, with his unique and charismatic personality, touched so many. He was generous beyond measure, and possessed of amazing gratitude and ability to find joy in the daily things. He woke each morning with a song, and shared his happiness freely. His passing leaves a hole in our family that can never be filled, and eternal gratitude for the blessing of his presence in our lives for so long.
Family and friends will be welcomed on Friday, September 1, 2017 from 2-4 and 6-9 PM at McDonald-Aeberli Funeral Home, 238 Crowe Avenue Mars, PA 16046. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 10:00 AM at the funeral home. Following the service, Harry’s procession will include his final lap around North Park Lake before he is laid to rest at Plains Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Evans City Food Cupboard, 202 VanBuren Street, Evans City, PA 16033. Directions and condolences are available at www.mcdonald-aeberli.com.