WADSWORTH---Joseph Gabrosek, always a gentleman, passed away on September 23 at age 95. Born to the late Frances and Joseph Gabrosek, Joe graduated from Barberton High School. He then enlisted in the Army Air Corps, precursor to the United States Air Force, earning the rank of Major and proudly serving his country in World War II and as a reservist for more than twenty years. At the age of 90, Joe made the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., and more recently, he visited an airfield in Columbus, where he saw a restored C-47 plane, which he piloted for the 64th Troop Carrier Group in the European Theatre.
Joe graduated in 1950 from Case Institute of Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked for 35 years with Packaging Corporation of America, until his retirement in 1985. He consulted for PCA for another ten years. Along the way, he met a Barberton girl, Anna Mae Suppan, his beloved wife of 60 years. They settled in Wadsworth, Ohio, where they raised their 3 devoted children.
In addition to his family, Joe loved his Slovenian heritage and polka music. Joe was co-host of the TV show “Polka Time Again,” which is the longest running public access TV series in the nation, having recently celebrated their 1300th episode. Joe was always happy to meet fans, who recognized him from the show. At the age of 70, Joe fulfilled a dream when he learned to play the button box accordion. He enjoyed the comradeship of fellow players by jamming at various clubs, nursing homes and parties.
He also enjoyed hiking with his brothers-in-law and golfing with his sons and brother. Joe was a parishioner at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, a member and Historian of the Barberton Slovene Pensioners Club, Domovina Lodge, SNPJ Lodge, Sokol Club and the Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Edward.
He is survived by his wife Ann (his favorite waltz “My Darling Ann”), his sons Joseph (Penny), Dr. John (Michele), and daughter Anita (Richard), and his precious granddaughters Gabrielle (Joseph) and Madison (Evan). He is also survived by brother-in-law Dr. Raymond (Donna) Suppan, Sisters-in-law Martha Gabrosek and Anne Suppan. Uncle Joe leaves many dear nieces and nephews. A beautiful soul, Joe is remembered by family and friends for his warm and caring spirit, kind words, and his ever-present smile.
Visiting Hours will be Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 4-7 pm at SILVA-HOSTETLER FUNERAL HOME, 1199 Wooster Rd. West, Barberton. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, September 27, 2019 at 10 a.m. at Prince of Peace Catholic Church 1263 Shannon Ave., Barberton. Military Burial at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Joe’s memory to Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Cleveland Clinic Hospice, 6801 Brecksville Rd, Suite 10, Independence, OH 44131-9903 or the Air Force Association. To share a memory or send a condolence, please visit www.silva-hostetler.com (330-825-8700)