Frank J. Kuzma, of Industry, Pa., Passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 12. He was 93 years old.
Frank was born October 18, 1928, in Leetsdale, Pa., To the late Johan and Maria Kuzma, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. He was the youngest of eight children.
He attended Leetsdale High School where he graduated in 1946. In his senior year, Frank finished second in the one-mile event at the Pennsylvania Track & Field Championship held at Penn State University. Immediately upon graduation he enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 17.
Frank was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1948 and enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh on the GI Bill. At Pitt, Frank joined the University’s Track and Field Team and Cross Country Team. By his senior year at Pitt, Frank had developed into one of the premier one-mile runners in the country. In 1952, he was presented with the Allegheny County Amateur Athlete of the Year Award by Pittsburgh Mayor David L. Lawrence.
On October 16, 1948, Frank married the late Dolores Swinarski. Together, they raised five children, Gregory, Kenneth, Mark, Timothy, and Vaughn in Ambridge, Pa. Dolores passed away in 2008.
After graduating from Pitt with a BS in Education in 1952, Frank was a teacher and cross country and track and field coach at Shaler High School. Later in life, he coached at Quigley High School in Baden, Pa., And Beaver High School in Beaver, Pa. Frank had the honor and privilege of coaching three Pennsylvania State Champion athletes. His 1972 Quigley Track & Field Team is still known to this day as the best team in school history.
Frank began his career in business as a sales representative and later district manager for World Book Encyclopedia. He received many sales awards and recognitions for outstanding achievements. In the 1960s Frank transitioned from his work with World Book to starting his own company, the FJ Kuzma Book Company, a distributor of books and educational materials to schools and libraries throughout the tri-state area.
In addition to the successful book company, Frank established retail outlets in downtown Ambridge for books, magazines, arts and crafts.
Frank retired to his 23-acre farm in Industry, Pa., Where he was a resident for the past 50 years. His two greatest loves in life were his family and farm, and the ability to live his life and do things his own way.
His long-time companion in later years was Doris Hawkins, of Newton Falls, Ohio. Frank and Doris enjoyed traveling and shared many common interests. Doris passed away in 2017.
Frank was predeceased by his parents, Johan and Maria; siblings, Anne, Mary, John, Steve, Mike, Andy and George; daughters-in-law, Cindy and Eileen.
He is survived by his sons, Gregory (Julie), Kenneth, Mark (Francine), Timothy (Patricia) and Vaughn (Cindy); nine grandchildren, Jonathan, Marissa, Emily, Daniel, Matthew, Nicholas, Jacob, Benjamin, and Claire; step-grandson Jason Heyman; two great-grandchildren, Dominic and Xavier, as well as numerous nephews and nieces.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Eileen Sullivan Kuzma Scholarship Fund at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Friends will be received on Wednesday from 6-8 at the John Syka Funeral Home, Inc. 833 Kennedy Drive, Ambridge where a Panachyda Service will be held on Thursday at 10:30 AM followed by a Divine Liturgy for the repose of his soul at 11 AM in St. Louis. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church. His pastor, The Rev. Geoffrey Mackey will officiate. Interment with full military honors will follow at 1:00 PM at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Washington County. Online condolences may be made at www.sykafuneralhome.com.
Posted online on May 13, 2022
Published in The Beaver County Times
John Syka Funeral Home, Inc. 833 Kennedy Drive, Ambridge
May 18, 2022 at 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church, 624 Park Rd, Ambridge, PA 15003
May 19, 2022 at 10:30 AM
National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, 1158 Morgan Rd, Bridgeville, PA 15017
May 19, 2022 at 1:00 PM