In Memoriam

Remembering The Faculty And Staff That We Have Lost …

Victor Zuraw


December 21, 2018

From the Observer-Reporter:

Victor William Zuraw, 86, an educator, environmentalist, skeptic and friend for life, died early Friday morning, December 21, 2018, in Donnell House, Washington.

Vic was born in Charleroi in 1932, a son of Russian immigrants and the youngest of seven children. He was the first in his family to go to college, earning Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education degrees from Thiel College and Duquesne University, respectively

He was a dedicated and loving educator for 50 years, sharing his endless sense of wonder and joy with chemistry and physics students from Long Beach City College, Greenville High School, University School, Baldwin High School (where he met his wife of 55 years, Maggie) and finally Upper St. Clair High School, where he taught for 34 years, including 13 years as department chair. He periodically took the role of vice principal at Upper St. Clair, but wanted nothing more than to be in class with his students, whose love of learning and self-respect he was committed to fostering. Each day of class began with the same question: "Ladies and gentlemen, may we begin?"

Vic was an avid environmentalist, creating Upper St. Clair's first recycling program in the 1970s. He was a scientist in mind and spirit, a skeptic who insisted on reasoned answers while always retaining a sense of humility in the face of a great and unknowable universe. And he was a gentle and generous soul. In the military, Vic the pacifist was trained to shoot a rifle, but vowed never to use one, and so found his way into a dentistry unit and a caregiving role. Being in the military took him to a base in Germany, from where he traveled Europe and discovered his lifelong love of classical music (and beer).

Vic was a longtime March of Dimes volunteer, a facilitator for Pittsburgh PFLAG and The Compassionate Friends, and a deacon at First Presbyterian Church, 1793, in Washington. Upon retirement, he taught science to elementary education teachers for 10 years through the organization Asset. Also in retirement, he and his wife Maggie bought and restored the 200-year-old historic William Wolf property in Wolfdale, where he demonstrated his formidable carpentry skills and relentless energy as he and Maggie transformed and cared for the 10-acre property.

Left behind are his wife of 55 years, Maggie; his first wife, Nancy; children Vicki (Kim), Pete (Zandra), Mike (Elizabeth) and Julie (Fegens); grandchildren Calvin, Quinn and Luca; and many friends. Preceding him in death were his daughter, Cathy, and six siblings, Nicholas, Peter, Ann, Walter, Olga and Jane.

Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m., the time of a memorial service, Saturday, December 29, in Beinhauer Family Funeral Home, 2828 Washington Road, McMurray, PA 15317. Lunch will be available afterward at noon and all are welcome to join. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Citizens Library, 55 South College Street, Washington, PA 15301, or give generously to a favorite charitable organization.

May Vic's extraordinary kindness and love be carried forward by all.

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