From Trib Total Media: Polish culture, music backbones of man’s life
Ś.P. Donald Mushalko devoted his life to music and to keeping Polish culture alive in the Pittsburgh region.
The outgoing and friendly former music professor at the University of Pittsburgh traveled extensively and had friends across the country and throughout Europe, said his sister, Jean Jasiewicz of McKeesport.
“Our grandparents emigrated from Poland, (and) they lived with us,” Jasiewicz said. “We learned the language as a second language as children. … It was just instilled in us from childhood.”
Donald F. Mushalko died Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, at Briarcliff Pavilion in North Huntingdon from heart problems. He was 84.
Mr. Mushalko graduated from what was then the Carnegie Institute of Technology with a degree in music education and violin. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, where he taught for 40 years and served as president of the Polish Room, one of the school’s 30 Nationality Rooms, all decorated in the tradition of specific nations.
He was involved with several Polish music, cultural and heritage groups in the region and was a devout member of Holy Family Polish National Catholic Church of Mc-Keesport, serving as choir director, an organist and, at times, a singer.
He was a devoted caretaker to his wife after she had a stroke, taking her out for activities and to banquets, said his niece, Joanne Dorazio of White Oak.
“She had a better social life than I did,” Dorazio said of her aunt. “It was good that he kept her active. … He didn’t just sit there with her.”
Dorazio said her uncle had a traditional Polish dinner on Christmas Eve with his family and spent Christmas at her house with his wife’s family.
“He was bound and determined (to make it through Christmas this year),” Dorazio said. “He enjoyed himself. It was a nice send-off for him, I think.”
He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen C. Korch Mushalko, and a sister, Alice M. Mushalko. In addition to Jasiewicz and Dorazio, Mr. Mushalko is survived by his brothers, George A. Mushalko and Edwin Mushalko, and wife, Arlene; and many nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 31st and from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. January 2nd in the Jaycox-Jaworski Funeral Home, 2703 O’Neil Blvd., McKeesport. A blessing service will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, January 3rd followed by a 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial in Holy Family Polish National Catholic Church. Interment will follow in Holy Family Cemetery, North Versailles.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Family Polish National Catholic Church, 1921 Eden Park Blvd., McKeesport, PA 15132.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and may the Perpetual Light shine upon him.