Robert E. Buzonas, 87, of Uniontown, Pa., passed away on Monday, April 27, 2009, in Excela Hospice, Jeannette, Pa.
He was born February 15, 1922, in Uniontown, Pa., son of Joseph and Anastasia Leptinsky Buzonas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Diana (Lux) Buzonas and his brother, Clarence Buzonas.
Robert was a member of Saint Therese Roman Catholic Church, Uniontown, where he served as an usher for many years. He was a graduate of St. John's High School and attended Ripon College in Wisconsin. He was a member of the American Legion Post 51, General George C. Marshall AMVETS, Hopwood Post 103, the Catholic War Veterans, and Knights of Columbus Council 1275 where he served as a Grand Knight. He was also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and founding member of the Planetary Society and Challenger Center.
He served three and one half years with the United States Army Air and Signal Corps during World War II as an instructor of cryptography and for the maintenance, operation and repairs of teletype and crypto equipment for the 529th Signal Operations Company in preparation for the 1945 invasion of Okinawa. His final year in service was at Vint Hill Farm in Warrenton, Virginia, in cryptography.
He was employed as a Technician at Bendix Aviation and Richmond Radiator. He spent 34 years in the Mining Division of Republic Steel Corporation as Chief Chemist and then Senior Coal Preparation Engineer.
He was an avid life long astronomer, photographer, gardener, Steeler fan, and a fan of the arts.
He had the honor of meeting Carl Sagan and earned a Certificate of Appreciation from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for his participation in the Moonwatch Project at the Allegheny Observatory, Pittsburgh, during the International Geophysical Year, 1957 to 1958. He was also honored as an Essay Winner at the dedication of the Connellsville Airport in September of 1938.
He is survived by daughters: Mitzi Dornberger (Mickey) of Sevierville, Tenn., and Joanne Buzonas of Uniontown; brother, Donald Buzonas of West Brownsville; brother-in-law, Geza Lux of Addison; sister-in-law, Mitzi Lux Austin of Hawaii; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Memorial Mass will be held in Saint Therese Roman Catholic Church on May 9, 2009, at 10 a.m. with Msgr. Michael W. Matusak as Celebrant.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Stephen R. Haky Funeral Home, Inc., 603 North Gallatin Avenue Extension, Uniontown, Pa.