- About Us
Ronald G. Halkias, 69 of North Belle Vernon, died on Saturday, October 20, 2018 after enduring a broken heart following the loss six months ago of his beloved wife of 44 years, Gwyn Varega Halkias. Ron was a man of great enthusiasm, humor and intellect who dedicated himself to the service of others. A lifelong public servant, Ron began his career as the City Manager of Monessen where he worked to bring federal dollars to revitalize the City and to expand employment, including summer jobs for young people. As Borough Manager of Charleroi, he worked with local elected officials and merchants to bring to life their vision for a multimillion-dollar streetscape project for the beautification and revitalization of the business district. After leaving government service, Ron began another kind of public service as an elementary school educator where he fostered a love of reading among his students. He spent ten years as a teacher in the Tampa, Florida area, where he created innovative methods, such as using the financial pages and stock market reports, to teach and encourage students to read. In 2004, Ron gifted the Jennings Elementary School, where he served as a reading teacher, an extremely valuable first edition of Ernest Hemingway's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Old Man and the Sea, in honor of the school’s dedication. At the time, Halkias remarked, “I want this to be special. I want everybody to be able to see that [book] and say, ‘This is something I can shoot for.’” Ron maintained his commitment to, and advocacy on behalf, of children long after his retirement by donating toys for needy children at Christmas. This was a tradition which began when Ron was a Cub Scout and his father, Stephen, was the Troop’s Leader. Ron is the son of the late Stephen G. and Marjorie Platko Halkias. He is survived by his adoring mother, Shirley Halkias of Monessen; and loving sister, Becky Halkias of the District of Columbia, who remembers him for his love of politics, movies, music, and writing as well as for introducing her to the Beatles; Uncle Norman and Aunt Maria Marraccini; Aunt Olga Panarella; and by his cousins George and Donna Stish; Kathy and Bob Fowler; Michael and Denise Stish, Robert and Gina Stish, Janelle and Doug North, Norman and Stephanie Marraccini, Joe and Liz Panarella, Joann Panarella, Jim LaCarte, Michael Platko, Judy and Jack Gilsdorf, Kim, Michael and David Platko. Ron is preceeded in death by a cousin Diane Tragesser. Visitation will be held Sunday, October, 28th from 10:30-12 noon followed by funeral services at Noon, at the Parzynski Funeral Home & Cremations, Family Owned & Operated, 626 Broad Avenue, Belle Vernon. The Reverend Chip Norton will officiate and internment will be private. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made in memory of Ron Halkias to the Halkias Family Scholarship for Monessen Senior High School, 1245 State Rd, Monessen, PA 15062.