Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Matt W. Yurkovich, 92, passed away peacefully at his home in Glenwood Saturday, February 2, 2013. Born July 13, 1920, in Gary, W.Va., he was the second son of the late Matt and Cecilia Herlovich Yurkovich, both of whom had immigrated to McDowell County from Ravna Gora, Croatia.
Matt graduated from Gary High School in 1940 and served on Guam in the Pacific Theater during World War II as a U.S. Army medic. He returned to Gary, where he worked 38 years as a coal miner at U.S. Steel's #6 and #4 mines. A man who was never idle, Matt also delivered newspapers and ice as a teenager and later worked in the maintenance department of the Stevens Clinic Hospital in Welch when the mines closed for several years in the 1960s.
In 1951, he met the love of his life and future wife, Carrie Phyllis Taylor, at a Moose Club New Year's Eve dance. They were married June 27, 1959 at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Welch. Matt was a faithful member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Princeton after moving to Mercer County in 1983. He was a 3rd degree member of the Princeton Knights of Columbus Council #9814, a proud member of the United Mine Workers of America and the Croatian Fraternal Union, and a lifetime member of the Moose Club. He was an avid baseball fan, having played as a young man, and held season tickets for all the Princeton minor league ball clubs, from the time of the original Princeton Reds up to the present-day Rays. Most of all, Matt dearly loved his family, gardening, walking in the woods, and working his daily crossword puzzles.
In addition to his parents, Matt was preceded in death by brothers, Frank and John Yurkovich; sisters, Rose, Annie, and Helen Yurkovich; Cecilia Herlovich, Mary Svetlecih, and Katie Corak; and an infant son, Paul Yurkovich.
Survivors include his devoted wife of nearly 54 years, Carrie Yurkovich; three daughters: Annette Brichford and husband Charles of Princeton, Paula Yurkovich of Matthews, N.C., and Mary Piper of Lake St. Louis, Mo.; six grandchildren: Virginia Shumate of Morgantown, Paul and Austin Bell of Matthews, N.C., Kieran, Shannon, and Abby Piper of Lake St. Louis, Mo.; one great-grandchild, Ava Marie Bell; one sister, Dorothy Kozar of Gary; and a host of beloved nieces and nephews.
A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m., Wednesday, February 6, 2013 from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 507 Harrison Street, Princeton, co-celebrants will be Father Paul Wharton and Father Paulose Manickathan. Entombment will follow in the Chapel of The Wildwood Mausoleum Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Princeton.
Friends may visit with the family from 6 until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5 at the Memorial Funeral Directory on the Athens Road in Princeton, where a Christian Wake Service will be held at 7:45 p.m.
Online condolences may be offered to the family via www.memorialfd.com or sympathy cards may be sent to the family in care of the Memorial Funeral Directory and Cremation Center, 654 Athens Road, Princeton, WV 24740.
Serving as pallbearers will be Paul and Austin Bell, Kieran Piper, Charles Brichford, Mark Kozar, Carl Taylor, Dick Bishop, and Wayne Shumate. Honorary pallbearers will be Walter Taylor, Jeff and Kevin Taylor, Brent and Brad Reed, and his brothers Knights of Columbus.
If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the following non-profit agencies and projects: Appalachian Teen Challenge, 1651 Unity Rd., Princeton, WV 24740, Tender Mercies Food Pantry, PO Box 669, Princeton, WV 24740, Sacred Heart Catholic Church Building Fund, PO Box 1310, Princeton, WV 24740, and Hospice Compassus, 120 Shaker Lane, Princeton, WV 24740.
The Yurkovich family is being served by the Memorial Funeral Directory and Cremation Center on the Athens Road in Princeton.