Located at:  1683 Mars Hill Road

Mailing Address:  738 First Street

Sutersville, PA 15083-1038


2015 - 2016

August Coffer  •  Laurie Ann Minkus  •  Renee' L. Mursch

Thomas E. Spiker  •  Dorothy Fasekas  •  Peter R. Kusko, Sr.

August "Auggie" Coffer

Born August 10, 1922  •  Went to be with our Lord on Friday, December 9, 2016

August Coffer, 94, of Lowber, went to be with the Lord on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016.

He was born Aug. 10, 1922, in Lowber, a son of the late John and Rose Coffer.

He was a retired coal miner, having worked at the Ocean 5 Mine in Smithdale. He was a veteran of the Army, having served in World War II. He fought in the European Theater, including campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany. August attended The Church, in Sutersville. He was an avid hunter and fisherman.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by four brothers, John, Anthony, William, and Martin Coffer; five sisters, Mollie, Julia, Ann, Sophia, and Mary. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Virginia Fasekas Coffer; his son, Dennis August Coffer, and his wife, Gloria Jean, of Hunker; two daughters, Carol Froelich, and her husband, William, of Lincoln, Calif., and Sandy Coffer, of Level Green; and a brother, Edward Coffer, and his wife, Margaret, of Penn; two grandchildren, Charles "Dee" Roadman and his wife, Angela, and Cheyenne Tollari, and her husband, Chris; and three great-grand children.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at The Church, 1683 Mars Hill Road, Sewickley Township, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, with his pastor, the Rev. Frank Rocco, officiating. Military honors will be afforded by the VFW Post 33 of Greensburg. Interment will be private in the West Newton Cemetery.

RICHARD F. DODSON MEMORIAL HOME entrusted with arrangements.

Lowber WWII veteran recalls horrors at liberated Nazi camp

CRAIG SMITH | Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, 11:00 p.m.

August Coffer of Lowber served in the infantry and saw combat in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany with the 45th Division.

Army Cpl. August Coffer was witness to the brutality of World War II, battling the Germans in Anzio, Sicily, Salerno, Rome, southern France and Germany.

But nothing prepared him for what he saw on April 29, 1945, when his unit liberated the first concentration camp established by the Nazis in Dachau. It haunts him to this day.

“I just can't explain it,” said Coffer, 93, wiping away tears with hands swollen with arthritis from working decades in the coal mines around Lowber in Sewickley Township after the war. “I was just a young man. How can a person do that?”

On Veterans Day 70 years later, Coffer, slowed by time and hard work in the mines, knows what this day means — “my country, my flag.”

“We have a beautiful country; you fight for it,” he said.

The camp at Dachau was established in 1933 to house political prisoners and served as a model for all subsequent Nazi concentration camps. It was a “school of violence” for the SS men who commanded it.

In the 12 years it existed, more than 200,000 people from all over Europe were imprisoned there and in its subsidiary camps. More than 41,000 were murdered.

Prisoners at Dachau were used as forced laborers and as guinea pigs in medical experiments. The American troops who liberated the camp found more than 30 railroad cars filled with bodies in various states of decomposition.

“I looked down at the cars, all those dead bodies,” said Coffer, who was 21 then. “I'll never forget it.”

He came upon a man sitting in the doorway of a railroad car and went over to him.

“Hey, buddy, how are you doing?” Coffer said.

There was no response. The man was dead.

“That was hard on my heart. It shook me,” Coffer said.

Inside the camp, there were more bodies and 30,000 survivors, most severely emaciated.

The American soldiers saw the room where prisoners were told to disrobe and hang their clothes on hooks on the wall. They saw the gas chambers and, finally, the ovens where bodies were burned.

Coffer snapped a handful of photos that showed the atrocities that occurred at Dachau.

“People should look at these pictures,” said his wife of 68 years, Virginia, 88. “He still has all the memories. He can't forget.”

A memorial site on the grounds of the former concentration camp was established in 1965 to help others remember the crimes of the Nazis.

“People need to hear about it,” said their son, Dennis Coffer, 67, of Hunker, a Vietnam War veteran. “There's not too many of him left.”

August Coffer wiped away one more tear before explaining why he is crying on this particular Veterans Day.

“No one has ever asked me about my service before,” he said.

August Coffer of Lowber served in the infantry and saw combat in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany with the 45th Division.

Laurie Ann Minkus

Born March 16, 1967  •  Went to be with our Lord on Thursday, December 8, 2016

Laurie Ann Minkus, 49, of Sutersville, died Thursday, December 8, 2016. 

She was born March 16, 1967 in Jeannette, a daughter of Kenneth L. Minkus of Sutersville and the late Marlene (Drager) Minkus. 

In addition to her father, surviving are a sister, Kenna Abramski and husband, Charles; niece, Kaia Abramski; aunt, Arlene Lash and husband, Terry; and cousins, Toni Novak and her children, Amanda, and her daughter, Madeline, Stephanie, and Frankie Novak. 

Friends will be received 2-4 & 6-8 pm Sunday at the J. William McCauley, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. 901 Vine St. West Newton, where services will be held at 11 am Monday.  Interment will follow in West Newton Cemetery. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Welcome Home Shelter, 218 S. Maple Ave., Greensburg PA 15601 or to 1st United Methodist Church (please write “Spark Mission Team” in memo), 15 E. 2nd St., Greensburg PA 15601; as these both greatly helped her in her time of need. Condolences may be left at

Renee' L. Mursch

Born Friday, June 16, 1949  •  Went to be with our Lord on Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Renee' L. Mursch, 67, of Sutersville, formerly of Clairton, died Wednesday, November 30, 2016.

She was born June 26, 1949, in McKeesport, daughter of the late Edmund and Wilma "Rusty" (Parsons) Denne.

Angel was a member of The Church of Sutersville.

Surviving is her husband of 49 years, Richard A. Mursch; two sons, Richard J. Mursch and wife, Diane R., and Ryan P. Mursch; granddaughters, Devon, Marissa and Kelsey Mursch; grandson, Kiddrix Mursch; a brother, Beryl Denne and wife, Mary; and nieces and nephew Shawn and Brad Denne. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by grandparents, Berlyn and Naomi Parsons and Stephen and Ida Denne.

Friends will be received 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the J. WILLIAM McCAULEY JR. FUNERAL HOME INC., 901 Vine St., West Newton, where services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday. Interment will follow in Round Hill Cemetery.

Condolences may be left at


Thomas E. Spiker

Born Sunday, October 12, 1941  •  Went to be with our Lord on Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thomas E. Spiker, 74, of McKeesport, went to be with the Lord, Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at UPMC McKeesport Hospital.

He was born October 12, 1941 in Pittsburgh, a son of the late Charles and Bertha Miller Spiker.

Prior to his retirement, he was a machine operator for US Steel and a veteran of the US Army, having served during the Vietnam and Korean Wars. He was a member of The Church in Sutersville, Duquesne VFW and the White Oak American Legion.

He is survived by his wife, Vivian Leyh Spiker; stepchildren, Julie Burk (Joe), Melissa Crousey (Caleb), Emily Perz (Pastor Ryan); brother, Charles Spiker (Sarah); step-grandchildren, Aryana, Elijah, Leah, Abbey, Karis, Kaden, Preston, Joey and Annaliese; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. in The Church, Sutersville, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the White Oak American Legion.

Dorothy Fasekas

Born January 20, 1922  •  Went to be with our Lord on Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dorothy Fasekas, Age 94, of West Newton, passed away on May 14, 2016.

Born January 19, 1922 in Blythedale, PA, she was the eldest daughter of the late George and Mary (Dzobak) Fasekas. Loving mother of Janice (the late Joe) Strozza; cherished grandmother of Sherry Strozza, Julia Romano and Lisa (David) Thal and great grandmother of Dominic Bioni, Chloe Romano, Sydney Romano, Josie Thal and Zach Thal; sister of Virginia Coffer, Lillian Kusmierek, Ethel Gutzmer and Bill Fasekas; also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Arrangements entrusted to the Warchol Funeral Home Inc. (412.221.3333)

Peter R. Kusko, Sr.

Born February 27, 1950  •  Went to be with our Lord on Friday, February 19, 2016

Peter Robert Kusko Sr. of West Mifflin, on February 20, 2016, age 65. 

Beloved husband of 45 years of Lynda (Hrizo) Kusko; father of Nichole (Thomas) Vigna of Jefferson Hills and Peter (Angela) Kusko Jr. of Vanderbilt; brother of Jean (Mario) Bersani, Carol Ann (George) Zupko and Mary Margaret Zugell; grandfather of Katelyn, Rachel, Justin, Abrahm, Danika, Ivy and Isaiah. 

Peter was a Veteran of the Coast Guard serving during Vietnam.  He was an Evangelist serving JESUS and supported his ministry with his heating and cooling business.  Peter was also a member of the Church in Sutersville. 

Family and friends will be received at the SAVOLSKIS-WASIK-GLENN FUNERAL HOME INC., 3501 Main Street, Munhall on Monday and Tuesday 2-4 and 7-9 PM.  A Funeral Service will be Wednesday, 11 AM at Calvary Baptist Church, West Mifflin with Pastor Frank Rocco officiating. EVERYONE PLEASE MEET AT CHURCH.