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Conrad Leo Reuscher, 73, of 3008 Squab Hollow Rd., Kersey, formerly of 102 South Paul Rd., St. Marys, accepted his Lord and Saviorâ€™s invitation to come home on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.
He was born on February 27, 1940 in St. Marys to the late Benedict and Edna (Lanzel) Reuscher. On August 25, 1962, he married the love of his life, Donna Anderson Reuscher, who survives.
Born and raised in St. Marys, he graduated Central Catholic High School in 1958. He earned a bachelorâ€™s degree from St. Marys of Plains College (Dodge City, Kan.) in 1963 and secured his first teaching position in San Antonio, Texas in 1964 at St. Peter Claveer, where he coached a state champion basketball team and track. After returning to St. Marys in 1966, he began a 40-year teaching career in the Catholic school system. From 1965 until 1973 he taught eighth grade at the Sacred Heart School. In 1973 he moved to the former Elk County Christian High School where he taught history until his retirement in 2004.
During that time he roamed the halls as the Dean of Discipline. He will be remembered for his no-nonsense, gruff exterior but also his warm-hearted, gentle side. He also helped incorporate and presided over the Rotary sponsored Interact program at ECCHS.
With the help of several interested supporters, Con created the St. Marys Cavalier basketball program in 1966, comprised of sixth, seventh and eighth graders from the three local Catholic grade schools. Known for his strict discipline, relentless hustle and comprised of fundamentally sound players, he created a very successful program. The Cavs feared no one and each year played a demanding schedule with matchups against some of the top grade school teams from Erie, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Detroit, Mich.
After expanding the program to include third through fifth graders, he passed the reigns to his trusted assistants and became the head coach of the Crusaders at Elk County Christian for two seasons in 1975 and 1976.
A passionate gardener Con spent his summers growing some of the finest produce in the area. He was also an accomplished baker with his rye bread and breakfast rolls considered second to none. His greatest gift to his family was the role he played as the doting grandfather to his grandchildren. He took pure enjoyment from having his grandchildren around him either baking in the kitchen or playing in the garden. He was a life-long fan of the New York Yankees, Boston Celtics, Notre Dame, and Hobart football. In his younger days he enjoyed gathering with a group of friends and playing softball and cinch.
He is survived by his eight children, James (Patsy) of Sycamore, Ill., Melissa (John) Lundin of Kersey, Eric (Karen) of Geneva, N.Y., Douglas of St. Marys, Sarah (David) Zajdel of Johnstown, Joseph of St. Marys, Patricia (Joshua) Turley of Pittsburgh, and Mary (John) Petrucci of Cleveland, Ohio. He is also survived by his 14 grandchildren Jessica, Chelsea, Jacob, Matthew and Connor Reuscher, Eric and Anna Lundin, Karley and Alicia Reuscher, Zachary and Nicholas Reuscher, Elisabeth Zajdel, Liam Turley, and Evan Petrucci; seven siblings, Mary (James) Mallison, Richard (Mary Lou) Reuscher, Robert (Anne) Reuscher, Catherine Brennan, Alicia (Eugene) Gleixner, Timothy (Barbara) Reuscher and Thomas Reuscher; one sister-in-law, Mary Louise Reuscher; 42 nieces and nephews and numerous great nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Con was preceded in death by his brother, William, and brother-in-law, Alfred Brennan.
A funeral Mass for Conrad Leo Reuscher will be held at the St. Maryâ€™s Catholic Church on Church Street at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, with the Rev. John Beal officiating. Burial will follow in the St. Boniface Cemetery.
Family and friends will be received on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 at the Lynch-Radkowski Funeral Home on Center Street from 4 - 8 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made to the St. Marys Cavalier basketball program.
Online condolences may be made at www.lynch-radkowski .com.