PANIAHA, William "Willie" George, 63, of Joffre, passed away peacefully on Friday afternoon, Aug. 31, 2012, in his home, with his family at his side after a courageous three month battle with cancer.
He was born on June 1, 1949, a son of the late John and Margaret Kvak Paniaha.
After graduating from Union High School in Burgettstown he worked for Weirton Steel before being drafted into the United States Army. He served in the 2nd of the 8th Air Calvary in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged a recipient of the Vietnam Service Medal and The Purple Heart.
He retired from Weirton Steel in 1999 where he worked in many capacities including as a machinist and a carpenter.
A member of the VFW, Owls Club, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, he enjoyed spending time at his cottage in Pymatuning, fishing, gardening and spending time with his friends.
His wife, Deborah Mary Kulak Paniaha, whom he married on Nov. 25, 2005, survives.
Surviving in addition to his wife is his son William Gregory Paniaha and wife Kim of North Carolina; a daughter, Jennifer Suzanne Paniaha of Zelienople; two grandchildren, Gantry Joseph and Alexandra Brynn Paniaha; a step- daughter, Rebecca Lynne of Ingram; a brother, Robert Paniaha of Cherry Valley; a sister, Kathy Schembechler of Colorado; and several nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received noon-4 and 6-9 p.m. Monday in the Lee & Martin Funeral Home, 73 Highland Ave., Burgettstown, PA, where a Blessing Service will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012, at 11 a.m.
Internment, with full military honors, will follow in the Our Lady of Lourdes Cemetery, Burgettstown.
If so desired, memorial donations may be made in his memory to the PA State Police Camp Cadet Program of Somerset County, 142 Sagamore St., Somerset, PA 15501.