HERMITAGE, Pennsylvania – Richard “Dick” F. Yarzab, of Hermitage, formerly of Pittsburgh, passed away at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 17 in Garden Way Place, Hermitage, following a long period of declining health. He was 71.
Mr. Yarzab was born on October 28, 1945 in Sharon, a son of Frank and Irene (Popp) Yarzab.
Dick was a kindred spirit who fought for peace and civil rights in the 1960’s and never lost those values. He had a brilliant mind and was valedictorian of Farrell High School in 1963, where he earned a scholarship for first prize in a national essay contest. Dick earned his bachelor’s degree in geophysics from Penn State University, State College, Pennsylvania, with honors. He received one “B” in his educational career, which was in physical education. Dick was offered a full scholarship for graduate studies from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Carnegie Mellon University but instead chose to serve in the Teacher’s Corps in inner cities of Alabama, where he earned his master’s degree in education.
He later served in the Peace Corps in Honduras.
Dick worked for many years in fuel research at Penn State and later Gulf Oil. He then worked for the Carnegie Group, developing artificial intelligence software. He retired from UPMC, where he helped write software that is still used to track and share patient records throughout the UPMC system, among many other things.
Dick was a private man and an incessant reader. He had read over 700 books on his kindle and read the NY Times and Washington Post daily. He also followed several scientific sites on the internet. He was recently thrilled about the discovery of the Higgs boson by the CERN particle collider.
Dick will be dearly missed by his family which includes two sisters, Linda Harkless and her husband, Dan, Farrell, who were also his caregivers and Laurie Quinn and her husband, Paul, Landenberg, Pennsylvania; a brother, Gary Yarzab, Farrell; a niece, Becky Sabino and her husband, Marc, Farrell; a nephew, Jason Harkless and his wife, Heather, Punta Gorda, Florida; a great-nephew, Skylar Ashley and a great-niece, Lillian Harkless, both of Florida.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
The family suggest memorial contributions be made to Planned Parenthood or the Red Cross.
There are no calling hours or public service.
Arrangements handled by J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 1090 East State St., Sharon.
Interment will be held at Oakwood Cemetery, Hermitage.