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Stephen Guy Unger
Unger – Stephen Guy, 94, “Ungaro”, of East Conemaugh, went to be with the Lord on December 23, 2021. Born on September 24, 1927, in Johnstown. Son of the late Michael and Mary Louise (Pingatore) Unger. Also preceded in death by his wife, Patricia L. (Fisher) Unger, an infant daughter; brothers-in-law, James, Robert E., Jr., and Richard Fisher. Survived by loving daughter, Mary Jo, wife of Thomas Reighard, East Conemaugh; grandchildren, Thomas Jr., and Nicholas, both of Harrisburg, PA; sisters-in-law, Donna, wife of Eugene Molnar, Mundys Corner, JoAnn (Conrad) Fisher, Parkhill, JoAnn (Pender) Fisher, Mineral Point, and Nancy (Mateer) Fisher, Vinco; aunt, Ruth (Pingatore) Stumpo, Johnstown, and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and many special friends. Stephen was proud of growing up in Old Conemaugh Borough and his Italian heritage. His family’s last name is actually Ungaro, but they changed it to Unger. They attended St. Anthony Catholic Church (now St. Clare of Assisi) in Woodvale. Something many people may not know is that he took tap dancing lessons as a kid. He was a 1945 graduate of Johnstown High School. Stephen was a US Army Veteran serving during the Korean War. He was employed at Atlas Hospital Equipment, and later at Cambria Slag Plant, Parkhill. Stephen retired from Miller Picking, where he was a welder for many years. He was a member of the Church of the Transfiguration, where he served as an usher, collection counter, and parish council member. Stephen also volunteered many hours for fundraisers and gun raffles. He was a very active, lifelong member of the Conemaugh Independence Volunteer Fire Company, where he served as Secretary, Line Officer, and Membership Secretary for many years, as well as volunteering much of his time with fundraising. Steve never wanted to embrace the use of a computer or modern technology but was able to do his work well by handwriting minutes at meetings and then using his typewriter to type them. Every name on a membership card was typed individually. Stephen was a life member of the Cambria County Regional Firefighter’s Association earning the inaugural 2020 Steve Unger Outstanding Achievement Award for 36 years of service as Secretary, President, and for serving on many committees. This award will now be given out annually in his honor. He was the longest serving officer in the association. Steve’s ability to recall events that happened in the past dealing with a fire department’s history, a sports team, or any other topic was amazing. Prior to the pandemic he was assisting with preparations for the Cambria County Regional Firefighter Association’s 100th Anniversary celebration. He could be considered one of the founding fathers of the Cambria County Fire School, who helped take it from its infancy to one of the finest fire schools in the state of Pennsylvania. He touched many lives across the state throughout his life in the fire service. He was well known and respected by many of his brother firefighters. Steve was a person where the word “brotherhood” really meant something to him. Stephen was also a member of the Firemen’s Association of the State of PA, where he served on the Law Committee. He was an honorary Past President for the Central District Volunteer Firemen’s Association and served on the Board of Control and Legislative Committee for many years. He was a member of the Western PA Firemen’s Association serving on the Law and Legislative Committee and Board of Control. He served on too many committees to list and earned several awards during his years of involvement with these organizations. He also enjoyed attending all the annual conventions for these organizations. Steve especially loved a good parade and marching band music. He enjoyed going to the Fire Club to socialize and drink his pony bottles of Rolling Rock. He could be found sitting on the bench outside of the club or watching sports on the big screen TV. Steve’s love of the fire department, fire club, and all the members was evident when you witnessed his involvement in most events or activities. Stephen enjoyed all sports, especially the Conemaugh Valley Blue Jays, Greater Johnstown Trojans, Penn State, and the Steelers. He was also a coach for many years for Duke Andrews Midget League Basketball and a basketball tournament judge. He was also an umpire for Conemaugh Valley Youth League Baseball. More than anything he loved spending time with his family, especially his grandsons. Stephen was a former member of the Conemaugh-Franklin American Legion Post # 633. Friends will be received from 2-8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Baker-Harris Funeral Chapel, Conemaugh, where Vigil for the deceased will be held. Fire Department service will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening at the funeral home. Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday at the Church of the Transfiguration, Fr. Robert C. Hall, Pastor. Entombment will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery Mausoleum. The family suggests contributions be directed to the Church of the Transfiguration or to the Conemaugh Independence Volunteer Fire Company in memory of Stephen. Online condolences may be posted to www.wharrisfuneralhome.com.
To the Unger family and members of the Conemaugh Independence Volunteer Fire Company, the officers and members of the Ebensburg Dauntless Fire Company extend our sincere condolences on the passing of Steve Unger. Steve's love for and commitment to the fire service was second to none. His passing, while truly sad, leaves a legendary attestment to his willingness to serve Conemaugh and all of Cambria County.
Ronald J. Springer, President, Dauntless Fire Company Dec 26 2021 1:35 PM
Steve & I spent many good times at Central District conventions.Tom Brinkley,Past President Central District
Tom Brinkley Dec 24 2021 10:42 PM
So long my good friend. You will always be in my fondest memories working together at the fire club taking care of the fire company and club business as well as the many times we umpired together for CVYL. Rest in peace.
George Oleksa Dec 24 2021 7:33 PM
Mary jo, Tom and nick and tommy. So sorry for your loss. Loved "uncle Steve" and always felt like I was a part of the whole family. I'm sure he's hanging with my dad, uncle rich, and his beloved wife, patty. Much love to you all❤️❤️❤️
Francine Knowles Dec 24 2021 6:22 PM
To the family,
Steve was a great man. I served as secretary of my fire dept. for many years. When a member passed away, I would call him to see what benefits he/she was entitled to. He knew exactly what if any benefits they were to have, how many years they were in the fire service, and always had a nice story to tell me about the fireman/firewoman. He would always stop to say hello to me. He always had a great story to tell me. I will forever miss him!!!
Jackson Twp. Fire Dept.
Angela Shormaker Dec 24 2021 4:53 PM