Lonnie Joseph Prah, 81, of Latrobe, died Sunday, June 9, 2019, surrounded by family. He died after a four-month battle with a spinal infection and complications of diabetes. Born June 22, 1937, in New Derry, Lonnie was the son of the late Joseph and Florence (France Simpson) Prah. Lonnie leaves behind his wife of 60 years, Eleanor Ruth (Stefl), who was the love of his life since the day they met at a square dance in high school. They enjoyed gardening, fishing and working on projects at the house in Latrobe, where he grew up. Their lives revolved around their daughters, Julie A. Curtin and Pamela M. Prah; and granddaughters, Pamela Y. Curtin and Kathrine E. Curtin. His face would light up when any of them walked in the room. He would greet them with an enthusiastic "Well, hello there!" that made them feel special and loved. Lonnie was a fun dad. He went ice skating and sled riding with his daughters in the winter; went fishing, swam and played softball with them in the summer and always won at badminton. But whatever season, he made them laugh, whether watching cartoons or telling corny jokes. He was generous with his time and attention. As "Pappy," Lonnie nurtured his granddaughters' love of the outdoors, teaching them to garden, bird watch, fish, catch butterflies and fly kites. Cherished memories include spending Saturdays at their home, pool parties and a trip to Walt Disney World. In addition to his wife, daughters and granddaughters, Lonnie is survived by his sister, Karen Panebianco. When they were young, Lonnie used to ride his sister on his bike's handlebars to school. Later, he would walk her down the aisle when she married, standing in for their father who had passed. He was "Uncle Lonnie" to many nieces and nephews. Lonnie was a fan of the Steelers, The Andy Griffith Show and going out to eat. He loved music, ranging from Elvis and other 1950s tunes to polkas. His love of music began early when he learned to play the accordion and was a member of the Jolly Boys polka band. Lonnie enjoyed going in car rides and going out to eat with Connie and the late Dick Armel. As a sportsman, Lonnie enjoyed fishing and hunting pheasants, rabbits and deer with his dad and uncles. In his youth, he was a member of the Peanut Ramblers and United Church of Christ softball teams. Lonnie attended Whitney School and graduated from Hurst High School in 1955. Shortly after, he joined the Air Force with his buddy, the late Nevin Armel. They were told there would be girls behind every tree (he was later sent to Labrador, Canada, where there were no trees, a familiar and favorite joke of his). Lonnie worked in telecommunications. He retired in 1999 from Newcomer Products Inc., in Latrobe, where he was a lead man in the tip room. He had been a member of the Slovene National Benefit Society and St. Cecilia Catholic Church, in Whitney. Lonnie will be remembered for his friendly smile, gentle demeanor and sense of humor. He was a good, nice man who didn't speak ill of others; a real inspiration. Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the LEO M. BACHA FUNERAL HOME INC., 2072 Route 130, Pleasant Unity. A funeral liturgy will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday in the funeral home with the Rev. James F. Podlesny, OSB, officiating. Interment will follow in St. Vincent Cemetery with full military honors accorded by the VFW Post No. 33, Greensburg Honor Guard. To honor Lonnie's enjoyment of going out to eat, rather than sending flowers, he would have loved knowing that you were spending time with loved ones over a meal. www.bachafh.com.
To send flowers to Lonnie's family, please visit our floral section.