Robert Thomas "Bob" Buriak, of Renovo, died Feb. 16, 2021 of natural causes.
Bob was born Dec. 21, 1942, as the younger brother of John Buriak Jr., the sons of Irene and John Buriak Sr. of Ford City. He was preceded in death in 2003 by his wife, his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Carol Jean (Walbert) Buriak.
Bob found his early passions in the sport of gridiron football under the Friday night lights, an association that would go on to shape his life, even meeting his wife, a majorette in the marching band. Bob obtained his teaching credentials attending Xavier University and Clarion University, where he played college ball and was drafted by the semi-professional Wheeling Ironmen of West Virginia of the Continental Football League.
Fate would have it that Bob and Carol would rather be pleasantly surprised with the start of their family, and Bob left playing football to raise his family, also beginning his career in education while coaching high school and college football across Pennsylvania. Bob's sons, Robert Jr., Daniel and Michael Buriak, would fill out the sibling team roster as football ran deep and continues to be influential in all their lives today.
Bob's family also included daughters-in-law, Jeannette and Tara, and the next generation of five grandchildren, Skylar, Mannon, Bojay, Brady and Kailey. Framed pictures were proudly displayed at Bob's cabin retreat, where his friends, the bear, elk and deer enjoyed his company.
Bob found both solace and inspiration in the Pennsylvania woods while fishing, hunting, stocking trout and sharing the big, exaggerated tales of those mountains at the local restaurants and stores.
Bob's family would like to recognize the kindness and thank his friends in the beautiful Pine Creek Valley, Kettle Creek, the Tamarack mountain, Mix Run and throughout the Pennsylvania woods for supporting their father to continue the journey of his later years without his wife by his side. We return our father to the mountains, where he and our mother, Carol, will remain together again.
A family service and burial will be conducted at the Waterville Cemetery.
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