Longtime Clarion Professor Dies at Age 81

| December 31, 2017

Dr. Nicholas John Bezak, 81, of Clarion, Pennsylvania passed away on Thursday December 28, 2017, at his home.

He was born June 17, 1936, in Jefferson County, Ohio, the eldest child of the late Nick and Mary (Zadanski) Bezak of Mingo Jct., Ohio.

Nicholas was a 1954 graduate of Wintersville High School and a 1958 Summa Cum Laude (highest honors) graduate of The College of Steubenville in Mathematics. He went on to receive a Masters of Mathematics at The Carnegie Institute of Technology and a PhD in Mathematics at The University of Pittsburgh. He worked for several years in the 1960’s as a Fortran Programmer at Gulf Research in Pittsburgh developing algorithms for analyzing the presence of oil reserves worldwide before settling on a career of teaching Mathematics at Clarion State College. He was Professor of Mathematics at Clarion College from 1968 to 2001.

He was a member of the American Mathematical Society and The St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Mingo Jct., Ohio. Nicholas took a keen interest in keeping up on family and neighbor matters, especially through contributing to the well being of his mother in her later years. He also spent considerable time monitoring the management of the family farm in Ohio which he visited often.

Downtown Clarion was his home and he walked to most of his services and he loved shopping at the local farmer’s markets. He was a dedicated environmentalist and stayed well informed on most national and international matters. He especially liked the great horned owls that he remembered from his childhood and often noted that they are no longer heard on the farm. He had clear memories of the effects of the great depression and World War II on family and family friends from that era and memories of the family farm before the arrival of electricity and the telephone. He never lost his connection with common working people and essentially chose to live among them.

One of his core beliefs was that “good citizens” pay their fair share of taxes if they are able, one should contribute to good causes that they believe in and one should be frugal. Other traits that made him less in tune with today’s world was the swearing off most modern conveniences like push-button phones, new cars, wireless devices of all types, credit cards, and yes, even computers. The early Franciscan Brothers and the professors at The College of Steubenville educated him well. Mathematically speaking he may have been ahead of his time. Time will tell.

Nicholas is survived by his two sisters Loretta (Kenneth) Hass of Weirton, WV, Suanne (Drexel) Dawson of Wintersville, OH; three brothers, Edward (Carla) Bezak of Steubenville, James (Margaret Schwartz) Bezak of North Middlesex, VT, Samuel (Holly) Bezak of Mingo Jct., OH; an aunt, Peggy (Luther) Hudson of Canal Fulton, OH; several nieces and nephews, friends, former students and colleagues.

Friends will be received at the Wheeler Funeral Home, 101 Longview Ave., Mingo Junction, OH on Thursday January 4th from 4-7 p.m. Friends will also be received at St. Andrew Orthodox Church on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of his funeral service at 11:00 a.m. with Fr. John Kopcha, officiating. Interment will follow at St. Andrew Cemetery in Mingo Junction.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Andrew Orthodox Church, 100 Summit Ave., Mingo Junction, OH 43938.

Offer condolences at www.wheelerfuneralhomes.com.

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Category: Obituaries