Father Robert J. Yetsko, T.O.R., 57, of the Third Order Regular Franciscans of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, died suddenly on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, in an automobile accident in LaJose, Pa.
He was born on July 2, 1956, in Altoona and given the name Kevin.
He is the son of Doris J. Gates and the late Robert J. Yetsko. He was a graduate of McNelis Catholic Grade School, Altoona, and Bishop Guilfoyle High School, Altoona.
After high school graduation, Father Robert entered the Third Order Regular on Aug. 24, 1974.
He professed his temporary vows on June 1, 1976, and his solemn vows on June 1, 1981.
Father Robert was ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop James Hogan of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown at the Immaculate Conception Chapel, St. Francis University, Loretto, Pa., on June 9, 1984.
Father Robert received his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from St. Francis University in May 1979, and his Masters of Divinity degree from University of St. Michael College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
During his long and faithful ministry, Father Robert served as follows: 1984-1986, campus ministry and instructor in philosophy, St. Francis University, Loretto, Pa.; 1986-1989, pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, Patton, Pa.; 1989-1992 pastoral care, Southside Hospital, Pittsburgh; 1992-1994, parochial vicar, St Maria Goretti Church, Arlington, Texas; 1994-2000, pastor, St. Matthew Church, Pittsburgh; 2000-2008, pastor, Ss. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, Punxsutawney; 2008-2010, local minister, St. Francis Friary, Loretto, Pa.; 2010-2012, pastor, Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Church, Johnstown, Pa.; 2012-present, pastor, Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Church, Sykesville, and Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church, DuBois.
Father Robert is survived by his mother, Doris of Altoona; a sister, Melanie and husband Dr. David Lee, Altoona; a sister, Anne and husband Kenneth Macklin, Altoona; a niece, Olivia Walton, and nephew, Sean Walton, Altoona; and his Franciscan Brothers.
Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Church, 104 Shaffer St., Sykesville, at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013.
Friends will be received at the Chapel of St. Francis Friary at Mt. Assisi, Loretto, Pa., on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, from 2 until 5 p.m., and 6:30 until 7 p.m.; and the Vigil service will be celebrated at 7 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at 11 a.m. at St Francis Friary Chapel at Mt. Assisi with the Very Rev. Richard L. Davis, T.O.R., Minister Provincial, as principal celebrant.
Following the Mass, internment will take place at the Franciscan Friarsâ€™ Cemetery on the campus of St. Francis University, Loretto, Pa.
Memorial contributions may be made to support retired T.O.R. Friars, c/o T.O.R. Friars Retirement Fund, St. Francis Friary, and P.O. Box 137, Loretto, PA, 15940.
Arrangements by Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church Street, Gallitzin, PA 16641.