The Reverend Ronald E. Gmerek, 70, died Thursday morning, February 11, 2016, in Erie. Pa.
Father Gmerek was born on June 10, 1945, in Morann, Pa.,
the son of Emilian and Elizabeth (Mick) Gmerek.
After graduating from Moshannon Valley High School, he attended Gannon College in Erie, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology before entering Christ the King Seminary in Buffalo to complete his formation for the priesthood. Fr. Gmerek was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Erie on May 20, 1971, in St. Peter Cathedral, by Bishop Alfred Watson.
Father Gmerek began his priestly ministry teaching at Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage, while assisting at St. Michael Parish in Greenville on the weekends. In 1976, he moved to a position at Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, while serving as weekend assistant at St. Jude, Erie. In 1986, he was appointed chaplain for Harborcreek Youth Services, a position which he held until 1993. He undertook additional studies at Penn State University from 1993-1996. During his studies, he lived at Christ the King Parish in Houtzdale. In 1996, Fr. Gmerek taught at DuBois Central Catholic High School, while assisting at Immaculate Conception Parish, Brookville, on the weekends. He was appointed to teach at Gannon University in August 1996 and he served on the faculty there until 1998. During his time at Gannon University, he also served as weekend assistant at Our Lady of Peace Parish, Erie. He had to leave the active priestly ministry due to his health in 1998. He was assigned as Priest in Residence in Our Mother of Sorrows Parish where he served at St. Ann, St. Casimir, and Holy Family Churches.
Fr. Gmerek is survived by his sisters, Barbara (Francis) Moore (State College, Pa.) and Diana (Andrew) Kitko (Michigan); his sister-in-law, Gloria (Raymond); two special nephews, Gregg and Dustin Heaton; a special niece, Theresa Heaton; along with many other nieces and nephews..
He was preceded in death by his parents;
by his sister, Shirley; and by his brothers, Maxemilian and Raymond.
Visitation will be on Thursday, February 18, at St. Casimir Church, 629 Hess Avenue, Erie, PA 16503 from 9:30-10:45 a.m.,
followed by the Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m.
Bishop Lawrence Persico will be the main celebrant of the funeral.
Burial will take place privately in St. Barbara Cemetery, Houtzdale, Pa.
The Mark G. Razanauskas Funeral Home, 701 East Avenue, Erie, is handling funeral services.
Razanauskas Funeral Home
701 East Ave
Erie, PA 16503