Deacon Thomas Papinchak


Deacon Thomas Michael Papinchak, 81 of Windber, passed away on October 12, 2022, at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital with his loving family by his side. He was born on January 2, 1941, in Windber.

Thomas was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and spent 24 years as a dedicated Deacon for the Roman Catholic Church, presiding over SS. Cyril and Methodius and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishes in Windber. He previously served at St. Gregory and St. Barnabas parishes in Daisytown and Bonair. He truly lived his faith and his calling. A heart transplant recipient, Thomas relished every day and enjoyed spending time with family, gathering for the holidays, and traveling, especially to Aruba with his son Tom’s family. He had a special zest for life and a sincere interest in and compassion for everyone he met.

Thomas was the son of Andrew and Elizabeth (Rovnak) Papinchak. He is preceded in death by his parents. Thomas is survived by his devoted wife of 60 years Carol (Rizzo) Papinchak, and their children: Mary and husband Thomas Polacek, of Westmont; Laura and husband James Argenbright, of Westmont; and Thomas and wife Heather (Petronick) Papinchak, of Acme. He is also survived by grandchildren T.J. and wife Whitney Polacek; Joshua and wife Nikki Polacek; Sarah Polacek, Conner Polacek, Sierra Nesmith, Colton Nesmith, Sydney Papinchak, and Courtney Papinchak; great-grandchildren Teddy and Ellie Polacek; brother Dr. A. Ernest Papinchak, and sister Eleanor (Sis Papinchak) Wingard. He was also a beloved uncle to many nieces and nephews and was a trusted and fun-loving companion to countless friends and colleagues.

Thomas and his son co-founded Polymath Park in Acme, PA, where he served as a business advisor. He was also a partner in T.D.’s Treats, formerly in the Johnstown Galleria. Thomas retired from a 30+ year career in banking as Senior Executive Vice President for First Commonwealth National Bank.  He also spent more than 30 years as a volunteer fireman, serving as president and controller of the Windber Fire Co. #1.  He was a member and officer of many civic groups including past president of the Johnstown Chapter American Institute of Banking (AIB), the Windber Businessmen’s Association, and Somerset County Bank Association. He was a past treasurer and board member of the American Red Cross Johnstown Chapter and served on the board of directors as treasurer of Windber Hospital. He was an officer of the Holy Name Society of SS. Cyril and Methodius Church where he was also an usher and lector and was a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus as well as a member of the Color Guard.

A graduate of Windber Area High School and Cambria Rowe Business College, Thomas continued his education at the Pennsylvania School of Banking, Bucknell University, Mellon Bank Concentrated School of Banking, and AIB, Pennsylvania Banking Association and the Bank Administration Institute.

Friends received 2 to 4 and 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, October 16, 2022, and 4 to 7 p.m., Monday, October 17, 2022, at the William Kisiel Funeral Home, Windber. Funeral Mass at SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, Windber on Tuesday at 11 a.m. The Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Celebrant. Interment, Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Donate Life America at or mail to Donate Life America 701 East Byrd Street, 16th Floor Richmond, VA  23219. Every dollar that is contributed by the public to Donate Life America goes directly towards increasing the number of organ, eye and tissue donors, one person at a time. All contributions are 100% tax deductible.