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Daniel Joseph Peter Smicik, 81, longtime resident of Bethel Township, Armstrong County, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, at Concordia Lutheran Ministries, Cabot. Dan was born Nov. 30, 1942, in New Kensington, a son of the late Sophie (Gawrys) and Frank Smicik. Dan graduated kindergarten at St. Mary of Czestochowa school, grade school at Mt. Saint Peter's School where he played basketball, and high school at Ken High, Class of 1961. He went on to earn a bachelor of science degree in Earth Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1986, as a returning adult, followed by a graduate certificate in human resources development and a master's degree in adult dducation from Penn State in 1994. He also carried certifications as an EMT, mine inspector, assistant mine foreman and mine examiner. After working at Barking Coal Mine and a brief stint teaching at Immaculate Conception Parish School in Clarion from 1967 to 1968, Dan embarked on a meaningful career including virtually every area of underground mining, beginning as a miner at Consolidated Coal Co. and U.S. Steel Mining Co. and culminating in the position of bituminous division program manager for the PA Bureau of Deep Mine Safety before retiring in 2005. Prior to that position, he was a bituminous underground mine inspector supervisor authoring and improving policies, procedures, guidelines and regulations, which significantly advanced the safety of Pennsylvania's miners. Previously, he honed his notorious analytical and investigative skills as a mine inspector conducting accident and incident investigations. He particularly enjoyed organizing and judging mine rescue competitions for mine rescue teams. Dan was a member of the United Mine Workers of America. Additionally, Dan and his wife were entrepreneurs, building diverse family businesses including Smicik's Christmas Tree Farm, where he loved seeing families make memories year after year. Together, they also improved many dilapidated properties, providing respectable, affordable housing to many. An avid sportsman, Dan connected with his children and grandchildren through hunting, fishing, skiing, cycling and jogging. His passionate interests included history, historical geology, politics, and automobiles. He was active in the pro-life movement and served on the board of the Kiski Valley Crisis Pregnancy Center. He was a past member of St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, Leechburg, and was currently attending St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Freeport. Dan is survived by his wife of 52 years, Rose Marie (Egan) Smicik; daughters, Daniele and Thomas Livingston, of Buffalo Township, and Janice and Brian Colcombe of Uniontown, Ohio; his grandchildren, Mark Livingston and Mackensie Livingston, Maximilian, Peter, Joshua, Andrew, Katerina, Saramaria and Sophia Colcombe; his sister, Marylin (Bill) Jaszcak; and sister-in-law, Bernadette "Cookie" Smicik. He is preceded by both parents and his brother, Frank Smicik. Family and friends will be received from 2:30 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at REDMOND FUNERAL HOME INC., Freeport. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Freeport, with Father Bimbot Alcontin officiating. Burial will be held in St. Mary Cemetery, New Kensington.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Unbound Child Sponsorship https://www.unbound.org/donate/general-donation1 Elmwood Ave, Kansas City, KS 66103, or Center for Bio-Ethical Reform PO Box 219 Lake Forest, CA 92609 (949) 206-0600, or Priests for Life, PO Box 236695, Cocoa, FL 32923