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Dear Family, Friends and Richland Marine Customers,
On Thursday, April 20, 2023, our deeply loved husband and father, Pete A. Yelovich, passed
away at home. He was born in Windber, PA, on June 12, 1941, and was a lifelong resident of
Central City. He is survived by his high school sweetheart and beloved wife of 60 years,
Berniece (Palya), brother James B. Yelovich (m. Patricia), sister Rebecca (Sanzo, m. Joe), sister
Kate (Kathleen) Yelovich, and Ralph Conrad (brother-in-law, m. sister Karolyn), sister-in-law
Betty Hordubay (Palya), and sister-in-law Joanne Marginot (Palya) and husband Charles
Marginot. Pete and Berniece had two children, Kristine Yelovich, and Peter A. Yelovich
(Kimberly Lamont), two grandchildren, Monique Roberts (m. Charles/Bugsy) and Trae A.
Yelovich, and two great grandchildren Ashton Roberts and Brooklyn Roberts. Pete was a
former member of the Knights of Columbus and various sportsman organizations.
As the condolences began pouring in, the words most often used to describe our Pete were
“kind, good, sweet and humble.” He was, in fact, all of those and much more but there was a
streak of kindness in him that ran bone deep and never wavered. If you knew him or simply
spent some time talking with him, it would become evident. It permeated his personal life and
set the tone for his businesses, which he ran in partnership with his wife and son.
The marriage of Pete and Berniece set them on a path of togetherness that encompassed both
personal and business pursuits. Their marriage was a strong and lasting bond, filled with
respect, gratitude and humor, a true feat after working together for most of their union. Soon
after they married, Pete wanted to try his hand at a local business and they bought the former
Bonanza Tavern in Central City, a favorite gathering place for Steeler football games, dart and
pool leagues, Halloween parties, live bands and dances and the best pizzas around. Pete was
the consummate bartender, empathetic listener, confidant and keeper of all secrets. Always
with an entrepreneurial mindset, Pete and Berniece eventually added a restaurant and the
business became a family affair. After a quarter century in the restaurant/bar trade, they sold
the Bonanza Tavern to pursue other ventures.
Opening a new chapter, Pete and Berniece ventured into boat rental concessions in multiple
state parks, including Shawnee, Glendale, Laurel Hill, Canoe Creek and Keystone. If you were a
recreational boater or fisherman/woman, you might have rented a pontoon or v-bottom boat
from Pete and his son. And if you liked to share fishing lore, you probably had a great
conversation with Pete about lures and reels, the best coves to keep secret and legendary
lunkers. Pete and Berniece invested in Richland Marine during this timeframe and eventually
stepped away from the state park concessions to focus solely on the business located in
Johnstown, in partnership with their son. Pete was the front-of-store salesperson and loved the
opportunity to speak with customers as they stepped through the door of Richland Marine.
New and existing customers alike experienced not just the depth and breath of Pete’s marine
experience, but also his genuine interest and wit. His goal was to create an environment that
fostered customers for life. Richland Marine was the culmination of a lifetime of successful
After the birth of Pete’s grandson, Trae Allen, it wasn’t unusual to find Pete walking around the
Richland Marine showroom holding Trae, teaching him numbers, words and colors using
showroom merchandise. Trae remembers his Pap playing with him and chasing him around the
building in his little yellow Corvette. It also wasn’t unusual to find Pete engaged in
conversations that had nothing to do with boating. His life-long hobbies and deepest passions
were hunting and fishing. He was a consummate sportsman and taught his son, nephews and
grandson ethical hunting and fishing practices. Pete and his son won many fishing
tournaments together, including the 2018 Hope Volunteer Fire Department Father’s Day
Tournament. He was a master storyteller of the big kills and the lunkers that got away and was
never more in his element than when he was at the hunting camp that he shared with his son,
nephews, brother and close friends. His many hunting trophies attest to his prowess in the
woods. Pete was also an avid sports fan and his preferences were college basketball, Steelers
football, and baseball at all levels. He could baffle you by citing player statistics from memory
yet often couldn’t remember where his glasses were... he would laugh, shake his head and ask
his wife, who always knew exactly where he had left them.
The last year of Pete’s life was consumed by a diagnosis of AML (acute myeloid leukemia) and
treatment. He was steadfast in his love for his family and desire to beat the survival odds. While
the outcome was not what we had hoped for, he is finally pain-free, at peace and forever in our
hearts and memories.
Please join the family for a Memorial Mass for Pete on June 10, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Church in Central City (Wheeler Street), Father Aron Maghsoudi Celebrant.
Please make donations to the Leukemia Society in lieu of flowers.