Peacefully, on Wednesday, September 20, 2023. Son of the late John and Rose Marie Eberlein; beloved husband of 47 years to Mary Eberlein; loving father of Dawn Marie (John "Jay") Timko and Christopher (Heather) Eberlein; proud Pap of Krysta Eberlein, Skyler Eberlein, Abigail Eberlein, Kaleb Eberlein, and Gianna Timko; Brother of Paul (Diane) Eberlein, Dana (Rich) Reiger, and the late Alan Eberlein; Son-in-law of the late Larry (late Marge) and Kathy Macino; Brother-in-law of the late Lawrence Macino, George (Barb) Macino, Linda (Steve) Bladel, Elaine (Mike) Poliziani, Dom (Karen) Macino and Richard Palermo; nephew of Mary Ann (Don) Tristano; also survived by generations of nieces and nephews.
John was a valued member of the city of Pittsburgh public works division, retiring after 42 years. He was an avid fan of all the Pittsburgh sports teams and Notre Dame Football. John waited all week for Friday night Canevin Football games and Saturday Football with CalU, traveling all over the state. He also enjoyed supporting the Carlynton Girls Basketball team during their WPIAL run in the early 2000s. Many great memories were made after all the high school games at Rockefeller’s and parties in the parking lot with the Vulcans. He truly enjoyed being a part of the celebrations with the teams. He cherished family vacations to Ocean City, especially the evenings spent on the deck at the Golden Sands. Much like his mother, he watched the soap operas. His favorite show was General Hospital. He and his mom had weekly phone calls on Fridays to discuss the events on the show. He confused a lot of people by calling the remote control "the cube." He loved a good cigar and bourbon. His favorite snacks were canned mushrooms and potato chips. He always got excited when Krysta would bring him mushrooms from Jet's. Every time Gianna would sleep over, John would say, "Hey G, Can you get me the chips?" John was loved by so many people. The doctor in the ICU became emotional as he commented that he has never seen so many family members rally around a patient constantly around the clock. He will be deeply missed by all who loved him.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the SZAFRANSKI-EBERLEIN FUNERAL HOME, INC., where family and friends will be received on Sunday, September 24, 2023 from 2-6PM, and Monday, September 25, 2023 from 3-7PM at 101 Third Street, Carnegie. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in St. Raphael the Archangel Parish, Ss. Simon and Jude Church, on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at 10:30AM.
The family would like to thank the staff in the 10C ICU at UPMC Presbyterian for their care, compassion, love, and support through John’s brief stay. They were above and beyond!
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in John's name to:
UPMC Children's Hospital Foundation
PO Box 535240
Pittsburgh, PA 15253
Family Florals by:
Pete Donati and Sons
John H. Eberlein Eulogy
By Marcus Macino
Good morning, and thank you to everyone for joining us today to celebrate the life of my uncle, John Eberlein. The family and I thank you for your love and support.
When Chris reached out and asked me to speak about his dad on behalf of the family, my first thought was, “Absolutely I will… what an honor it will be.” Then I sat down and made a list of all the things I wanted to talk about, but this list quickly got up to 15…20…30 things, and I began to struggle to decide which direction to take this. Should I talk about how funny he was? He made us laugh all the time. And his laugh was the best. How about talking about how long he worked for Pittsburgh Public Works? I certainly couldn’t neglect to mention the red left arm he used to get from cruising around in his work truck. Should I lead with talking about how much he loved his family? More to come on this later, but rest assured, he absolutely did. What about mentioning that he was married to his beautiful and amazing wife for 47 years? Even when I saw him in the ICU the night before he passed, when Chris and I mentioned Aunt Mary, his eyes lit up. I sat there staring at this list of things that I had written down and realized that there was just no way to include everything because we would be here for the entire day. So I decided that a couple of stories were in order to really talk about who Uncle John was, but before I get into these couple of stories, let me at least mention a few things that didn’t make the cut:
• Uncle John heckling Chris and me as we played hockey on the deck or in the basement.
• Uncle John heckling Chris and me while playing wiffle ball in the backyard.
• Uncle John heckling Chris and me while playing video games.
(There’s a bit of a pattern here in case you didn’t notice.)
• Uncle John sitting in his recliner/chair that he loved to sit in.
• “The Cube” aka the remote as mentioned in obituary.
• The infamous “paint can” story where Chris was instructed to open a can of paint by Uncle John, and he did…with a can opener.
• “The Bomb” – his silver Buick that was just awesome.
• How I was convinced he was John Candy from about 2nd grade through 4th grade – mostly because of “The Bomb.”
• Ocean City and how he much loved it there.
There are probably another dozen or so memories that I wrote down, but I just don’t have the time to talk about them all. With that said, I’d like to share a couple of stories about my experiences with Uncle John. Hopefully, these will resonate with everyone and provide some context about who he was.
The first story that I’d like to share is about is being coached by our dads and friends’ dads while playing football here at Saints Simon and Jude. My dad Dom Macino, Big Jim Slusser, Big Dan Butera, Larry Brewer, Ken Bobitski, many others, and of course, Uncle John. What a group of men! And a special thank you to my mom, Aunt Mary, Donna Slusser and all the other wives of these men who decided that leaving them unsupervised while in charge of a bunch of grade school boys was a good idea. Good call, ladies! When I tell you that we all hated them at practice, I’m underselling it. These guys used to make us run until we couldn’t stand, and Uncle John was always the one to decide when sprints ended. I can still hear him blowing that whistle to run the hill another time. To this day, my blood pressure rises every time I hear a whistle blow. Even seeing that hill earlier on the way into church, I felt that anxiety creeping back a little. But being an athlete when you’re coached by people who know you so well can be tough, primarily because they know what you’re capable of and not afraid to push you to achieve it. Personally, I think Uncle John and the rest of these guys just liked to see us suffer.
Another story that helps provide some context about who he was involves my childhood. As many of you know, my brother Eric was often in and out of the hospital when we were kids, so I spent a lot of time at the Eberlein house. This meant that I was basically another “pain in the butt” kid that Aunt Mary and Uncle John had to deal with. But neither of them ever looked at it that way. They treated me the same way they treated Dawn and Chris. At the time, I hated that. I felt like I should be treated differently because of the special circumstances. But since I’ve become an adult, with a family of my own, I’ve come to realize what my aunt and uncle actually did for me and how my parents trusted them enough to basically have them help raise me. And I think that speaks volumes about the type of people we’re talking about here, and specifically Uncle John. In today’s world, there aren’t many people that I would trust to help raise my children, so I can only imagine the predicament that my parents were in when trying to care for Eric while dealing with two other children. I still remember watching Notre Dame football games when I was at the house, and how I couldn’t stand them, but because Chris loved them, and Paul and Uncle John loved them, well so did I…at least for a few years until I wised up!
Now I told you those stories to tell you this one: I can tell you the exact moment when I realized who Uncle John was. It was February 1st, 2005. I went to Ohio Valley Hospital to meet the two newest members of our family, Kaleb and Abigail. Upon arriving, I went up to the maternity ward to see everyone and meet the new additions. As I walked in, the first person I saw was Uncle John. Do you know how people will overuse metaphors and exaggerate? Well, no joke, he literally looked like a kid in a candy store. He was standing with his face pressed up against the glass of the nursery, just smiling ear to ear. When he saw me, he motioned for me to come over. This big man, who used to make me run until I nearly vomited, and who used to yell at me for doing things that all kids do, was now an emotional mess. He put his arm around me, pulled me close to him and he said, “Look at them…look how perfect they are. Have you ever seen anything so perfect?” And he did this with every single person who walked by. He was just so happy and so proud of his grandchildren…all of you. Krysta, Skyler, Gianna, Kaleb and Abby. You were his world. And as I stood there with Uncle John, I remember thinking that he had lost his mind, mainly because I just had not seen this side of him before. But what I’ve come to realize is this is who he always was, I just didn’t understand it or appreciate it until I got older. He was a simple man. A simple man who loved his family, his bourbon and Notre Dame football. I was blessed to get to spend 42 years with him, but I really don’t think I appreciated him for who he was until the last 20 years or so. I’m glad I got to really know you, Uncle John. I’m glad I got to sit down and have some drinks with you recently and just talk. I’m glad that I got to see you when you were in the ICU before you passed. I’m glad that I got to tell you that I loved you because there’s always tomorrow, until there isn’t.
I love all of you. Rest easy, Uncle John.