Former Indiana, Pennsylvania resident Thomas A. Brubaker, 80, passed through this life to his heavenly home on March 24, 2021 after a valiant battle with Pancreatic cancer. His devotion to his family and his firm belief in God supported him in his struggle and ultimately gave him peace. Thomas was diagnosed with cancer in February of this year. In 2001 Thomas was diagnosed with cancer of the epiglotti. Due to early detection and treatment, he was able to overcome the cancer.
Mr. Brubaker was born March 01, 1941, in Gary, Indiana to Russell and Josephine Brubaker.
After graduating from Indiana Area high school in 1961, Thomas served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Aeolus. After his military service, Thomas was employed by the Indiana First National Bank and then entered into an owner/operator partnership of the Indiana News Stand on Main Street. Late one evening as Thomas was closing, two armed robbers entered the store; one held Thomas at gunpoint. It was at that moment that Thomas made a promise to God that he would change his ways if his life was spared. Fortunately, Thomas survived the event and held true to his promise. While working in the energy sector with Homer City Coal Processing Corporation he began attending Old Mahoning Baptist Church where he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. Thomas’ faithful service began by teaching Sunday School, Bible School, adult Bible studies, singing in the choir - of which one highlight was singing in a quartet with former Boston Patriots fullback, Jim Nance; and ministering to passersby when the opportunity arose. Even as a young man, Thomas selflessly volunteered his time in helping other families with children who had mental or physical disabilities. This compassion developed from caring for a sibling with cerebral palsy.
In 2002 after a diagnosis of heart disease, Thomas retired from Homer City Coal Processing Corp. As part of his heart disease treatment, in 2014, Thomas participated in a world-wide medical trial for a revolutionary pacemaker - The Medtronic Micra. Unlike other pacemakers, the Micra is implanted inside the heart's left ventricle. At the time, Thomas was only the 2nd recipient of the “bullet shaped” device in the state of Pennsylvania; 15th in the United States; and 69th in the entire world. The device provided many years of flawless heart support to Thomas as well as priceless data for the medical trial and cardiologists.
Thomas enjoyed watching his favorite college football team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish; Clint Eastwood Westerns; and anything associated with war history (especially the 2016 film “Hacksaw Ridge”) and marksmanship. In fact, one of Thomas’ favorite pastimes was spending time with his three boys target shooting. He used his passion of marksmanship to not only teach his sons how to shoot, but also core values of discipline and respect. He also had a “can-do” attitude and applied that to furniture refinishing and/or DIY projects with his home or automobiles.
Out and about, Thomas could easily be located by the sound of his whistling or laughter from an all to common fun-loving conversation with a stranger. Among friends and family, Thomas was always willing, and at times the leader, of hijinks that made gatherings fun and memorable.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Donna; three sons, Scott (Melaney) grandson Tyler, granddaughter Katelyn of Home PA; Aaron (Becky) grandsons Noah and Elijah of Unionville, VA; and Jason of Vandergrift, PA and one sister Kathleen Lute (Roger) of Northern Cambria and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by three brothers Russell, Gary, and Dickie.
At the request of Thomas, a service will not be held. Online condolences can be viewed at www.lefdahlfuneralhome.com.
Donations can be made in Thomas’ name to the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association.
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