DANVILLE, Pa. -- Valentine F. (Bill) Pytko, 76, of Danville, Pa., died at home of cancer on Sunday, Feb. 29, 2004. He was a cardiologist and a gentleman who practiced the art, as well as the science of medicine at The Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
During World War II and its aftermath, he served as a special agent in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps in Japan. Subsequently, he attended Yale University, Temple University Medical School and The Cleveland Clinic where he earned his degrees in science and medicine.
A believer in the Marxian philosophy (Groucho, that is) that one should be wary of joining any organization that would have him, he gave, however, without fanfare, and was a generous benefactor to Thomas Beaver Library and Geisinger Medical Center. When he performed with the Danville Community Players, he was lauded for his acting in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber.
He was a licensed airplane pilot, who loved to fly over the Pennsylvania hills with his granddaughters and look down at the "broccoli-like" trees. With "ragman" skill he, his family and friends sailed the Chesapeake Bay in a variety of sailboats. During his retirement, he could be seen building up the steam and driving Old Smokey, the steam locomotive at Knoebels Grove Amusement Park.
His interests were eclectic. He played the piano passionately . . . sometimes a raffish Tom Lehrer tune, sometimes a melancholy Chopin etude. Books, classical music, travel, and The New York Times made his days interesting and satisfying.
Missing him dreadfully are Dolores Deegan Pytko, his wife of 45 years, formerly of Le Mars, his two children: Mary Pytko Marten, William F. Pytko and wife Kim, three granddaughters, Kristin and Jamie Pytko, and Haley Marten, and his brother-in-law James Deegan.
There will be no viewing. A Celebration Of Life memorial service will be conducted on Saturday, March 6, at 11 a.m. at the Foss Home at Geisinger Medical Center. Should friends desire, any memorial remembrance may be directed to the Oncology Unit of Geisinger Medical Center, in honor of Dr. Suresh Nair, or the very helpful and caring Columbia Montour Home Hospice, 599 East Seventh Street Bloomsburg, PA 17815.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Miller-Visneski Funeral Home, 10 West Mahoning Street Danville, Pa. 17821 www.visneski.com