Russell B. Mechling, Jr., age 90, of Hopwood, died peacefully, Friday, October 16, 2020 at his home. He was born December 12, 1929 in Pittsburgh, PA, the son of Russell Britt Mechling and Beulah Irene Dixon Mechling. In addition to his parents, Russ was preceded in death by his first wife, Eleanor Burns Mechling, his second wife, Sheila Kania Mechling and a sister, Beverly Roberts.
Russ attended Uniontown High School and graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy with the Class of 1947. He remained active with his contemporaries in the Uniontown Class of 1947, attending ‘class reunion lunches’ until early this year. He went on to enlist in the U.S. Army during the Korean war and upon his discharge settled in Morgantown, WV with his young family. He worked night shifts at the Humphrey Mine in Osage, WV while attending classes during the day until he received his mining engineering degree in 1956 from West Virginia University. He went on to work for U.S. Steel as a mining engineer and at the time of the historic Robena No. 3 disaster, spent three days straight aiding in rescue and recovery. In 1963 he joined his father at Fayette Engineering Company in Uniontown, the business started by his grandfather in 1902. His retirement in 2014 truly was the end of an era.
As a local engineer he worked with many municipalities, agencies, and private developers to advance Fayette County through local development. His many contributions to the expansion of infrastructure, industry, commerce, and housing ensured the stability of employment to many in the area. His dedication to his community and his employees is evident throughout the county even today. Aside from engineering, he dabbled in property investments with close friends Jim Moyer and Bud Moyer, with whom he enjoyed a long and prosperous relationship. He also treasured his enduring friendships with Pete Hook, Conrad Capuzzi, Lionel Gigliotti, and Bill Kania.
Russ was awarded the Eberly Economic Development Award and was recognized by the Pennsylvania State Senate and House of Representatives for businesses contributing to the wellbeing of the community. His international brush with fame occurred in 2008 during the presidential election. He was featured in an interview with NPR which led to the BBC World Service paying a visit to his home and office to document his insight into that election.
Russ was a longtime member of the Uniontown Rotary Club and the WVU Emeritus Club. He enjoyed Saturday morning breakfasts and the Sunday Nighter’s dinners with friends and was a regular attendee of the West Virginia Land Surveyors meetings. He was a fan and patron of the State Theatre and a champion of his wife’s favorite charity, The American Heart Association.
He was a voracious reader of history and his impeccable memory was evident as he shared events, dates, and details in normal conversation. He loved genealogy and contributed regularly to the Mechling Family Historical Society archives. As a former member of Trinity United Presbyterian Church, he recognized his family’s contribution to its establishment and the significance in local history.
Carrying on Russ’s legacy are his children, Peggy Bednarik and husband David of Waterford, VA, Russell B. Mechling III and wife Louise, Garrett Mechling and wife Janel, Ellen Ulmer and husband, William, Mark B. Mechling and wife Tiwanda, and Robert Brian Mechling and wife Courtney, all of Uniontown; stepchildren Lynda Kintigh and husband Jerry of Pittsburgh, PA and Christopher Varva of Yorktown, VA; thirteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind his faithful dog, Lucky and his caretaker Tiffney Lovett, whose daily jokes and devoted care endeared her to him and to his entire family.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Andrew D. Ferguson Funeral Home & Crematories, Inc, 80 Morgantown St, Uniontown, PA 15401, where friends and family will be received on Monday from 2 until 4 PM and 6 until 8 PM. Visitation will continue on Tuesday, October 20th, from 10 until 11 AM in the funeral home followed by a service celebrating Russ’s life at 11 AM with Pastor Carl Desmartin officiating. Interment will be private.
Memories and condolences can be shared with the family at adferguson.com or on the funeral home Facebook page. His love of reading has prompted the family to suggest donations may be made to the Uniontown Public Library