Dr. Stephen “Steve” M. Priselac, 83, of Hopwood, PA, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.
Steve was born on May 26, 1938 in Braddock, PA, son of Stephen “Tippy” Priselac and Louise (Dziadosz) Priselac. Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, was his infant brother, Joseph.
He was a graduate of Uniontown High School, Class of 1956. He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University (WVU) in Education Administration with a minor in physics; his master’s degree in science in physics and chemistry from West Virginia University; and his bachelor’s degree of science in physics and mathematics from Waynesburg College.
Steve had a long and prestigious career in education, which began as Head of the Science Department and a physics and chemistry Instructor at South Union High School in Uniontown in 1961. His accolades include: Assistant Director of Academic Affairs at Penn State University—Fayette Campus in Uniontown, where he was recognized as Outstanding Administrator; author of numerous grants and conducted administrative and educational programs, both nationally and internationally; participant of National Science Foundation and Atomic Energy Commission grants for atomic and nuclear science; consultant at Waynesburg College; instructor for emerging technologies for Casio, Inc.; trainer (Key Press) for national programs using Fathom Statistical software; curriculum planner/instructor for the Health Science Technology Academy (HSTA) math and science faculty at WVU; reader and consultant for USDE grants; co-developer and trainer for the Mon-Valley Leadership Academy for a Kellog Foundation Grant; special advisor to the state director for the PA Junior Academy of Science; trainer for the Garrett College South African Educator Grant funded by USAID and was the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award for this grant; presenter at the World Assembly International Council on Education in both Hong Kong and Singapore; and recipient of the PA Bell Laboratories Science Teacher of the Year. He was also a member of the National Association of Amateur Radio and a former musician.
Along with his leadership as Executive Director of the National Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (nCASE), he also served as Director of the Fayette Institute of Commerce and Technology, Inc. (a Pennsylvania proprietary school).
Steve was loved and admired by everyone who knew him. Although a brilliant, talented and extremely accomplished man, he was humble, kind and respectful to all. Whether he was speaking to the President of an esteemed university or the waitress at the local diner, his demeanor was the same. Everyone had equal value. He loved his Lord Jesus Christ and strived each day to exemplify God’s goodness. He believed everyone deserved a second chance to do the right thing and many lives were forever changed by his compassion.
Steve knew when to be the focused, consummate administrator. But, in the appropriate environment, he took every opportunity to light up a room with laughter by sharing his contagious smile, silly antics and his abundance of jokes and references to his Polish heritage.
Steve was especially admired for his unmatched dedication and devotion to his wife, and best friend of 63 years, Nancy (Rich) Priselac. His adoration of her was evident, and he was quick to say she was #1. They embraced every moment together as they traveled the world for work and pleasure. Disney, Las Vegas, live theatre, cruises, Pirates’ games, and casinos were some of his favorite destinations, especially when joined by his entire family.
Steve was a doting father to his two daughters, Laura and Michaelyn. In them, he instilled the values of a commitment to God, integrity, honesty, kindness, love of country, education and, most importantly, dedication to family. He was so proud of them and took an interest in every aspect of their lives. He was also a devoted grandfather and great-grandfather. He spent hours preparing individualized birthday cards, gifts, stories, and surprises for each of them. An amateur photographer, his office was filled with family photos and memorabilia.
Surviving are his beloved wife, Nancy, and devoted daughters, Laura Pyzdrowski and husband, Anthony, of Uniontown, PA; Michaelyn Conley and husband, Bill, of Hopwood, PA, and the following grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Wade Wohler of Uniontown, PA; Ashley Davis and husband, Will (daughter–Ayriana) of Rostraver Township, PA; Evan Conley and wife, Chloe (sons–Severyn, Cedric and Asher) of Dunbar, PA; and Hunter Conley and wife, Christina, of Charleston, SC.
Family and friends will be received at Andrew D. Ferguson Funeral Home and Crematories, Inc., 80 Morgantown Street, Uniontown, PA, on Thursday, December 23, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Prayers of transference at 9:30 a.m. and a mass of Christian Burial celebrating Steve’s life will be held on Friday, December 24, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Therese R.C. Church 61 Mill St, Uniontown, PA. Interment will take place in Sylvan Heights Cemetery.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at adferguson.com or the funeral home Facebook page.