Mr. Gagich was born July 31, 1925, in Sharon, a son of Joseph and Anna Gagich.
Mr. Gagich attended Sharon High School.
When he was 17, Michael enlisted in the Army Air Corps, rose to the rank of staff sergeant and at the time of his honorable discharge, received a Purple Heart. Michael was a flight engineer and tail gunner on the Carrie B III B17 Bomber. The plane was shot down on Feb. 16, 1945, after which he became a prisoner-of-war (POW) for 2 1/2 months. On Memorial Day 2012, Michael was honored as a Veteran of the Year for Mercer County.
Upon his return from his service, he was employed at the former Sharon Transformer Division of Westinghouse Electric Corp. Michael held various positions through the many years, finally retiring from the inventory department 1984.
A man who loved the Lord, Michael was a lifelong, active member of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Hermitage. In touch with his heritage, he was also a member of the Serbian National Federation as well as many veteran organizations.
Michael was an avid gardener, an exceptional bowler and held a great love for animals, especially the family pets. He and his wife were very active and traveled to various POW and bowling events. Most importantly, Michael loved spending time with his family. He never missed his grandchildrens’ events and looked forward to family gatherings.
His wife, the former Rosaline Marie Necaster, whom he married Feb. 15, 1947, passed away June 28, 2011, after 64 years of marriage.
He is survived by a daughter, Jeanne Glavey and her husband Richard, Sharpsville; two grandchildren, David McLaren and his wife Lori, also Sharpsville; and Brett Glavey, Pittsburgh; six great-grandchildren, Evan, Cailin, Jon, Michael, David and Braeden; a great-great-grandchild, Haddi.
In addition to his wife, Michael was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Joseph and Peter Gagich; two nieces, Barbara Wilson and Joanne Houck; and his sister-in-law, Betty Gagich.
Memorial contributions may be made to his family or Wounded Warrior Project, 301 Grant St., Suite 900, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
Michael, 88, Butler, formerly of Sharon.
Calling hours: 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday (1-28-14) in J. BRADLEY McGONIGLE FUNERAL HOME and CREMATORY Inc., 1090 E. State St., Sharon, with a Pomen service at 6:30 p.m. Friends may e-mail condolences by visiting www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com
Service: Funeral service at 11 a.m. Wednesday (1-29-14) in St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Hermitage. A brief prayer service will take place at 10:15 a.m. in the funeral home prior to processing to church.
Interment: St. John’s Orthodox Cemetery, Hermitage, with military honors by the Honor Guard of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5286, Farrell; Post 6233, West Middlesex; and American Legion Post 432, Wheatland.