Ernest "Ernie" Hanuska, passed away at the age of 50 Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, just shy of his 51st birthday. Ernie was born Feb. 17, 1971, to Ernest and Clara Hanuska, of Penn Hills. A graduate of Penn Hills High School, Class of 1989, he went on to work in several different fields, but found his passion for cooking and spent most of his career in popular kitchens in both Southwestern PA, and in the Pocono Mountains of Eastern Pennsylvania. Easily recognizable by his tall stature, red hair and many tattoos, he could be an intimidating figure, but was an honest gentle soul with a great sense of humor. He loved his independent life in Pocono Pines, where he lived and worked for over 15 years. He enjoyed the quiet mountain life, and peace he found when fishing in the beautiful mountain streams around his home. He had several close friends and enjoyed the camaraderie with his peers in the restaurants he worked and managed. He was a genius with sports statistics, had a vast movie, game and music collection, loved playing the sport of paintball, and was a long time dek hockey referee at local rinks, where he enjoyed the thrill of competition. A highly skilled poker player and cook, he would never let you win a hand, but would happily share his recipes and teach you step by step how to prepare them. But somehow, they always tasted better when he made them for you. The family always looked forward to his Christmas dinners and day after breakfasts. Preceded in death by his parents, Ernie was the youngest child of four, and is survived by his older sisters, Pamela Bartlow (Dave), Kimberly Klausner (Ron) and Jennifer Hanuska (Steve); his nephews, Alex, Matthew and Beau; and nieces Ashley, Sarah and Kate; and several first and second cousins. Gone too soon, he was looking forward to attending his niece, Sarah's, upcoming graduation from University of Michigan, and rarely had a conversation that didn't mention his beloved niece. He will be greatly missed. Friends are invited to attend his memorial service from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, in THE CHARLES B. JARVIE SPRINGDALE FUNERAL HOME INC., 801 Pittsburgh St.
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