Ernest "Ernie" W. Dayka, 82, of Lorain, died Friday, June 1, 2007, in New Life Hospice Center of St. Joseph in Lorain.
He was born Aug. 31, 1924, in Lorain and had been a lifelong Lorain-area resident. Ernie was a graduate of the Lorain High School 1942-B class. He served with the U.S. Air Force during World War II as a radar specialist and played Triple A baseball for the Air Force baseball team. He batted leadoff and had a league high batting average. He also played baseball for other local teams. He worked at U.S. Steel in Lorain for more than 40 years, in the pipe mills and maintenance departments, retiring in 1982. Ernie was an active member of the Catholic Church of St. Peter in Lorain, where he served on parish council, was a Eucharistic Minister, altar server and usher.
His true passion was the Lorain Democratic Party. He served as 8th Ward Captain and Precinct Committeeman for 40 years. He volunteered countless hours to the political campaigns of many Lorain city and county candidates including judges, councilmen, commissioners, mayors, state senators and state representatives, including his son, who was elected to the Lorain school board. Many people remember him for his expertise in making and putting up campaign signs. He also served as a grand jury foreman.
Ernie served the community in many ways by coaching local baseball teams in Little League, Class F, Class E and Class D leagues. He also served as a baseball umpire for 10 years. He served on the Lorain Parks and Recreation Board and was a past president. He was active in USWA Local 1104. He was past president, treasurer and trustee of the Golden Agers Pensioners of Local 1104 and a member of SOARS of Local 1104. He volunteered at Community Health Partners Hospital in Lorain for more than 850 hours.
He is survived by his daughter, Suzann K. Dayka of Lorain; son, James A. Dayka of Pittsburgh, Pa.; five grandchildren, Kristin and Matthew Dayka, and Benjamin, Hannah and Lara Schwinn; and sister, Elvira Findley of Lorain.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice Dayka (Bores) in 1998; parents, Alex and Ethel Dayka (Kalapos); and brothers, Julius Dayka and Alex Dayka.
The family will receive friends Sunday from 2-5 and 6-9 p.m. in Gluvna Shimo Hromada Funeral Chapel, 3224 Broadway Ave., Lorain, where services will be 11 a.m. Monday, followed by the mass of Christian burial at 11:30 a.m. in the Catholic Church of St. Peter, 3501 Oberlin Ave., Lorain. The Rev. Kenneth Wolnowski, pastor of the Catholic Church of St. Peter, and the Rev. James Schmitz, pastor of St. Ladislaus Catholic Church in Lorain, will concelebrate. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery in Lorain.
Memorial contributions can be made to Catholic Church of St. Peter, 3501 Oberlin Ave., Lorain, OH 44052.
Condolences may be made at gluvna.net.