BLATNIK, Dr. Albert Michael, 87, of Chestnut Street, Wheeling, died on February 25, 2011. He was born in Bridgeport, Ohio on May 2, 1923 a son of the late Frank and Rose Blatnik. He was a graduate of Bridgeport High School, received his undergraduate degree from West Liberty University, his Masters Degree in Science at the University of Pittsburgh and his Doctorate of Education, at West Virginia University. He was an Army Veteran of World War II, where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge and the Korean Conflict.
Dr. Blatnik began his professional career as a teacher and football, baseball and basketball coach at Bridgeport High and St. Clairsville High Schools in Ohio where he pushed his passion for sports into his players.
Blatnik was a member of the Ohio County Board of Education for 12 years and also served as the board’s president. Blatnik was constantly connected and committed to the students and families he served.
Dr. Blatnik was a professor, coach, Athletic Director and Chairman of the School of Health and Physical Education at West Liberty University. The building of Physical Education which today adorns his name in his honor, “Albert M. Blatnik Hall” hosted under his leadership some of the country’s most talented basketball, baseball, and football players. Dr. Blatnik’s lifelong career as a coach, skill and knowledge of the game, and determination to have every player succeed led to Dr. Blatnik’s induction into the West Liberty Sports Hall of Fame, the West Liberty University Academy and into the West Virginia University School of Physical Education Hall of Fame.
Because of his passion for running and the belief that everyone can help do their part in building a better community, in 1979 Dr. Blatnik along with his son Floyd opened the doors of the Hole N. Run, located on Washington Avenue. Dr. Blatnik ran all aspects of the business but most importantly he touched the lives of every person who had the pleasure of standing in his office doorway to talk politics, read the latest The Far Side cartoon or asked for his much coveted advice.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by brothers, Frank and John Blatnik of Bridgeport, Ohio. Surviving is his wife of 48 years, Thais Francis O’Donnell Blatnik, son, Floyd William Shuler and his wife Patricia of Wheeling, WV, daughter Judy Shuler Luff and her husband William of Charlotte, NC, son David Lloyd Shuler and his wife Shirley and their two children Dr. Franklin Shuler and Melissa Shuler of Weirton, WV.
Dr. Blatnik, known as “Poppie” to his family, was deeply adored by his three granddaughters Karen Shuler Stakem and her husband Eric of Wheeling, WV, Amy Shuler Goodwin and her husband Booth of Charleston, WV and Ashlee Shawn Luff of Charlotte, NC. His five great grandchildren Katie, Jack, Joe, Maggie and Sam have all inherited his passion for learning, animals and ice cream cakes.
Dr. Blatnik was a member of St. Joseph Cathedral Parish, served as chairman of the Permanent Diaconate Formation Committee for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and served as the former chairman of the Board of St. Joseph Seminary.
His deep laugh, clever sense of humor, commitment to the Democratic Party and to all living creatures both two and four legged will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Friends will be received on Sunday February 27 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 1400 Eoff Street, Wheeling. Funeral liturgy which will be celebrated at St. Joseph Cathedral on Monday at 10:00 am with the Very Rev. Msgr. Kevin Quirk as celebrant. Interment will be held at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Al and Thais Blatnik Scholarship Fund at West Liberty University. On-line condolences may be expressed to the family at www.altmeyer.com
Date: Sunday, February 27, 2011
Time: 2:00 pm
End Time: 4:00 pm
Time: 6:00 pm
End Time: 8:00 pm
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