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Robert Paul Zgonc

February 21, 1941 ~ June 17, 2018 (age 77)

Robert Paul Zgonc of Monroeville passed away Sunday, June 17, 2018. ‘Bobby’ was a world-class accordionist, enshrined in the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame as a Trustees Honor Roll Recipient. He taught himself with a borrowed accordion beginning at age 11 and ascended to recognition as one of the most proficient at playing the model known as the button box, with a sound and energy all his own. Born in Westmoreland City, Pa., to parents of Slovenian descent, he influenced Slovenian culture across North America through his performances and recordings that included the 1960 hit ’SNPJ Polka’ with the Al Morouse Orchestra; his initiation of the annual 'Grape Festival' in 1973 that became a 40-year fixture in Herminie, Pa.; and his three decades of co-hosting a weekly radio show with his wife Vlatka on WIXZ-AM in McKeesport and WPIT-FM in Pittsburgh. The son of a railroad worker, he was equally tireless in his own duties, in addition to being a loving husband, father and grandfather while also finding time to study and experience and embrace global cultures, particularly those of Eastern Europe. He is survived by his wife Vlatka; his sons Robert Zgonc Jr. of Swissvale, Zoran Zgonc of New York and Dejan Kovacevic of Pittsburgh; his daughters-in-law Emily Anderson of New York and Dali Kovacevic of Pittsburgh, and his grandchildren Dara and Marko Kovacevic of Pittsburgh. Family and friends will be received on Thursday from 2-4 & 6-9 PM in the John M. Dobrinick Funeral Home, 702 7th Street (State Rt. 130), Trafford, 412-372-3111. Funeral service will be Friday, 10:30 AM in the funeral home. Internment to follow in the Westmoreland County Memorial Park, Hempfield Twp.  Memorial donations can be made to the Tamburitzans, 1801 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh PA 15219  http://www.dobrinickfhinc.com

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