District Judge Robert Wyda dies

Published Aug 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm (Updated Aug 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm)

Judge Robert C. Wyda, 54, the magisterial judge for Upper St. Clair and Bethel Park, died Aug. 5.

According to a representative from the Allegheny County Examiner’s office, the cause of death was listed by his primary care physician as “natural due to cardiac history.”

Wyda was married to his wife, Shannon, and they have two children.

Jack Allen, Bethel Park Ward 2 councilman, said he had known Wyda since he was first elected judge. He had served as district judge since 2000 with his offices in the Bethel Park Municipal Building.

“He was a good friend,” Allen said of Wyda. “He was the most fair person that anyone could ever go in front of.”

Allen added that Wyda had a good relationship with the Bethel Park Council. Allen, who serves on the Bethel Park Veterans Memorial Committee, said Wyda was a keynote speaker at one of the committee’s events.

“He was a very proud veteran,” Allen said. Wyda served in the U.S. Naval Reserves from 2003-08.

Allen was close to Wyda’s family as Wyda’s daughter worked at the Bethel Park Dairy Queen owned by Allen for the past three summers.

“Rob was in the store all the time,” he said. Allen added that although Wyda had a history of heart-related problems, he was at a local gym all the time.

“You would never know,” by looking at him that Wyda had health problems, Allen said.

“You’re never going to want to meet a more genuine person,” said Russell Del Re, vice president of the Upper St. Clair Board of Commissioners. “He was just a down-to-earth, fair person. He treated you like you were a friend.”

He said the Board of Commissioners found out about Wyda’s death during a break at the board’s Aug. 5 meeting.

“It was quite a shock,” Del Re said. “He’s definitely going to be missed.”

Rep. Tim Murphy also released a statement on Wyda’s death. He said, “I’m deeply saddened to learn of Judge Robert Wyda’s passing. Rob was a respected public servant, admired Navy officer, and a beloved family man. He served his family, his community and his country with honor, courage and commitment. And he did it all with a smile. I pray that his wife, Shannon, and their children find strength during this difficult time. I will miss him.”

Upper St. Clair Township Manager Matthew Serakowski said he knew Wyda though business and was also personal friends with him. He said he had known Wyda since he became district judge.

“He was a wonderful man. It came as a complete shock,” Serakowski said of Wyda’s death.

As a judge, Serakowski said Wyda “treated everyone that came before him fairly.” He said he gave everyone an opportunity to correct their mistakes.

“I have nothing but good things to say about him,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, Serakowski added.

Flags at both the Bethel Park and Upper St. Clair Municipal Buildings will be flown at half-mast in honor of Wyda.

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