Yurko, Rev. Joseph J. Jr.


Rev. Joseph J. Yurko, Jr., pastor of South Greensburg and Youngwood Christ United Methodist churches, died unexpectedly on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at age 49.

The son of Rebecca “Becky” (Dawson) Yurko and the late Joseph J. Yurko, Sr., he is survived by his sister, Dr. Jill Yurko Porter and her fiance’ Dr Jose Rocha, an aunt Patricia (John) Walsh, and several cousins. He was the stepfather of Tyler and Zakery. 

Formerly of North Braddock, Joe was a 1989 graduate of Woodland Hills High School and a 1993 graduate of Thiel College, where he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Methodist Theological School of Ohio and, after serving as a student pastor in the West Ohio Conference, was commissioned and began serving churches in the Western PA Conference in 1998. He was ordained an elder in 2001.

Joe’s home church was Muhlemann Methodist in North Braddock. During his ministry, he served as pastor of 16 different congregations in Western PA: Fishertown/Mount Union; Pine Grove/Sloans Hollow; Arnold/Braeburn; Duke Center; Pittsburgh Fairhaven and the South Hills Partnership; and Sharpsville First/Sharon Oakland before being appointed to Youngwood Christ and South Greensburg in 2018.

In his spare time, Joe rooted for all the Pittsburgh sports teams and enjoyed being a devoted Star Wars fan.

There will be no public visitation due to current Covid-19 restrictions, but family, friends, and parishioners are invited to view his funeral service online on Monday at 1pm. Greensburg District Superintendent Patricia Nelson will officiate.

To view the service: Log on to Facebook and go to the Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home Facebook page where the service will be live-streamed. Directions can be found on the funeral home website or by calling 412-824-8800.

In lieu of flowers or monetary donations, Joe would like you to spend time in prayer meditation, remembering and celebrating his life.
Arrangements with Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, East Pittsburgh, 412-824-8800.