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R.I.P. Chief John Sabol

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ASPINWALL, Pennsylvania --John Sabol could always be relied on to help.

Whether it was helping someone across the street, helping out at home or doing some other good deed, he would drop anything for anybody, his family said.

"That was the way John was," said his brother-in-law, Russ Mack. "That was John's nature. He always gave back more than he ever got."

John A. Sabol Jr. of Millvale, former chief of the Aspinwall Police Department, died Friday, June 3, 2016, after a battle with cancer. He was 63.

"He didn't care where you came from; he didn't care what you had. He was very compassionate to people who were going through a difficult time and would do what he could to help them through it," said Kimberly Sabol, his wife of 23 years.

Mr. Sabol was born and raised in Aspinwall and graduated from Fox Chapel High School.

After he graduated, he enlisted in the Army, where he worked with military police, his wife said. When he finished his military service, he attended the Allegheny County Police Academy and got a job as a police officer with the Blawnox Police Department.

He worked there for about 12 years before joining the Aspinwall Police Department, of which he became chief in 2007.

He retired last year after 39 years as an officer.

"He was very dedicated to his community," Kimberly Sabol said. "It meant a lot to him. It was a calling more than a job."

While Mr. Sabol loved his work as a police officer, he had many other hobbies and interests outside of work, his wife said.

"He was a person who truly, truly enjoyed life," she said. "He was a person who made friends easily and had many different interests."

Known as "DJ John" to some people, he would handle the music for various community events, parties and fundraisers. An avid boater and golfer, he was a captain in the Merchant Marine and a member of American Legion Post 77.

Mr. Sabol was a devoted husband and public servant, his brother-in-law recalled.

"He has been a true inspiration to me and his entire family," Mack said.

Mr. Sabol is survived by his wife, Kimberly; two brothers, David and Gary Sabol; three sisters, Michelle Tomlinson, Susan Strohm and Lynne Mack; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in Thomas M. Smith Funeral Home, 930 Center Ave., Blawnox. A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in St. Scholastica Catholic Church in Aspinwall.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, 8085 Saltsburg Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15239.

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