RAY SWANSON | Keystoner Farrell High loses former team doctor

His heart was big as the town he took care of for so many years.
Dr. Joseph R. Madura, perhaps one of the few medical men who still made house calls, passed on recently at the age of 85. His loss in Farrell will be immeasurable as it will be in the entire Shenango Valley. He was loved by many.
"Doc", as he was known to his many friends, served as Farrell High's team physician for many years. He lived through those dazzling years when Farrell basketball was the talk of the state. He was there, bug cigar and all, when Eddie McCluskey carried the Steelers to seven PIAA state championships. He was one of McCluskey's closest confidants.
Four Musketeers: Many fans called them the Four Musketeers, referring to McCluskey, Madura, and athletic directors Ralph Dresch and later Joe Duich. They were inseparable and friends all the way.
Doc could speak several languages which put him on a pedestal with the ethnic population of Farrell. And many of his patients, they say, who could not pay for services, were not pursued. Not money, only healing, came first with Doc.
Madura was often called on to assist some of the top physicians in the operating rooms. Unlike some, Doc was always available when called upon. He loved his profession.
A number of Madura's patients talked of his office which was located in the heavens. They used to say, "If you weren't ill when you got there, you certainly were after walking up all those stairs."
First meeting: My initial meeting, as a sports writer, took place in the Farrell locker room. I had not been feeling well that evening and in came Doc. He noticed I wasn't feeling well and he treated me right on the spot.
Then there was the time, at halftime of a Farrell basketball game, that I was standing outside the Steeler locker room listening to McCluskey unload on his players, giving them that old halftime talk. The door flew open and the players returned to the hardwood. I walked past the open door and saw Doc hovering over McCluskey who was sprawled out on a bench. I thought the worst until I found out later that Mac had jumped up, struck his head on one of the beams of the low-ceiling locker room, and cut his head. Doc took care of it and Mac returned for the second half.
If there was any blood, no one could tell, for McCluskey was wearing his good luck charm, the famed red necktie.
Then there was the ritual with the game officials. Prior to the contest, in would come McCluskey and greet the officials, who dressed just off the Steeler locker room. Following a few brief remarks by the coach, in would come Dresch or Duich. They, too, had some friendly words for the refs and on their departure, in would come Doc. He as the last to offer his tidbits.
There have been a great number of outstanding gentlemen who have emerged from the roots of Farrell, but Dr. Madura ranks right up there at the top. Ask any Farrellite, or Steeler fan. Ask his patients. His untiring efforts, at Farrell High School, and in the field of medicine should not go unrewarded.
We're going to miss you, Doc.