First Posted: 1/27/2013
John F. Kovaleski, 74, a resident of Plains Twp., passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Monday morning, Jan. 21, 2013, at Commonwealth Hospice, Inpatient Unit, Saint Luke's Villa, Wilkes-Barre, following a courageous battle with cancer.
His loving wife is Joanne (Jakubczyk) Kovaleski. Together, John and Joanne celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary on Sept. 25, 2012.
Born on Sept. 27, 1938 in Swoyersville, John was the son of the late Stanley J. Kovaleski and Victoria A. (Mucha) Kovaleski.
Raised in Swoyersville, John was a graduate of the former Swoyersville High School, Class of 1956. During his time in high school, John was an all-star member of the school's basketball team.
Following high school, John enlisted in the United States Army, honorably serving in Germany from 1956 to 1959. While in the service, John played basketball with the Army's traveling team.
Prior to his retirement in 1998, John was employed for 26 years as an installer and repairman for Bell Telephone, later known as Verizon. At the time of his retirement, John was working at Verizon's Hazleton location.
A man of faith, John was a member of St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church, Swoyersville, where he was actively involved in the church's various fundraisers and functions. Most recently, John was honored with an icon of the Blessed Mother, which was presented to him by the Altar and Rosary Society of Saint Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, for all his years of dedicated service to his church.
One of John's greatest enjoyments in life was landscaping and gardening around his home. He found much peace and tranquility in the quietness of the outdoors and the harmonious chirping of the birds.
Holidays were always special to John and he was well known for decorating his home for every holiday. Christmas was a special time at the Kovaleski home because John was able to display his trains and his Hess Truck collection.
John also found enjoyment in listening to various polkas and watching the polkas on television. Additionally, he enjoyed the occasional trips he and his wife took to the Atlantic City casinos and the Mohegan Sun.
A devoted family man, John was a loving husband to Joanne and a dedicated father to his children. A father like ours is more than a memory. He is a living presence
John held a special place in his heart for his grandchildren. Whether it was trips to Knoebels Amusement Resort, taking them fishing or just sitting quietly in their presence, he cherished each minute he had with his grandchildren.
John will forever be remembered for his great sense of humor and the ability to make others laugh. His presence will be deeply missed, but his spirit will forever live on in the hearts of his loved ones.
In addition to his loving wife, Joanne, John is survived by his son, John Kovaleski and his wife, Kelly, Sewell, N.J.; his daughter, Lisa Hill and her husband, Brian, Chester Springs, Pa.; his grandchildren, Paige Kovaleski, Jake Kovaleski and Connor Hill; his brother, Joseph Kovaleski and his wife, Gerrie, Plains Twp.; his sisters, Connie Chajko and her husband, Joseph Chick, Swoyersville, Mary Occhiato and her husband, Albert, Laflin; his aunt, Sophie Bebey, of N.Y.; his many cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and friends.
The Family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to Dr. James Galasso and staff; Dr. Norman Schulman and staff; and Dr. David Greenwald and his staff at Medical Oncology Associates for the gentle and compassionate care they bestowed upon John during his time of illness.
Funeral service with Panachida was on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, from the Wroblewski Funeral Home, Inc., 1442 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort, followed by an Office of Christian Burial with Divine Liturgy celebrated in St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, 271 Tripp St., Swoyersville, with the Rev. Joseph Bertha, Ph.D., his Pastor, officiating.
Interment with the Rite of Committal followed in the Denison Cemetery, Swoyersville.
For additional information or to send the Kovaleski Family an online message of condolence, you may visit the funeral home website www.wroblewskifuneralhome.com.
The family has kindly requested that flowers be omitted. Memorial contributions may be made in John's memory to Saint Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, c/o St. John's Byzantine Catholic Church, 526 Church St., Wilkes-Barre Township, PA 18702 or to the Medical Oncology Prescription Assistance Fund, 382 Pierce St., Kingston, Pennsylvania 18704.