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John Watazychyn

September 12, 1924 — June 18, 2020

John Watazychyn

John Watazychyn, 95, of Meadville, formerly of Clairton, passed away peacefully at the Crawford County Care Center in Saegertown on June 18, 2020.  Born September 12, 1924 in Hays (Pittsburgh) to Ukrainian immigrant parents, he was one of thirteen (13) children of the late Andrew and Katherine Kryzanowska Watazychyn.  He married Elizabeth Ann Martis on September 08, 1951.  She preceded him in death on September 12, 1998.

John attended a one-room school house and left school after the 8th grade to work alongside his father and brothers on the farm.  He loved to tell stories of growing up in the Pangburn Hollow area of Elizabeth, reminiscing about the many friends and families who lived in that area and life during the Great Depression. 

John was a United States Army Veteran and served our country in the European Theatre during World War II. He was assigned to the 429th Ambulance Company as a Medic and Ambulance Driver, and spent many months in England, France, Belgium and Holland in support of troops during the Battle of the Bulge.  John was in Germany on May 8, 1945, VE Day; he returned to the United States from France on the USS Monticello and after 11 days, arrived in New York.  He was honorably discharged at Camp Swift TX on Nov. 13, 1945.

After returning home, John worked in construction for numerous companies in the Pittsburgh area, retiring in 1980 from Dick Corporation after 20 years of service.  He was a life member of the Laborer’s Union #373 in Pittsburgh.  He had a work ethic that was second to none. 

John was a Christian whose greatest joy was spending time with his family. In his younger years, he was fond of walking in the woods, his favorite being the route along Peters Creek in Clairton. His children have fond memories of picking blackberries and the wonderful taste of homemade pies.  He loved to get everyone in the car on the weekends and take long drives, spending a lot of time in the area of the Fort Necessity Battlefield and Ohiopyle in Fayette County. Until he was no longer able, he planted and tended a vegetable garden every year.  He was a passionate reader and loved American history.   Macular degeneration eventually robbed him of his passion, but he instilled in his children a life-long love of reading books and newspapers.  John took great pride in being a Veteran and enjoyed relating stories about his military service.  He visited many of the Civil War battlefields in PA, MD and VA.  Among his fondest memories were road trips to The Gettysburg National Battlefield and Washington DC with his son-in-law Rowland.  In his later years, he visited the railroad museum in Greenville every chance he got, and enjoyed walking on the Woodcock Dam on a beautiful day. 

Survivors include his daughters Kathryn Parks (Mike) of Meadville, Patricia Dangel (Bill) of North Huntingdon, and Janice Ferwerda (Rowland) of Durand MI; son Kenneth Watazychyn (Sandy) of Clairton; grandchildren Steven Dangel (Alyssa) and Carolyn Dangel (Derek Rinchuse), all of Greensburg; sisters Ann Watazychyn of Mission KS and Helen Watts of Denver CO; brother Joseph Watazychyn of McKeesport; sister-in-law June Watazychyn of McDonald.   John was a favored uncle to many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, all of whom he loved very much.

John was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; son David, daughter-in-law Alberta, and grandson David Aaron (stillborn); brothers Metro “Jack”, Michael (Blanche), Andrew (Irene), Charles (Louise), Steve (Mary), Alex, Frank (infant); sisters Mary (Albert) Kennedy and Ruth Watazychyn; niece Cheryl Estok; and nephews Gary, Darrell, Ronald, Paul and Frank Watazychyn, Tom Barrett, Jim Estok and Gene Martis.

John requested that there be no visitation or funeral. 

A public graveside service with Full Military Honors is planned for September 12, 2020, at 10:30 AM at Round Hill Cemetery, 2131 Round Hill Church Rd., Elizabeth, with Captain Michelle Miller of the Meadville Salvation Army Worship Center officiating.


The family would like to thank the staff at the Crawford County Care Center for their compassionate care of John over the past five months. 

John was a supporter of the Salvation Army for more than 70 years.  Donations in his memory may be made to The Meadville Salvation Army, 1087 Park Ave, Meadville PA 16335 or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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