John Jurbala

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Mr. John Jurbala, age 85, of Lakeland, Fla., passed away after a six year battle with lung cancer. He will be remembered for the love he had for his family, children and friends, as well as his strong work ethic and desire to help ensure his children achieve their dreams in life.

Mr. Jurbala came from humble beginnings. He was the son of immigrants from the Carpathian Mountain region of the Czech Republic who came to the United States at the turn of the last century seeking opportunity. His father worked for many years in the coal mines of Lackawanna County before eventually becoming a stone mason. Mr. Jurbala was the quintessential immigrant's son and first generation American. In high school, he was a violinist who played in a band to earn extra money to help his family. After graduating from West Scranton High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served from 1947-1951, and achieved the rank of staff sergeant. He attended the University of Scranton night school after returning from the Marine Corps, and earned an associate degree in business at night while working and raising a family during the day.

He started out working for Consolidated Distributing Corporation in Scranton, Pa., in wholesale television and appliances sales during the early days of color television, and eventually took a position at Charles Bell Corporation in Allentown, Pa., as regional sales manager while also running his own small television repair business. He eventually was able to purchase his own electronic parts distributor, Key Radio in Scranton, Pa., and ran that with a partner and his son, Edward for 10 years before retiring to start the Dunkin Donuts franchise in Wilmington, with his sons, Edward, Daryl and John. He worked hard to give all his children opportunities he did not have. He helped put three of his five children through medical school. He was quick to lend a smile and a hand to anyone he met and was an especially dependable person to his friends and family. He was always there when they needed him. His children never remember a time growing up when their father didn't have two or three jobs to support his family. His children say they couldn't have made it through college and professional school without their father's love and support.

He loved opera, classical and big band era music and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Babich Jurbala; his father, Andrew Jurbala; his brothers, Andrew, Joseph, Peter, Steven; and his sisters, Mary Karsnak and Ann Witowski.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Juanita Jurbala; and five children, Daryl Jurbala of Wilmington, Dr. John Jurbala Jr. of Hampstead, Edward Jurbala of Wilmington, Dr. Dianne Jurbala-Strohman of Richmond, Va., Dr. Brian Jurbala, MD, FAAOS of Lakeland, Fla,; and seven grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers (which he did not want), donations can be made to the .

Electronic condolences may be left for the family at

Published in Jacksonville Daily News from Jan. 8 to Jan. 11, 2014
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