John F. Grontkowski, 88, a life resident of Nanticoke, passed away Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he resided for the past 10 months.
Born in Nanticoke on Aug. 4, 1924, John was the son of the late John A. Grontkowski and Josephine Shipkowski Grontkowski.
He was a graduate of Nanticoke High School, Class of 1940.
Following high school, John joined the U.S. Army
, honorably serving during World War II
with the 1385th Army Air Force Base Unit, North Atlantic Division, Air Transport Command. While serving over Greenland, the plane John was aboard was shot down. Miraculously, he and his fellow crew members survived. Upon his honorable discharge on March 23, 1946, John had attained the rank of sergeant.
Upon returning from the service, John continued his education at Warton's Business College, Wilkes-Barre, and Eckels College of Mortuary Science, Philadelphia.
John and his mother, Josephine Grontkowski, were the owners and operators of Grontkowski Funeral Home P.C., Nanticoke, which was founded by his father, the late John A. Grontkowski, in 1920. Following the death of Josephine, John took over full operation of the family business. Later, his daughter, Katherine, joined him in the family business and they worked side by side until his retirement four years ago.
He was a longtime member of the former St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church, Nanticoke. Following the consolidation of his church, John became a member of St. Faustina Roman Catholic Parish, Nanticoke.
John was a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 913, Nanticoke.
Active within his community, John served as the past president of Greater Nanticoke Chamber of Commerce and also served as the past president of the Nanticoke Lions Club. He was also affiliated with the Greater Nanticoke Industrial Corp., the Nanticoke Redevelopment Authority, the Nanticoke Revitalization Committee, the Pioneer Hook and Ladder Fire Department, the Six County Fireman's Association and the NRA.
Professionally, he was a past member of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association and served as the past president of Luzerne County Funeral Directors Association.
In addition to his parents, John and Josephine Grontkowski, he was preceded in death by his first wife, the former Helen M. Chepolis, on Sept. 7, 1982.
John is survived by his wife, the former Dorothy Pish, who currently resides in Scottsdale, Ariz.; his daughters, Katherine and her husband, William Malig, Nanticoke; Susan and her husband, Don Tartaglio, Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Margaret and her husband, Miguel Gomez, Stroudsburg; and his sister, Dorothy Stetson, Brunswick, Maine.
The funeral will be conducted at 9:30 a.m. Friday from Grontkowski Funeral Home P.C., 51-53 W. Green St., Nanticoke, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10 a.m. in St. Faustina Roman Catholic Parish, 520 S. Hanover St., Nanticoke, with the Rev. James Nash, pastor, officiating.
Interment will follow in St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Glen Lyon.
Family and friends are invited to call from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. The Luzerne County Funeral Directors will assemble at the funeral home at 7 p.m. Thursday.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made in John's memory to the
, 57 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701.