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John R. HAVRILLA

HAVRILLA, JOHN R., passed away peacefully on August 5, 2013 with his children, Brad, Beth and Heather present. John was the oldest child of John Havrilla and Helen Yurista born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Hazleton Senior High School in June, 1952. He attended and graduated from West Chester State Teacher's College with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1957. He enjoyed a full campus life and was a varsity basketball and soccer player. After working at the Devereux Foundation Gateway School in Devon, Pennsylvania he enlisted into the United States Army Security Agency (USASA). After basic training and several schools he was stationed in Hulbronn, Germany as a cryptographer. During his tenure in Germany he played company, battalion and divisional baseball and basketball and traveled extensively throughout Europe. Upon his honorable discharge he took a position at the Vanguard School in Paoli, PA in April of 1960. Vanguard was a school for children of at least average ability who had a specific learning disability. He worked as a classroom teacher, athletic director and middle school principal until June 1968. In July of 1968 he and his family relocated to South Florida, where he began the Vanguard School of Coconut Grove. He was the founding Director of the school who returned thousands of students to traditional educational programs and assisted them in becoming productive citizens. He was an avid sports fan whether it was college or professional. He followed and supported The Miami Hurricanes, The Miami Dolphins, The Miami Heat and The Miami Marlins. As an active sportsman he was usually found on the tennis courts in the Grove or in Miami Beach. He had a close relationship with his brothers, Gene and wife Carmella of Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Jerry and wife Jeanne of Wilmington, Delaware and sister Elaine and husband Tommy of Oakville, Connecticut. His pride and joy in life were his children, Brad, Beth and Heather along with their spouses and his grandchildren, Connor, Allison, and Katelyn. He loved the United States and traveling with his family throughout the states particularly historic sites and the national parks. He was an active educator serving as an officer and Board of Directors member of the Association of Independent Schools of Florida (AISF). He was also a member of the Dade Association of Academic Non-Public Schools (DAANS), the National Association of Private Schools for the Exceptional Child (NAPSEC) and the National Council for Private School Accreditation(NCPSA). He lived a full, enjoyable life by helping children and their families. A mass will be held on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Hugh Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Vanguard School of Coconut Grove, FL. 3939 Main Highway, Miami, FL 33133


Published in Miami Herald on Aug. 14, 2013
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