Joseph Pienkowsky, fondly known as "Joe P" to all who loved him, lost his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, while a patient at Hospice Community Care in Wilkes-Barre. He will be greatly missed by all of those whose lives he so generously and lovingly touched.
Joe was born on April 6, 1948 in Wilkes-Barre to the late Teofil and Constance Leketsky Pienkowsky. He attended grade school at St. Boniface and graduated from E.L. Myers High School in 1966. A 1970 graduate of Penn State University, Joe was a proud member of Alpha Chi Rho fraternity and always looked forward to their reunions throughout the years.
He also spent many happy years coaching soccer for the Wilkes-Barre Cosmos. Joe was proud to receive the Five Gallon Blood Donor award, exemplifying his never-ending desire to help those in need.
To Joe, there was nothing more important than his family and friends. There was never a thing he wouldn't do to ensure their happiness and well-being. Time and time again, all would be happily gathered while Joe manned the kitchen, cooking up his favorite dishes and trying out new ones. He would never show up at your door empty-handed.
Joe was a wonderful husband, adoring father, much-loved Grampy, loving son and brother, and loyal friend. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late July of this year and fought long and hard in hope for a reprieve. In the final weeks, he would proudly wear his Penn State and Steelers jerseys, surrounded by friends and family as he rooted on his beloved teams. All are comforted in knowing that this wonderful man, whose life ended way too early, will be protectively looking down and watching over all those whose lives he touched.
Joe was a member of St. Ignatius Church in Kingston and employed by General Hospital and Healthcare Receivable Specialists Inc., where he continued to work until he was diagnosed and hospitalized.
In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his stepson, Gregory Menzel in 2006.
Joe is survived by Barbara Brown Menzel Pienkowsky, his devoted wife of 23 years; loving sons, Joseph J. Pienkowsky, Paul A. Menzel and his wife, Lori Leeds Menzel; daughter-in-law, Robyn Endress Menzel; adored grandchildren, Megan and Paulie Menzel; dedicated sister, Justine and her husband, Dr. Michael Weiss; and numerous nieces, nephews, brothers- and sisters-in-law.
Joe's entire family thanks everyone who prayed for and supported him and his family throughout a very trying time in their lives. They also recognize and show appreciation to the following health care professionals for their exceptional dedication and unwavering commitment to Joe's intense medical needs and comfort: good friend and family doctor, Lanning Anselmi; Dr. Mark Schiowitz; Dr. Jordan Winter - Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; and the staff at both Kindred Hospital of Wyoming Valley and Hospice Community Care, where he spent his final days.
Celebration of Joe's life will be held Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at McLaughlin's, The Family Funeral Service, 142 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre. Private interment will be in Saint Mary's Cemetery in Hanover Township.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial contributions be made to TJU/Fund for Surgical Gastrointestinal Cancer Research, 1015 Walnut St., 620 Curtis Bldg., Philadelphia, PA 19107 or Kindred Hospital of Wyoming Valley, 575 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18764.
Permanent messages and memories can be shared with Joe's family at www.celebratehislife.com.