John Svetz, 93, a resident of the Newtown section of Hanover Township, died Wednesday at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
Mr. Svetz was born in Ashley on Jan. 14, 1915. He was a son of the late Andrew and Mary (Havir) Svetz. John was a lifelong member of Holy Rosary Church, Hanover Township, now St. Leo’s/Holy Rosary Church, Manhattan Street, Ashley. In his youth he was an altar server, became sexton and a member of St. Cecilia’s choir, devoting 80 years to his love for singing. He was a soloist at numerous weddings, funerals and churches throughout the valley. John was also a member of the Holy Name Society, where he received the John Shulo award for his service to the church, Altar and Rosary Society, and helped at the church festivals. He was a social member of the C.W.V. Post 274, Hanover Township. After serving as sexton of Holy Rosary Church, John was employed by the Railway Express Agency as a truck driver, advancing to an agent position working in Wilkes-Barre and out-of-town offices. After 32 years of service, he retired in 1975.
John was an avid New York Yankee and Notre Dame fan. In his youth he enjoyed playing tennis, baseball and bowling. He always maintained a positive outlook on life and was devoted to his faith, always concerned and praying for the welfare of others, never missing a day reciting several rosaries.
Due to declining health, John spent the past several months as a resident of Little Flower Manor, where he received tender and loving care from the nurses, aides, and activity and recreational staff.
Mr. Svetz was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary (Gdovin) Svetz, to whom he was married for 24 years; brothers Andrew and George Svetz.
Surviving is his wife of 41 years, the former Katherine (Drank) Svetz, at home; daughter Marianne Shulo, Plains; sisters Anne Ulichney, Ashley; Margaret Kordek and her husband, Joseph, Ashley; Mary Krakowski and her husband, Frank, Whitehall, Pa.; brother Joseph Svetz and his wife, Frances, Bear Creek; nephews Francis Krakowski and his wife, Carol, Bethlehem, Pa.; Joseph Kordek and his wife, Barbara, Wilkes-Barre; Michael Kordek and his wife, Mary, Bethlehem, Pa.; David Svetz and his wife, Bonnie, Mohnton, Pa., as well was several great-nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 9 a.m. from the George A. Strish Inc. Funeral Home, 105 North Main St., Ashley, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 in St. Leo’s/Holy Rosary Church, Manhattan Street, Ashley, with the Rev. Thomas O’Malley as celebrant. Interment will be held in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Township.
Family and friends may call today, from 4 to 8 p.m. The rosary will be recited at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Ashley Food Bank, c/o St. Leo’s/Holy Rosary Church, 33 Manhattan St., Ashley, PA 18706
Published in Times Leader on Sept. 26, 2008