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John J. Passan

John J. Passan Obituary

John J. Passan of Laflin passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, at Residential Hospice at Geisinger South

Wilkes-Barre. He was 93 years old.

Born in Wilkes-Barre, he was the son of the late Rocco and Angeline (Domiano) Passananti.

An Eagle Scout, and while still a high school student at James M. Coughlin High School, at the age of 17 John enlisted in the United States Navy. Stationed on the USS Los Angeles, he served in the Pacific theater of World War II. After serving his country, John returned home from the war and under the G.I. bill, earned his degree from the Dolan School of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia. Returning to Wilkes-Barre, he began his life's journey that became filled with business and philanthropic accomplishments.

Beginning with City Delivery Service, John was a founder of Valley Distributing and Storage Co.; a family owned and operated warehouse and trucking business for more than 60 years. He was past president of the American Warehouse Association and the America Chain of Warehouses. He was also a past president of Pocono Downs.

John's entrepreneurial successes, life experiences and desire to help led him to respond to the needs of education with a focus on health care and nursing. His personal giving, as well as that of the Passan Family Foundation, have resulted in gifts that will continue to transform the education of students in nursing and health care. Some of his most rewarding achievements include the establishment of the G. Thomas Passananti Professorship at Penn State College of Medicine in honor of his late brother; the endowments of the Wilkes University Passan School of Nursing, the only named nursing school in the northeast; John J. Passan Hall for Health Sciences at Misericordia University; and the Penn State Open Doors Scholarship for disadvantaged students.

John has been the recipient of the Northeast Pennsylvania Philanthropy Award and Wilkes University's honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

With an endearing personality and a friend to many, both young and old, John enjoyed spending time and dining out with family and friends. His lasting legacy is his loving wife, Ann, his devoted family, lifelong friends, business colleagues, and the indelible mark he has made on the education of our health care professionals.

The family would like to thank Dr. Aliasgar Chittalia, Geisinger; Dr. Aaron Katz, Winthrop University; the staff at Geisinger South

Wilkes-Barre Residential Hospice; Erwine Home Health Care and our dedicated caregivers.

In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his first wife, the former Marjorie Moskowitz Rosenberg; sister, Carmella DeFalco; brothers, Victor Cusumano, Rocco Cusumano, G. Thomas Passananti, Ph.D.; an infant brother; and his beloved yorkie, Penny.

Surviving are his wife, the former Ann Stillwell; children, Gail and husband, Joe DeSciose, Alabama; Richard and wife, Mel Passan, Bethlehem; Elizabeth and husband, Greg Wallick, Florida; Scott Costello, Dallas; grandchildren, Debbie and husband, Mike Knarr, Maryland; Misty Lombardi, Dane Lombardi and Mollie Wallick, Florida; niece, Angeline (DeFalco) Kotlowski; great-nephew, Conrad and wife, Shelly Kotlowski; great-nieces, Nancy and husband, Albert Biros; Susan and husband, Ronald Woznock; Janet Hornlein; Carol Keup and partner, Dave Fedorco; Angela Kotlowski; nieces and nephews; great-great-niece and nephews; great-great-great-niece and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in St. Nicholas Parish, 226 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no public viewing. Those attending the funeral Mass will be required to wear a facial mask and follow physical distancing rules.

Arrangements are entrusted to Harold C. Snowdon Home for Funerals Inc., Kingston.


Published in Scranton Times on Feb. 23, 2021
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