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John J. Vanak

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John J. Vanak Obituary
John J. Vanak
John J. "Punchy" Vanak, 83, of Nesquehoning, entered into eternal rest on Saturday, Nov. 26, in the Weatherwoood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Weatherly. He was the husband of Joan (Jeffery) Vanak. They celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in May.
Born in Lansford, he was a son of the late Joseph and Margaret (Sherbin) Vanak.
He was first employed as a sergeant for the Lansford Police Department. He then went on to become a referee for the NBA and ABA basketball leagues for 30 years, where he refereed the 1977, 1980, 1981 and the 1985 NBA finals, the 1979 and 1984 All Star games and the 1966, 1970, 1972, and 1974 ABA All Star games.
John was also the owner of the Vanak Detective Agency for over 30 years.
He was a U.S. Navy veteran, having served during the Korean War on the USS Roosevelt.
He was a member of the former St. Michael's Catholic Church and the former St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, both in Lansford.
Vanak was a member of the FOP Lodge 13 and the Lansford AMVETS Post.
He loved all sports.
Surviving along with his widow are two sons, John, and his fiancee, Rose, of Lansford, and Mark, and his partner, Nancy, of Lake Hauto; a sister, Martha McNichol of Springfield, PA; a brother Joseph of Riverton, N.J.; and many nieces and nephews.
He was also preceded in death by a sister, Bernadine Pascoe.
Service: Private funeral service at convenience of family. Interment, St. Michael's Cemetery, Summit Hill. Arrangements by Joseph S. Blazosky Funeral Home, 81 E. Catawissa St., Nesquehoning.
Published in Times News on Nov. 28, 2016
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