Clement D. Kovalich, 86, of Vestal, N.Y., passed away at home Aug. 12, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. "Clem" will be remembered as a kind, charitable and compassionate man, whose sharp intellect, strong faith, positive attitude, and hearty sense of humor touched many lives.
Clement was born in Glen Lyon on Nov. 5, 1930. A graduate of Newport Twp. High School in Wanamie, he was elected junior and senior Class President. An outstanding athlete, he excelled in basketball and baseball, and fulfilled his personal dream by playing professional baseball with the New York Giants organization in 1953.
A veteran, he served four years in the United States Army, rising to the rank of sergeant first class by age 20. He fondly recalled those years as ones where he cultivated a disciplined work ethic. Under the G.I. Bill, he pursued a college education, earning a B.S. in electrical engineering from Bucknell University in June 1957. He accepted a position with IBM / FSD in Owego, N.Y., where he enjoyed a 30-plus year career, and his natural leadership abilities led to 18 years in manufacturing management assignments.
A man of deep faith, Clement was a practicing Catholic and longtime member of St. Ambrose Church, Endicott, N.Y., where he served in many capacities, including solemn funeral masses and as a member of the Nocturnal Adoration Society. He was a Knights of Columbus member (third degree) for over 30 years and will be remembered well for his zesty Bingo calls, a helping hand at fundraisers, and for his impassioned discussions at meetings.
He was predeceased by his parents, George and Helen Sitar Kovalich, Glen Lyon; his brothers, Sylvester, Hudson, N.Y.; and Joseph, Center Valley.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Joan Gayeski Kovalich; his daughter, Rebecca (Dr. David) Mauro, Burlington, Conn.; his son, Dr. Denis Kovalich, Endicott, N.Y.; daughter, Jill, Connecticut; grandchildren, Sarah Mauro (Brendan Tewksbury), Hilary Mauro, Arielle Kovalich, Aaron Kovalich; his dear sister, Regina Harcharik, Mountain Top; sister-in-law, Mary Ann Kovalich, Hudson N.Y.; several cousins, many nieces and nephews, six godchildren; many dear friends, especially Carl Janis and lifelong friends, Don DeLuca and John Wido Jr.
The family extends sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the caring staff of Lourdes at Home and Lourdes Hospice, with special thanks to Julie.
The family will receive visitors at noon Sept. 9, 2017, followed by a 1 p.m. Funeral Mass in St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 203 Washington Ave., Endicott, N.Y. Interment in Riverhurst Cemetery, Endicott, N.Y., will be private.
Published by Citizens Voice on Aug. 20, 2017.