John P. “Johnny Letko” Letcavage, Sr. age 85 of 211 Indiana Ave., Shenandoah Heights, passed away Thursday at his residence with his loving family at his side.
Born in Lost Creek on April 28, 1926, he was a son of the late Walter and Ella (Gayeski) Gajewski Letkiewicz.
He attended West Mahanoy Township High School where he was a football standout playing left halfback and basketball as well. In 1944, during his senior year of high school, he was drafted into World War II.
John was a decorated Infantryman having fought in three major battles, including “The Battle of the Bulge.” He also helped liberate concentration camps and served under General George Patton. His decorations and citations include the Army of Occupation Medal & German Clasp, World War II Victory Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and Bronze Star Attachment, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII and the Sharpshooter Badge and Rifle Bar.
After returning home from the war, he played semi-pro basketball having once played against the Harlem Globe Trotters.
John worked for thirty-two years at the former Purolator Products, Pattersonville. He later retired as foreman of the West Mahanoy Township Road Crew.
He was a former commander of the Shenandoah Heights Amvets. He was a member of the Shenandoah Heights Fire Company for sixty-two years and served formerly as its fire chief. He served West Mahanoy Township as supervisor, constable, police officer and fire chief.
John was a member of St. Stanislaus Church, Shenandoah.
In 2004, John and his twin brother, Edward were granted their high school diplomas.
He enjoyed spending time with family and friends and was an avid Penn State and Philadelphia Eagles fan.
Preceding him in death in addition to his parents were six brothers, Joseph, Stanley, Peter, Aloysius, Walter and his twin, Edward; and one sister, Helen.
Surviving are his wife of fifty-eight years, the former Dorothy Majkowski; two daughters, Janice wife of Jeffrey Bradbury of Shenandoah Heights; Cheryl Letcavage of Shenandoah; three sons, John Letcavage, Jr. of Shenandoah Heights, Stephen Letcavage and his wife Theresa of Mahanoy City; and Robert Letcavage and his wife Kimberly of Locust Valley; ten grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two sisters, Sophie and Mary; one brother, Frank; many nieces and nephews.
Scriptural and prayer services will be held on Wednesday at 11:30 am from Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah. Rev. Msgr. Ronald C. Bocian, Pastor will officiate. Interment with military honors will be held at 1:00 pm at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville.
Friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday morning from 9:00 am until time of services. There will be no calling hours Tuesday evening.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to PinnacleHealth Hospice, 301 One Norwegian Plaza, Pottsville, PA 17901.
Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, Shenandoah is in charge of arrangements.