Joseph M. Kovatch

Joseph M. Kovatch of Scranton died Saturday morning in the Post Acute Medical Specialty Hospital in Scranton after an illness.  His wife is the former Mary Helen Grudis.  The couple would have celebrated forty-nine years of marriage on April 22, 2016.

Born 1942 in Scranton, he was the son of the late Alex Kovatch and Anna Koval.   He was a graduate of Scranton Central High School and attended The Pennsylvania State University. Joe had been employed as a printing press mechanic for the Addressograph Multigraph Company until his employment at NEIU#19 in the printing shop.  He was well-known for his entrepreneurial endeavors as “Hubcap Joe.” A lifelong and dedicated member of St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, he was instrumental in the formation and construction of St. Mary’s Center.   Joe was a United States Army veteran serving in Korea.   Joe always put his family first and enjoyed meeting people.  He had a gift to socialize that will surely be missed.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the Geisinger Community Medical Center Intensive Care Unit for their dedication to providing quality care.

Also surviving are sons Joseph and his wife Jackie of Westchester County, New York,  Michael and his wife Stacy of Rutland, VT, Jonathan and his wife Marla of Archbald and Douglas and his wife Jennifer of Lakewood Ranch, Florida;  brothers George and William;  grandchildren Caroline, Jude, Elsa, Ian, Cecelia, Dakin, Shelby, Teagan, Trevor and Cora; nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by a brother Alex.

The funeral will be Tuesday with Divine Liturgy at 10am in St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, 310 Mifflin Ave. Scranton to be celebrated by Rev. Leonard A. Martin, SJ.

Friends may call Tuesday morning from 9am until time of Liturgy in the church.

Interment, private at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Christ the King Food Pantry 411 Church St. Archbald, Pa. 18403.


  1. Matthew Anderson

    My heart felt condolences to you and your family. What an awesome man! I learned so much from him! He will certainly will live on in my memory forever.

  2. Eternal rest give to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine about him, and may his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

    amzina atilsa

  3. John Anderson

    From the flea market at the Narrows shopping mall, to the Moosic Kmart, to the Circle flea market we spent alot of time together with those hubcaps. You took me to my first dirt modified race at Nazerth,and we froze our butts off in Oswego NY during Super Dirt week. Can’t count all the races we went to and all the different tracks. Good times and good memories. My sincere condolences.

  4. Regina Hanlon Barletta

    To Aunt Mary Helen, Joe, Mike, Jonathan and Douglas and all of the rest of your family, I loved Uncle Joe. He was such a good man. He really paid attention to people, asked questions and listened to the answers, and gave advice when needed and shared his wisdom. I am so sorry he’s gone so soon. I am praying for him and for all of you. I won’t be able to attend on Tuesday, but I will be with you all in spirit. Take care. Regina

  5. Dolores Williams

    Uncle Joe taught me memorization and organizational skills that have served me well in many jobs throughout my years. He taught me the value of hard work. By watching him with his wife and kids he taught me how much he cherished and valued these relationships. Aunt Mary Helen will forever be his Queen. He left a lasting impression wherever he went. Uncle Joe was one of the good guys who led by example and he will be greatly missed. I pray that the grandkids, my cousins, my aunt, and all those connected to uncle Joe find peace at this difficult time.

  6. Jackie Woodbridge Gurz & Bob Gurz

    Joe and his Dad were a longtime friend of the family. Many days drinking coffee at my parents house. My sincere condolences to his family. So sorry for your loss.

  7. Rutkoski Family

    We are very sorry for the loss of a great family man. Mr. Kovatch always had nice things to say about me and my family. He was a genuine self made man. I’m happy to have known him.

  8. Derrick Singleton

    May Mr Joe Rest in peace I only met him once from that meeting I knew he was a wonderful man to know.

  9. Clyde & Grace VanSickle

    You ~ my friend, had a unique gift of always making people smile. Despite your physical challenges, you did not complain. It was never about you. It didn’t take long, in any conversation for you to let us know how much you cherished your wife and family.
    You were a gentle giant, inside and out. You will always be remembered.

  10. mike mackey

    Hey Joe
    Thinking about you all day.Always have and always will think the world of you.I’ll miss your {Hello young man}everytime we met and especially your (Give Me a Bump)every time we parted.Rest in peace my good friend,you were definitely the kindest and gentlest person I ever knew.
    One last bump til we meet again

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