John Kelemanik passed away peacefully at the home of his daughter on March 23 at age 93. He was preceded in death by his wife, Grace Chamoni Kelemanik. The couple was married for 66 years. He was a member of St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Scranton and attended Immaculate Conception Church with his wife.
Born on April 22, 1927, in Scranton, he was the son of the late Charles and Julia Vakula Kelemanik. He grew up in the Pine Brook section of Scranton, attended Scranton Technical High School but enlisted in the US Navy in 1945 prior to graduating. He earned his GED in 1973. He was a seaman on the USS Helena and sailed around the world during WWII.
A master bricklayer, John was a Life Member of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers for 70 years. He built his house and took great pride in pointing out the many buildings he worked on in and around Scranton. He was a longtime president of Local 18, Chairman of the negotiating committee, and Chapter Chairman of Local 5 from 1994 until he retired. He trained apprentice classes and attended labor and organizing courses sponsored by the International Union at the University of Notre Dame.
He was a hard worker whose mantra was “make hay while the sun shines”. He was friendly and outgoing. He enjoyed a good joke, betting on college football and playing cards with the guys. He was an avid golfer and was especially proud the day he made a hole-in-one. He spent summers at “the lake” where he enjoyed basking in the warmth of the sun. In the evenings he would row his kids around the lake while they fished then play pinochle with the family before settling in to read the paper or a good book. He loved to go to a casino and always looked forward to yearly vacations with his wife to Florida, Biloxi and Las Vegas. He loved his granddaughter, McKenna, and was grateful for the many years he had watching her grow.
Surviving is a son, John Jr. of Scranton; a daughter, Mary Grace Kelemanik and her partner, Lorraine Horgan, of Natick, Mass.; his beloved granddaughter, McKenna; a sister-in-law, Marilyn Smith of Scranton; and many nieces and nephews.
He was proceeded in death by his brother George Kelemanik; and his sisters Ann DeDio, Julie Mann, Mary Cegelka, Helen McGarrity and Margaret Goonan.
The family would especially like to thank John’s nurse Erin from Care Dimensions Hospice for her kind and compassionate care.
Calling hours will be Monday from 4 to 6 and Parastas services will be Monday at 4:30 p.m. at Vanston and James Funeral Home, 1401 Ash St., Scranton
A funeral liturgy at 10:00 in St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Mifflin Avenue and Linden Street, Scranton, celebrated by the Rev. Leonard A. Martin, S.J., pastor.
Interment with Military Honors, Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, 310 Mifflin Ave., Scranton, PA 18503 or Care Dimensions Hospice, 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923, www.CareDimensions.org.