John T. Kovach Sr., 92, of Osceola Mills died Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 at UPMC Altoona Hospital.
Born Dec. 29, 1924 in Morann, he was the son of the late Michael and Sue (Kendro) Kovach.
He was married to his first wife, Edna Mae (Comitz) Kovach, on June 5, 1950 in Osceola Mills. She preceded him in death Aug. 14, 1994.
He was married to his second wife, Lois J. (Baughman) Kephart Kovach, on April 26, 1997 in Philipsburg. She preceded him in death April 5, 2011.
Mr. Kovach was a member of the St. Mary’s Ukrainian Annunciation Catholic Church in Ramey.
He was a disabled U.S. Army veteran of World War II, and he was held as a prisoner of war in Germany.
He was a retired construction worker and a member of the American Legion Post No. 591 in Houtzdale.
He was raised during the depression and worked in the coal mines until he was pre-drafted and self-enlisted in World War II. He served in Patton’s third Army and was a part of the D-Day campaign.
He was taken prisoner of war, during which time he escaped and was recaptured multiple times.
He survived and returned home to work in the mines and then at car plants in Detroit. He finally returned to Pennsylvania where he worked construction and started a family.
“Dad never met a stranger in his life. When my brother and I used to go places with him, he would talk to somebody for an hour.
“When he was finished, my brother and I would ask who the person was, and Dad would laugh and say, ‘I don’t know!’
“It used to drive us crazy until we got older and realized that that was the magic of our Dad. He loved people, and people loved him.” – Darlene
In addition to his parents and two wives, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Mike and George Kovach.
He is survived by one daughter, Darlene Smolko and her husband, Michael of Osceola Mills; one son, John T. Kovach Jr. and his wife, Toni of Clearfield; one brother, Joe Kovach of Detroit, Mich.; and five grandchildren, Michael Smolko and Rebecca, Claire, Vincent and Dominic Kovach.
A Parastas Service followed by the Great Panikhida Burial Service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the Heath Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Osceola Mills with the Very Rev. Fr. Anthony F. Balistreri officiating. Burial will be at the Umbria Cemetery in Osceola Mills.
Friends will be received from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. and from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Military honors will be accorded by the Osceola Mills Honor Guard at the cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, 301 Grant St., Suite 900 (One Oxford Centre), Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
To sign the online guestbook, go to: www.heathfuneral.com.