John G. Jerek, 88, passed away Saturday, March 5 at Assumption Village in North Lima.
Also known as “Scat,” John was born on August 3, 1933 in Struthers to George and Susan Bonish Jerek and grew up in the Nebo neighborhood in Struthers. He was a 1951 graduate of Struthers High School. After graduation, he worked for Sharon Steel and then earned his livelihood as a talented mason working for a variety of contractors in the Valley, primarily through Bricklayers Union #8, for which he served faithfully on the negotiation team. There he was a progressive advocate for adequate pensions and benefits for union members. He retired from Lencyk Masonry in 1995.
John was a faithful Catholic and a member of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish at St. Matthias Church since his marriage to Margaret Adams on January 14, 1956. There he was a devoted member of the Holy Name Society for over 50 years, and served as its President for several years. John coached football at St Matthias School and served as a councilman of the parish. After his retirement, he enjoyed participating in many church activities, including a variety of adult formation opportunities. He enjoyed helping at the St. Vincent DePaul’s monthly food distribution at St. John the Baptist Church in Campbell and was a strong supporter of the Dorothy Day House in Youngstown. John also worked out at the Downtown YMCA in Youngstown where he made many friends. He took great pride in his Croatian heritage and hosted his annual Labor Day weekend Lamb Roast for many years.
He is survived by his loving wife of over 66 years, the former Margaret Adams and his six children: Judy Horcharik (Steve Urish) of Elkhart Illinois, James Jerek of Boardman, Jeannie (Bill) Alexander of Punta Gorda, Florida, Father John Jerek of Youngstown, Jeffrey (Ronda) Jerek of Boardman, and Joseph Jerek (Douglas Prange) of Jefferson City, Missouri as well as his seven grandchildren: John Michael Horcharik III, Stephen Horcharik (Beka), Daniel Horcharik, Kathryn Heglaw (Kent), Jennifer Jerek, Alyssa Jerek, and Jessica Alexander, as well as four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister Donna who died last August.
John will always be remembered for his strong work ethic, his commitment to his Faith, his devotion to his family, and his priceless and unpredictable sense of humor.
Family and friends may call from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 10 at Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home on Route 170 in Poland. John’s funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 am Friday, March 11 at St. Matthias Church in Youngstown. Interment will take place at St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Coitsville following the funeral liturgy.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Building Fund or to the Our Lady of Sorrows St. Vincent DePaul Society.
The Jerek family has entrusted John’s care to Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home in Poland.