June 14, 1935 — Sept. 16, 2019

CAMBRIDGE — John J. Svitak, 84, of Cambridge, passed away Monday, Sept. 16, 2019 at the Centers for Living & Rehabilitation in Bennington.

Born June 14, 1935 in the Bronx, he was the son of the late William and Catherine (Pedro) Svitak. John moved to Cambridge in 1946 and graduated from Cambridge Central School in 1955. While in high school, he worked part-time performing lawn care with Tony Barratto and also worked at the A & P Store. John also worked at McGee Lumber, Owlkill Farm, Asgrow Seed Co. and the Nancy Shoe Factory.

John enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1958, stationed in Hawaii. He had the honor of taking part in the events of Hawaii statehood in 1959, and his battery was selected to fire the 50 gun salute. John was honorably discharged in 1960. He loved Hawaii and the ocean and made many trips back there.

John was a devoted employee with the New York State Civil Service, retiring in 1990 with 37 years of service. Following retirement from New York State, John worked part-time as a job coach for CWI and also worked for Mary McClellan Hospital, the Country Courier and the Pennysaver.

John was a communicant of St. Patrick’s Church in Cambridge and a member of the Holy Name Society, the Cambridge Knights of Columbus and the Captain Maxson Post 634 American Legion in Cambridge. John’s favorite hobbies were swimming, raising poultry of many kinds, organizing group trips to Hawaii, going to the ocean and collecting elephants.

In addition to his parents, John was predeceased his brothers, Willy Svitak and Robert Svitak; a sister, Catherine Derrenbacher; and nephews, Billy Svitak and Robert Svitak.

John is survived by nieces and nephews, Joan (Chris) Davies of Queensbury, Theresa (Charles Otis) Sweezey of Edwardsville, Illinois, Philip (Michele Hughes) Derrenbacher of Beacon, Maureen Svitak of Schenectady, Margaret (Rick) Mele of Schenectady, George Svitak of Arizona, Peggy (Mike) Burke of Rutland, Anne (Dwayne) Peacock of Bennington and Billy (Angela) Svitak of Rutland; a sister-in-law, Pauline Svitak of Bennington. John is also survived by many great- and great-great-nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the Ackley, Ross & Gariepy Funeral Home, 73 West Main St., Cambridge.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at St. Patrick’s Church, 17 South Park St., Cambridge, with Rev. Thomas Zelker officiating.

Interment with military honors will be at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Cambridge.

Memorial contributions in memory of John may be made to St. Patrick’s Church, 17 South Park St., Cambridge, NY 12816; or the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, 140 Hospital Dr., Bennington, VT 05201.

John had requested that Henry Jeskie be thanked for checking in with John each day during his fight with cancer, and a thank you to his niece, Joan Davies.

John loved life, loved people, loved his family and friends and his good God.

To offer condolences to John’s family, please visit www.gariepyfuneralhomes.com.

To plant a tree in memory of John Svitak as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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