Cambridge-John J. Svitak, 84, of Cambridge, passed away Monday, September 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 & 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. John 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 Sons of the American Legion. 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; nephews, Billy Svitak and Robert Svitak.
John is survived by nieces and nephews, Joan (Chris) Davies of Queensbury, Theresa (Charles Otis) Sweezey of Edwardsville, IL, Philip (Michele Hughes) Derrenbacher of Beacon, NY, 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 Friday, September 20, 2019 from 4-6 pm at the Ackley, Ross & Gariepy Funeral Home, 73 West Main Street, Cambridge.
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:00 am Saturday, September 21, 2019 at St. Patrick’s Church, 17 South Park Street, 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 Street, Cambridge, NY 12816 or the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, 140 Hospital Drive, 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 send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral section.
St. Patrick's Church
17 South Park Street, Cambridge NY 12816
Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center
140 Hospital Drive, Bennington VT 05201