Cover photo for Jan Cheripko's Obituary
Jan Cheripko Profile Photo

Jan Cheripko

August 3, 1951 — May 29, 2024

Bethany, Pennsylvania

Jan Cheripko

Jan Cheripko crossed the veil to be with the Lord of Light on May 29, 2024, at 8PM. Jan was preceded in death by his parents, John Cheripko and Frances Conine Cheripko; sister, Shari Slegona, and is survived by his wife, Valray Lynn Cheripko; his daughter, Julia; his son-in-law, Jason Kromko; and their children Gavin and Madison; his nephew, Justin Knapp and his wife, Liz; and their children Jonah, Fin, Emerson, and Cordelia; his niece, Jill Van Cook; and his mother-in-law, Peggy Wills. 


Jan was born on August 3rd, 1951, in West Point, NY where he spent his younger years as a military child, moving to whichever duty station his father was assigned, including a deployment to Germany. While living in Germany at around the age of five, Jan's mother passed away. 

 

After returning stateside and through an extraordinary act of charity, Jan and his sister Shari were taken in and raised by Kay Van Cook and her husband Loyd. Aunt Kay and her family were instrumental in changing the trajectory of both of their lives, seeing them through their formative and adolescent years. In 1969, Jan graduated from Valley Central High School in Montgomery, NY, where he thrived athletically, especially in football and wrestling.  


Jan went on to graduate from St. Thomas Aquinas College with a BA in English and then on to a full and varied professional career: His love of writing and photography led him to the Sullivan County Democrat where he worked as a photographer, reporter, and editor, and later to a career in the world of publishing at Boyds Mills Press. His love of teaching led him to many roles as a consummate educator and lecturer. In the late 1970s, he met his life-long love, Val. The two married in 1981 and became the proud parents of Julia in 1987, later settling in Bethany, PA. In recent years, his love of community led him to becoming a member of the Bethany Borough Council, the Bethany Library Board, and a founding member of the Bethany Collective. He was a long-time friend of the Highlights Foundation, having served as faculty and mentor to many writers. More recently, he took on the work of videography for the Highlights Foundation. 


Jan would say that the most important thing about him was that he was a friend of Bill W’s and continued to share his experience, strength, and hope to anyone who needed to hear it. He would also tell you that he lived a blessed life, full of grace and a peace that transcends all understanding, especially in the trying times. Jan was an incredible friend to all he met, full of good advice, intelligent conversation, wit, and humor. He had a love for language and was a published author. He wrote till the end. Jan grew to love the simple things in life: the good earth of a garden, the fragrant chill of Pennsylvania mornings, breaking bread with friends and family, a long winter night conversation about things that really matter, and the quiet solitude of a prayerful, country life. He was proudest of his daughter and her family and constantly humbled by his wife’s love and grace. He was a great man and will be missed by all who knew him. 


Funeral Services will be held on Monday, June 3, 2024 at 10:00 A.M. at the Howell Family Funeral Home, Inc., Edward R. Howell, Funeral Director, 269 Belmont Street, Waymart, PA, with Jan's friend, Archimandrite Sergius (Bowyer), the Abbot of St. Tikhon's Monastery officiating.

A visitation will be held on Sunday, June 2, 2024 from 3-5 P.M. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Jan's memory to:  The Highlights Foundation, 814 Court Street, Honesdale, PA 18431, The Bethany Library, 8 Court Street, Bethany, PA 18431 or St. Tikhon's Monastery, 175 St. Tikhon's Road, Waymart, PA 18472.

Interment will be in St. Tikhon's Monastery Cemetery.

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Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, June 2, 2024

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Howell Family Funeral Home

269 Belmont St, Waymart, PA 18472

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Funeral Service

Monday, June 3, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Howell Family Funeral Home

269 Belmont St, Waymart, PA 18472

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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