Cover photo for John J. Lever's Obituary

John J. Lever

April 25, 1925 — July 3, 2024

South Canaan, PA

John J. Lever


John Joseph Lever, 99, of South Canaan, Pennsylvania passed away Wednesday evening, July 3, 2024 at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. His beloved wife of 73 years, Marie C. (Bordi) Lever preceded him in death on May 12, 2022.

Born April 25, 1925 in Brooklyn, New York, he was the son of the late William and Jane (Warburton) Lever. 

John grew up in Brooklyn with his seven brothers and three sisters, whom all preceded him in death. John met Marie in Brooklyn and after only two weeks knew that she was his one and only. There, they started their life together with their three children. John's favorite things included eating NY pizza and jelly donuts from Stanley's Bakery, as well as spending time in Staten Island, New Jersey, and Brooklyn with siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and eventually their first grandchildren. 

He spent much of his retired life in Selah, Washington, where you could find him outside watering his 600 trees that he planted. South Canaan, Pennsylvania, became his home for the final 22 years of his life. There, he enjoyed spending time on his tractor and watching classic westerns with his Marie. 

John enlisted into the Navy in 1943 during WWII. He then volunteered to join the Fleet Marine force. He served as a Corpsman for the 1st Marine Division, where he took part in the invasion of Okinawa, Japan. He was honorably discharged from duty in 1946. 

After his military service, he worked as a trolley car driver in Brooklyn. He often worked on the same route and schedule as his brother Jimmy. He later worked as a Longshoreman, initially on the Brooklyn piers and then ultimately on the Manhattan piers. In 1958, he moved his family to East Islip, NY, on the South Shore of Long Island, where he soon started a career as a letter carrier with the U.S. Post Office, from which he ultimately retired. 

His passions included planting trees, bushes, and flowers (you're welcome Home Depot for keeping you in business); animals (feeding birds and owning a donkey, horse, stray cats and numerous dogs including his most recent Stella); telling jokes (though not always appropriate); sharing stories (toughest Irishman you'll ever meet); smoking cigars (however, not since he beat cancer); being a modern MacGyver (everything in his house is DIY); and being with family (most generous man). 

John is survived by three children: Brian Lever and wife Gail of Princeton, MA, Karen Warninger and husband Bruce of South Canaan, PA, and Jeffrey Lever and wife Dorothea "Cookie" of Warwick, NY; nine grandchildren: Katie Lever, Timothy Lever, Michael Lever, Allyson Fuentes, Jonathon Warninger, Sarah Warninger, Vanessa Arnold, Elizabeth Warninger, and Myles Warninger; and ten great-grandchildren: Nathaniel, Nora, Jack, Serena, Milo, Devon, Eloise, Scarlett, Calvin, and Lukas.

The Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at 10 AM in St Mary’s Church, 242 Carbondale Road, Waymart, PA 18472 with Reverend Joseph Sitko and Deacon Edward Kelly officiating.  

Viewing will be on Wednesday morning from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM in the Howell Family Funeral Home Inc., 269 Belmont St., Waymart PA 18472.  

Interment with military honors will be in East Canaan Cemetery, South Canaan on Wednesday.  

Arrangements are entrusted to Howell Family Funeral Home, Inc. Edward R. Howell, Funeral Director, 269 Belmont Street, Waymart, PA 18472.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John J. Lever, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

8:30 - 9:30 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.


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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


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