John L. Stivala, Jr., 98, of Scranton passed away peacefully on January 22, 2024. His beloved wife of 64 years, the former Mary C. Alvarez preceded him in death on March 7, 2014.
Born September 5, 1925 in Pittsburgh, he was the son of the late John L. Stivala and Lotty (Smith) Stivala.
John grew up on Sidney Street in Pittsburgh's Southside. Dropping out of school, he ultimately turned up with his brother at a military recruiter's door. After fabricating his age (only 16 at the time), he enlisted. John sailed on Liberty and Victory Ships in World War II. While at sea two of his ships were struck by the axis powers -- one by a German airplane from overhead and the other by a mine off the island of Capri. He was very reflective of those moments...of how young and scared he was, yet how proud he was to serve his country.
After the war, John returned to Pittsburgh -- he worked as a crane operator at the Jones and Laughlin steelmill and became a barber. He and Mary married and had four children. John was a provider -- he was known for his dogged work ethic -- holding multiple jobs and working long hours to provide for his family.
Despite lacking a formal education, John was a learner. He learned how to fix things, became handy, and ultimately fixed up and invested in real estate over his life. He loved to fish and was an accomplished oil painter.
John’s sense of humor was constant and infectious. Even late in his life, he would often greet others with a joke or light ribbing.
John is survived by his children, many grandchildren and great grandchildren. John is also survived by his pug dog, Love, whom he absolutely adored and was always by his side.
A proud veteran, John has been laid to rest with his beloved Mary at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, PA.
John's family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Green Ridge Care Center and Compassus Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to honor John in memory of his wife, Mary C. Stivala to the Alzheimers Foundation of America.
Arrangements are entrusted to Howell Family Funeral Home, Inc. Edward R. Howell, Funeral Director, 269 Belmont Street, Waymart, PA 18472.