John B. Panchak, age 92, died Friday, March 22, 2019 at home surrounded by his family.
John Panchak, better known as Dzedo to all, was a true steel-man from McKeesport, Pennsylvania. He grew up during the Depression next to the steel mills. Having fun as a child during this time was whatever you made it. Dads fun was floating on the Monongahela River on tarred wooden planks or helping cultivate the family victory garden which supplemented their federal food rations. The attack on Pearl Harbor was his motivation to enlist in the Navy at the age of 18. He was in the Naval Construction Battalion called the Sea Bees and stationed in Okinawa. After the war, he married the love of his life, Dorothy, while both competing in the Sokol Gymnastic Association. After earing his degree in chemistry from Duquesne University he earned jobs at Atlas, Hoodry Labs, Rohman-Haas, Hercules and ICI. He was instrumental in 13 major patents including fire -proof foam, injectable foam and plastic wrapping for Oreo cookies. He eventually moved to Wilmington, Delaware, which became their family home. It is here where they raised 4 children and made life-long memories such as croquet and badminton, practicing baseball skills before games, family trips loading up the station wagon to Pittsburgh and keeping everything to the Panchak clean standard. This included the perfectly manicured lawn to the envy of their neighbors. As his family grew, so did his pride and generosity toward others. His greatest joy was being a devoted and supportive patriarch to all family and friends. He was a super fan to his grandchildren and attended swim meets, concerts, dance recitals, and sporting events. We are confident that his legacy of love and steel mans spirit will quarterback his family for years to come. Go Steelers!
John was predeceased by his son Tim in 2014, and daughter-in-law Susan in 2014. He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Dorothy Panchak; children Robert Panchak (Paula), Ace Panchak, Terry Sassaman (Paul), and Fran Panchak; grandchildren Nelson Panchak, Julie Sharkey (Chris) & Scott Panchak (Elli), Amy Sassaman, and Bethany, Emily and Holly Panchak; and great-grandchildren Gavin and Emma.
Friends and family are invited to a visitation on Wednesday, March 27 at 4 pm at the McCrery & Harra Funeral Home, 3924 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803 with a memorial service at 5 pm. In honoring John Panchaks memory, feel free to bring your Terrible Towel for a proper Steelers send-off. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers the family suggest contributions be made in Johns name to the American Heart Association 200 Continental Dr., Suite 101, Newark, DE 19713