John E. Smolko passed peacefully surrounded by his loving family on December 14, 2017. He shared 84 years of love, faith and patriotism with all who knew him. Visiting hours will begin at 11:00 am on Saturday, the 23rd of December 2017 followed by a Catholic Funeral Service along with Military Honors at 1:00 pm at the Norman Dean Home for Services, 16 Righter Avenue, Denville. Private interment in a military cemetery will be held at a later date. In addition to flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the good work of the Joey Bella Memorial Fund, 15 Myers Avenue, Denville, NJ.
John was born in 1933 to the late Steve and Anna in Winburne, Pa. He was one of ten children. After his schooling, he was drafted into the US Army where he proudly served our country in Korea. He was a Sergeant with the 7th Division Signal Corp. earning numerous medals before returning to the states. Soon, he met Gladys Williams and the couple married on November 10, 1956. They settled in Denville where they raised their three daughters.
John worked for Rowe International for forty years. It was in Whippany that he was a life member of the VFW and served as Commander in addition to many other offices. He was also a life member of The American Legion, The Military Order of the Cootie, and The Korean War Veterans Association. He was a proud veteran and enjoyed the camaraderie and patriotism. John enjoyed fishing, was an avid game hunter, and a member of the NRA.
His happiest times though were spent with his loving wife and family. The sun rose and set on his four grandchildren whom he was so very proud of. He adored the kids and would tell anyone who would listen of their accomplishments. John and Gladys truly shared a beautiful life together. They were fortunate to have sixty one years of marriage and many blessed moments and memories. Of course, there was some heartache along the way. Sadly their beautiful daughter Cynthia lost her courageous fight in 2010. We take comfort in knowing that they are together and shining bright on this family during the holiday season and always.
Predeceased by his daughter Cynthia Smolko; he leaves beautiful memories to his wife Gladys; daughters Doreen Caruk (Michael) and Sherry Ostensen; his grandchildren Paul Jr., Kimberly, Jon and Karlie; sisters Sue, Margie, Mary Jane and Anna Marie; brothers Stephen and Edward and many more dear relatives, friends and fellow Veterans. His siblings Martin, Andrew and Rose died previously.