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 John Hancharik, Sr

John Hancharik, Sr

Yukon, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 4 Nov 1981 (aged 60)
McKeesport, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial North Versailles, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot lot no.8, sec. E, Div. 4, Pt. 2
Memorial ID 48937205 · View Source
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John was the youngest of three children in his family. In his youth, he was an avid swimmer and served as a lifeguard at the old Olympia Park in McKeesport, Pa. He was recruited to be a "roadie" and help set up equipment when Lawrence Welk visited the park on several occasions in 1938. One day, at the pool, a fast moving thunderstorm cropped up and he was struck by lightning in the ear which caused a permanent loss of hearing and required him to use a hearing aid the rest of his life. He also developed Diabetes Mellitus at a young age which kept him from serving in the Army during World War II. He was however, able to serve in the Civil Conservation Corp in Deming, New Mexico during the war years.

John was also an avid golfer in those days and started out as a caddy at the Youghiogheny Country Club in Elizabeth Township. His caddying skills earned him a trip to the Worlds Fair in 1939 which was held in New York City. John played golf with friends from work and they sometimes traveled out-of-state to play on a particular course. He was a big fan of Arnold Palmer.

He worked as a die setter for United States Steel, National Tube Co. Life in the mill was harsh and took its toll causing him to take an early medical retirement after 31 years of service because of arthritis in his hands. He had warned his children to "stay out of the mill" since there was no future in it. He was right on target, the mill having closed its doors shortly after his death.

John always enjoyed a good Western movie starting out watching the old Gene Autry movies at the Saturday matinees in the late 30's. Gunsmoke was his favorite TV series and he was also a big fan of the Duke, John Wayne.

He was a lifetime member and trustee of the Versailles Borough Volunteer Fire Co. and served two years as chief starting in 1962. He organized one of the largest parades in the town's history with over 60 volunteer companies attending that year. During President Kennedy's visit to McKeesport, John and fellow firemen were patrolling on the Youghiogheny River under the Jerome Street Bridge as part of the security effort.

He met his future wife, Mary Fillo of McKeesport at the old Olympia Park and was married on May 7, 1949. They settled in Versailles and raised their family until 1970 when he moved to Christy Park in McKeesport.

Family Members


  • Created by: Gary Hancharik
  • Added: 28 Feb 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 48937205
  • Gary Hancharik
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Hancharik, Sr (25 Feb 1921–4 Nov 1981), Find A Grave Memorial no. 48937205, citing New Saint Josephs Cemetery, North Versailles, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Gary Hancharik (contributor 47247773) .