Obituaries » Joseph (Joe) J. Kotnarowski

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Joseph (Joe) J. Kotnarowski

May 18, 1921 - March 26, 2015

Burial Date March 26, 2015

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Joseph J. (Joe) Kotnarowski, age 93, of Old Forge, PA died March 26, 2015 at the Community Living Center of the VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA surrounded by family and friends. Joe was born in Old Forge, PA on May 18, 1921, son of the late Felix and Mary Haynos Kotnarowski. Preceeded in death by his beloved wife Mary as well as brothers and sisters; Helen Tomaszewski, Loretta Tylawsky, Pearl Swetlick, Mitzi Kotnarowski, Ed Kotnarowski, Walter Kotnarowski and Felix Kotnarowski.
Joe is survived by his sister Mary Ann Gavin of Stevensville, PA. sister-in-law Helen Gambal of Old Forge and numerous nieces and nephews.
During World War II, Joe enlisted in the United States Army and was sent to the Pacific. He returned a decorated combat veteran after serving in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and the Philippine Islands. After an extended recovery period in Walter Reed Army Hospital, he married the former Mary Lefchak on June 16th, 1948. They were married for 63 years at the time of Mary’s passing in 2011. Throughout his life, Joe and Mary stayed in contact with the buddies he met in the service through letters and road trips.
Joe initially worked with his father Felix in the Kotnarowski Grocery Store in Old Forge. He was a skilled craftsmen and carpenter; and eventually started his own construction company building many homes in the Old Forge and Scranton areas.
Joe had a phenomenal memory, sharp to the end, not only for people and places, but for facts and figures as well. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, watching news and sports, and telling stories. He was a man with a big heart who would do anything he could for family and friends. He enjoyed the companionship of his fellow Veterans at the VA Community Living Center, and actively participated in outings and events provided at the Center.
A blessing service will be celebrated by Rev . Francis L. Pauselli and will be held on Monday, March 30th, at 1 PM in the Thomas P. Kearney Funeral Home, 517 North Main Street, Old Forge. Military honors will be conducted by the AMVETS Honor Guard. Interment will follow in St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends and family may pay their respects on Monday from 11 AM until services.
Memorial contributions may be made in Joe’s name to the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center’s Voluntary Service Office, 1111 East End Blvd., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18611.