Also known as “Scat”, John was born August 3, 1933 in Struthers to George and Susan Bonish Jerek and grew up in the Nebo area of Struthers. He graduated in 1951 from Struthers High School. After graduating he worked for Sharon Steel and then earned a living as a talented bricklayer working for a variety of contractors in the Valley, primarily through the Bricklayers Union #8, where he served faithfully in the negotiating team. There he was a progressive advocate for adequate pensions and benefits for union members. He retired from Lencyk Masonry in 1995.
John had been a faithful Catholic and a member of Our Lady of Sorrows parish at St. Matthias Church since his marriage to Margaret Adams on January 14, 1956. There he was a devoted member of the Holy Name Society for over 50 years and served as its president for several years. John coached football at St Matthias School and served as a parish councillor. After retirement, he enjoyed participating in many church activities, including a variety of adult education opportunities. He enjoyed helping with St. Vincent DePaul’s monthly food distribution at St. John the Baptist Church in Campbell and was a strong supporter of Dorothy Day House in Youngstown. John also worked at the Downtown YMCA in Youngstown where he made many friends. He was very proud of his Croatian heritage and hosted his annual lamb roast on Labor Day weekend for many years.
He is survived by his beloved wife of over 66 years, the former Margaret Adams and his six children: Judy Horcharik (Steve Urish) of Elkhart Illinois, James Jerek of Boardman, Jeannie (Bill) Alexander of Punta Gorda , Florida, father John Jerek of Youngstown, Jeffrey (Ronda) Jerek of Boardman and Joseph Jerek (Douglas Prange) of Jefferson City, Missouri and his seven grandchildren: John Michael Horcharik III, Stephen Horcharik (Beka), Daniel Horcharik , Kathryn Heglaw (Kent), Jennifer Jerek, Alyssa Jerek and Jessica Alexander, plus four great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Donna who died last August.
John will always be remembered for his strong work ethic, his commitment to his faith, his devotion to his family and his priceless and unpredictable sense of humor.
Family and friends can call from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10 at Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home on Route 170 in Poland. John’s funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 11 at St. Matthias Church in Youngstown. Interment will take place at St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Coitsville following the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Building Fund or the Our Lady of Sorrows St. Vincent DePaul Society.
The Jerek family entrusted John’s care to the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home in Poland.
To send flowers to the family of John “Scat” G. Jerek, please visit our flower shop.
Published by Mahoning Matters on March 9, 2022.