Obituary of John J. Polaha
John Joseph Polaha, 81, of Vineland, NJ, passed away peacefully February 24, 2022, surrounded by his wife and seven children.
John was born in Allentown, PA to Andrew and Justine (Lanche) Polaha on February 19, 1941. John graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1959 and remained very involved with his alma mater. Following graduation, he enlisted into the United States Air Force and proudly served our country. Upon completing 4 years of service, John went on to earn a BA at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, KS where he met his loving wife Carol.
Relocating to New York for a short time, John was the Recreation Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Camp for children in Harlem. From there, John and his wife moved to Michigan where he went on to earn an MA in Recreation with a Specialist in education from Central Michigan University. Shortly after graduating, John worked simultaneously as a Recreation Director and Principal of adult education. John's career path brought him and his family to Vineland, NJ in 1979 where he continued his role as Recreation Director and Principal of adult education in Buena. He later became the Superintendent of Recreation of Vineland serving his community for about 25 years.
John not only loved serving his community but also his church. He was co-chairman of Family Life for 38 years, a member of Pre Cana for 25 years, and a Eucharistic Minister. His favorite pastime was watching his children and grandchildren participate in activities as well as watching his favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
His smile, humor, and laughter preceded him wherever he went. His life mirrored the words of Mother Teresa, "If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." And loved his family he did. He has left a legacy of love.
John is survived by his loving wife, Carol (Kimminau) of 54 years and his adoring children, Annette and Cody (Keith), John, Jason and LaToya, Matt, Margo, Andrea and Robert (Ryan) and Renee and Dustin (Deguevara). He was the proud grandfather to his 21 grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Jerry and wife Esther; sister Mary Boyd and husband Mike.
John is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Fr. Andrew Polaha and sister and brother in-law, Justine and Charles Lockwood.
Family and friends will be received on Friday evening March 4th from 6-8pm at DeMarco-Luisi Funeral Home, 2755 S. Lincoln Ave., Vineland and again on Saturday, March 5th at Christ the Good Shepherd Parish, Sacred Heart Church, 1010 E Landis Ave., Vineland.from 9-10:45am with a funeral liturgy to follow at 11am. Burial will follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Vineland.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either Christ the Good Shepherd Parish or Bishop Schad School. Memories, thoughts and prayers may be extended to the family by visiting dlfuneral.com.