Born September 30, 1926 in Jacobs Creek, PA, Dr. John Alexander Simkovich slipped away quietly July 20, 2020.
Son of Aleksander Simkovich, born in Mokra, Ukraine and Barbara Turis Simkovich Bobich, born in Whitsett, PA, he was proceeded in death by his parents, his wife Caroline and his brother George.
Growing up in a large family in the small coal mining town of Jacob’s Creek during the Great Depression, John overcame many challenges early in life, including the death of his father when he was 8. While still in high school, he worked after school helping maintain the nearby Baltimore & Ohio and Pittsburgh & Lake Erie railroad lines with his brother George during the tail end of the Great Depression to help support his family. He also worked maintaining these same rail lines during WWII as part of a domestic civil defense assignment to help support the nation during war time. After graduating South Huntington High School in Mendon, PA in 1944, he enlisted in the United States Navy and entered into basic training during the winter of 1944-1945 at the Naval Station Great Lakes, near Chicago. While John had many adventures in his life, he described basic training that winter as one of the most difficult and arduous experience of his life. After Basic Training, he was assigned to the Naval Air Station Alameda, in California, for advanced weaponry training.
He then went on to serve in the U.S. Navy in World War II in the South Pacific as an Electricians Mate on an ammunition ship, widely considered to be the most dangerous vessel assignment in the Pacific Theater of war. His ship was sailing towards Japan in the summer of 1945 when news of the bombing of Hiroshima was received, and the war soon ended.
After the war, he attended The Pennsylvania State University on the G.I. Bill. He supported himself through college by working as a short order cook, cooking breakfast for over 100 students every morning before starting classes each day. He also found time to develop his athletic skills, becoming a championship handball player while at Penn State.
After graduating college with a B.S. in Agricultural Science, he worked as a produce inspector in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. It was during this time, on his daily morning train commute to downtown Pittsburgh, that he met his future wife, Caroline M. Szary.
During college, John experienced a horrific car accident. While he slept in the back seat, the car he was in was hit by on oncoming car and projected him through the windshield at a high rate of speed. He suffered numerous facial and bodily injuries and was in a coma for 3 days. It was through the process of his recovery from this accident that he discovered chiropractic care, which then became his life-long calling.
After his wedding to Caroline on September 15, 1956, the couple moved to Davenport, Iowa, where he attended the Palmer College of Chiropractic, graduating in 1959. John and Caroline returned to Western Pennsylvania where they raised their children and John operated chiropractic practices in Point Marion, PA and Morgantown, WV. John devoted and dedicated 56 years of his life as a chiropractor, treating over 13,000 patients during his career. John was so passionate about his profession, that he did not retire until he was in his late 80’s. At that time, it was believed that he was the oldest full-time practicing chiropractor in the Tri-State area and, in fact, one of the oldest in the United States. He and his family were also active, faithful member of St Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Morgantown, WV.
John was an early adopter of an all-natural, organic and holistic healthy lifestyle. In addition to organic, chemical free farming, gardening and beekeeping, John was a lifelong, proponent of proper nutrition and exercise. He often encouraged family, friends and patients to participate in a healthy lifestyle. His interest in healthy living carried through to his passion for body building and weightlifting, which he began to practice while in the Navy, and continued through his mid 80s. He was a persistent student of wellness, an avid reader, and indulged in a vast array of intellectual pursuits.
John was a light unto everyone he came across, always quick with a kind word, a humorous story, and a nugget of wisdom. His children, including Martin and Elaine Simkovich of Drexel Hill, PA, Stephen Simkovich of Las Vegas, NV, Valerie Simkovich of Point Marion, PA, Monica and Chris Anderholm of Greensboro, NC and Elena Simkovich and Eddy Krifcher of Pittsburgh, PA, and grandchildren Emily Simkovich, Paige and Jacob Anderholm and Leah and Noa Krifcher will greatly miss his amusing anecdotes and sage advice.
He will also be greatly missed by his sister Mary Coroneos, and brothers Charles and Alex; many nieces and nephews from the Simkovich, Szary and Babyak families.
Friends will be received in the Terravecchia-Haky Home for Funerals, Inc.,71 Pennsylvania Avenue, Uniontown, PA 15401, on Sunday July 26, 2020 from 12-8 p.m., and on Monday July 27, 2020 until 9:15 when the Panachida will be held.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, 185 E. Main St., Uniontown, Pa, with the Reverend Jerome G. Botsko as celebrant.
Interment will follow in Mount Macrina Cemetery, Uniontown, Pa
Flowers are welcome, and other contributions can be sent to Mount Macrina Manor in memory of John.
If you wish to leave an online condolence for the family, please visit our website: www.terravecchiahakyfh.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. John Alexander Simkovich, please visit our floral store.