John Paul Etcho, 95, of Morea, passed away Monday, January 2, at Broad Mountain Nursing and Rehabilitaion Center, Frackville, where he had been a resident for the past 6 months.
Born in New Boston, May 21, 1921, he was a son of the late Andrew and Anna Ellis Etcho, Sr.
After graduating Mahanoy Township High School he was awarded a scholarship to Villanova, but decided to leave and join the Marines to fight for his country in World War II.
He played three sports in high school 1937-38-39 football, baseball and basketball in which he excelled in all of them. He will always be remembered as the all-time leading scorer for Basketball at Mahanoy Township with 43 points in one game. He was recognized for this and was admitted to the Jerry Wolhman Hall of Fame.
He was honorable discharged from the Marines due to an injury received while in battle. He was invited to try out with the Philadelphia Phillies after leaving the service but due to his leg injury decided to forego the try outs.
He then graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a degree in Health and Physical Education. He was an educator for 37 years; he taught and coached at a High School in the state of Washington, where he led the basketball team to a state championship.
Upon moving back to the Philadelphia area he taught until his retirement at the Devereux School in Devon, PA where he served as Principle, Academic Head Teacher, Head Adult Day Care Center, Program Coordinator, Physical Education and Camp Counselor summers in Maine.
After retirement he was a crossing guard at St. Dennis School, Havertown, PA which is where he and his lovely wife Mary lived for most of their life.
With John’s witty sense of humor he always wanted his obituary to note that as a young boy his side job included working in the coal hole and picking potatoes.
He was a member of St. John the Baptist Polish National Church, Frackville; the Disabled American Veterans and the North Eastern Athletic Hall of Fame.
John was preceded in death by his lovely wife Mary Kruk Etcho, 10 years ago which he stated his theory was “I Had A Great Life With a Wonderful Wife”; also sisters; Anna Gensure, Mary Patcella and Margaret Palmer; brothers; Andrew Etcho, Jr. and Joseph Etcho.
He survived by his caregivers; niece JoAnn Dower and husband Joseph, Morea; special nephew Edward Gensure, Barnesville; several nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; great-great nieces and nephews whom he always said lighted up his life, by attending anything that they took part in.
Special Thanks is extended to Fresenius Dialysis Center Staff, St. Clair, the Staff at Broad mountain Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Frackville, The STS Transportation and countless friends and Family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 Saturday morning in St. John the Baptist Polish National Catholic Church, Frackville, with Rev. Robert Plichta, pastor, as celebrant. Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation at the church from 9:00 a.m. till time Mass. Interment with Military honors will be in St. John’s Polish National Cemetery, Frackville.