In memory of
John Cehelsky Air Force veteran, enthusiastic & engaged father of four daughters, loyal parishioner in Roselle, danced the polka when he could John Cehelsky passed away peacefully at home on November 6, 2020 after living a life of love, honor and faith. John always was so proud of his family and found his greatest joy in their company. John was born and raised in the coal-mining town of Mahanoy City, PA, the youngest child of Helen and Emerick Cehelsky. He is pre-deceased by his parents, his brother Albert and sisters, Helen and Anna, twin brothers George and Edward, and his twin, Elizabeth, who passed just a few days after they were born. John and his surviving brother Steve, currently residing in Rhode Island, won many basketball championships in high school, causing him to be a lifelong basketball fan, a trait which he has passed to his children and grandchildren. Although offered a college scholarship, in an effort to support his family once his father got sick after high school, John joined the Air Force during the Korean Conflict and was stationed overseas in both Germany and French Morocco and eventually worked at the Pentagon. Following his military service he relocated to the New York/New Jersey area where he worked for the Central Jersey Railroad in Jersey City and then EF Hutton for 28 years. Thereafter, he worked for Bear Stearns until his retirement in 1998. When he lived in Jersey City, NJ, he would return to his hometown on weekends to spend time with family and friends. He quite often would offer a ride to fellow Mahanoy City native, Lucille Zegley, who had also relocated to New York and they soon began to date. They wed in 1962 in Mahanoy City. They briefly moved to Roselle Park, NJ, before buying their home in Roselle, NJ, where they lived for 52 years and raised their four girls. In Roselle, John was an active member of St. Joseph the Carpenter parish, where he was a Eucharistic minister, worked bingo and was a member of the Guard of Honor, Knight of Columbus and the parental organizations for St. Joseph Grammar School, Girls Catholic High School and Roselle Catholic High School. He helped out in every organization that his girls joined, even being the supervisor of the Saturday morning Girl Scout Bowling League at Roselle Lanes. John loved watching sports, especially when his children and grandchildren participated. From GAL softball, Girl Scout bowling, CYO basketball, high school and college sports in which his girls were active, to Little League, Club Soccer and basketball, and the grammar school and high school sports of his grandchildren, John would always enjoy a hard-fought game. "You play the way you practice" was a favorite mantra of his. While raising his family, John found relaxation in his hobby of making candles and also enjoyed annual family vacations to Ocean City, MD, where they would set up a campsite and would spend weeks crabbing, clamming, fishing, swimming and making life-long memories. In his later years, John and Lucie would spend vacations on cruises, as well as attending polka-dancing events. John could really "cut a rug." Always known to have a smile on his face, John loved to see people laugh, and once you chuckled at the first joke, he had you there for a few minutes stringing out a number of often corny jokes. John is survived by his loving wife, Lucie, daughters Joanne (Morris Plains, NJ) married to John Feeney, Kathy (Spring Lake Heights, NJ), Barbara (Atlanta, GA) married to Mark Hodgdon and Anne (Spring Lake Heights, NJ), grandchildren Ryan, Kate and Sean Feeney and Will and Jessica Hodgdon, as well as his brother Steve and dozens of nieces and nephews. While the family mourns the loss of such a loving human being, they invite friends and family to celebrate his life at the visitation at the Walter Johnson Funeral Home, 803 Raritan Rd., Clark, NJ on Friday, November 20 from 2 - 4 pm and 6 - 9 pm. Funeral services begin on Saturday, November 21, at 10:30 am at the funeral home, thence to the Church of St. Joseph the Carpenter, Roselle, NJ where a Funeral Mass will be offered at 12 noon. Interment is at Brig. Gen. William Doyle Veterans Cemetery in Wrightstown, NJ will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John's memory to the Knights of Columbus, Arthritis National Research Foundation or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
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