John Michael Yando, 74, Dunmore, died Thursday night at Geisinger-Community Medical Center, Scranton. He and his beloved wife, the former Julie Ann Kobar, would have celebrated 50 years of marriage on September 25, 2021.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, son of the late Frank P. and Edith Stevens Yando, John was a 1966 graduate of Pocono Mountain High School where he was a standout athlete participating in track and field, football, and wrestling, being named outstanding wrestler in 1966. John was also a member of the Slovak Gymnastic Union in Rossford, Ohio and competed as an amateur gymnast while training at East Stroudsburg University, winning many awards.
Upon graduation he joined the United States Air Force, proudly serving his country for four years, including a 1-year tour of duty in Vietnam. After being honorably discharged, he worked as a claims manager for M&G Convoy Co. In July of 1976, John joined the United States Army Reserves where he enjoyed a long and respected career. He achieved twenty-five years maximum amount of service and upon his military retirement held the rank of Staff Sergeant. As a civilian, he continued working for the Army Reserves in his previous role as Unit Administrator for the 828th Quartermaster Co. until his mandated retirement at the age of 60. John then accepted a position at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in the procurement division where he worked until his retirement in July of 2016. Among his many achievements throughout his military career, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, US Army Reserve Achievement Medal with Silver Oak Cluster, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, US Vietnam Service Medal with Two Bronze Stars, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
John was a man of many talents. He had a gifted sense of humor (whether you found him funny or not) that was only made better by that sly grin on his face and the twinkle in his eye. John had a bountiful knowledge of trees, plants, grass, and insects that allowed him to cultivate a beautiful yard and garden that was admired by all who saw it. He was an excellent cook who loved nothing more than making delicious meals for his family, especially eggplant parmigiana and chicken paprikash. If anything was broken, everybody knew that ‘Daddy’s gotta fix-it’. John knew that if something was worth doing, it was worth doing right. That strong work ethic served him well throughout his athletic career, military career, and his life at home. He was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather who would do anything and everything for his family, and he certainly did. He was so proud of his three daughters, and he was grateful that he saw them grow up into the beautiful women that they have become. John was also proud of his grandson, Will, and all of his accomplishments. He always loved to hear him play his clarinet and spending time together in the yard and garden. He adored his granddaughter, Elizabeth, and looked forward to her visits, wanting to know if his ‘heart medicine’ was here. He especially loved when she learned how to say ‘I Love You’ using sign language, and it quickly became their special sign when saying goodbye. The one thing that everyone knew about John was that he was a fighter. Throughout the many years of health struggles that he endured, he never gave up the fight to get well. He fought until the very end, and we could not be any prouder of our hero.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by their daughters, or as he called them ‘his three treasures’ Stefanie Ann Trygar and husband Paul, Moscow; Amy Melissa Yando, Moosic; and Ashley Yando DeFlice and husband Peter, Clarks Green; grandchildren William Michael Trygar and Elizabeth Cecelia DeFlice; his sister Mary Yando, Oak Hill, FL; a sister-in-law, Marlene Stowell and husband, John, Loveland, OH; as well as nieces and nephews.
He was also preceded in death by his brothers, Frank A. and Jerry Yando.
The funeral will be Monday with Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in St. Anthony of Padua Church, Smith St., Dunmore. Interment with military honors will follow at Dunmore Cemetery.
All those attending are asked to wear a mask and follow all social distancing guidelines.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in John’s memory may be made to SS. Anthony and Rocco Parish, 303 Smith St., Dunmore; or to St. Francis Commons, 504 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA 18509.
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