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John R. Gawlas

Gawlas, John R. (Beanie), 83, passed away peacefully on January 16 in the Palliative Care Unit of Conemaugh Memorial Hospital from complications of a stroke. He was born in the Brownstown area of Johnstown, PA, and was preceded in death by his parents, Rudy and Betty (Bezek) Gawlas. John served in the US Army National Guard tank battalion and was deployed to Germany during the Korean war.  He met his wife, Lydia, while riding motorcycles which was an activity they enjoyed together for many years.  He worked for Bezek Nursery and then was employed by Bethlehem Steel Corporation for 37 years in the Gautier division 12-inch mill where he advanced to the position of Roller.  He received many commendations and broke records that still stand today. John was an avid aluminum can recycler.  He loved the outdoors and enjoyed cutting fire wood and planting crops on the farm that he worked hard to restore.  He created a beautiful homestead for his family.  The farm had become a home for many pet companions and was also a haven for wild animals including deer and turkey. He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 64 years, Lydia (Pavlo) Gawlas.  He is also survived by his brother Ronald (Cubby) and his wife Beverly, along with numerous in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was the loving father to his children, daughter Deborah and husband James Peters of Bolivar, PA, son Thomas and wife Terry of Hummelstown, PA, and daughter Rebecca of Armagh, PA.  He was always available to offer help, wise advice, and be a strong and loving role model for his grandchildren Shawn Griffith of Colorado, William Jones of Bolivar, PA, and Adam Jones and his wife Erin of Clyde, PA.  The newest member of the family, his great-grandson, Noah Jones, was the apple of his eye.  He will be sorely missed by everyone including BJ and Buster. It was John’s request that there be no public visitation or viewing.  His family wishes to thank the Palliative Care Unit of Conemaugh Memorial Hospital for their tender loving care during this difficult time.  Memorial donations may be made in John’s name to the Palliative Care Unit, Conemaugh Heath Foundation, 1086 Franklin Street, Johnstown, PA 15905. Arrangements in care of the Hindman Funeral Homes and Crematory Inc., “Exclusive Provider of Veterans and Family Memorial Care.” Condolences may be made at

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