CERNETICH – John Alan “Al,” 74, Johnstown, died Sept. 3 at Windber Hospice after a recent cancer diagnosis, with his loving wife of 52 years by his side. John was born on Dec. 22, 1946, the oldest son of John and Odessa (Bruce) Cernetich. He was a role model to not just his eight younger siblings, but for many others who grew up “on the hill” in Woodvale Heights. A 1964 graduate of East Conemaugh High School, he enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to pursue a mechanical engineering degree before enlisting in the U.S. Navy, where he spent four years as an Aviation Electronics Technician. He returned home to marry the former Mary Jo Miller before completing his military service. He worked as a laborer and engineer for Bethlehem Steel before returning to Pitt, where he earned an electrical engineering degree in 1975. John’s nearly 50-year career started at Florence Mining, Co. Most recently, he was employed by AMD Industries, INC. Those who knew him well will remember his sharp memory and adept storytelling. John was often called on by family to recount tales involving his fellow "blackbirds" and to remind them all of "what it amounts to." John was endlessly proud of his family and enjoyed spending as much time as possible with his children and grandsons. For decades, he and Mary Jo hosted family on Christmas Eve to tell stories and share memories, especially over a cup of tea with a shot of whiskey. He is preceded in death by his parents, an older sister Barbara Ellen, and younger brothers James and Philip “Andy.” John is survived by his wife, daughter Amy (Ryan Ott) and son John Cernetich Jr., (Cecile Sam), both of Philadelphia, and three grandsons: Alasdair Ott, Nathaniel Ott and John Alan Cernetich III. He is also survived by brothers Gregory (Cheryl), Ronald (Valerie) and William, all of Johnstown, and sisters Patricia Graham, M.D., Princeton, N.J.; Mary A., Wilmington, Del.; and Beverly Gurdock (Joseph), Wilkes-Barre, along with nieces Kelly Brown (Ryan) and Ariana Notartomaso, and nephew Robison Cernetich (fiancée Kelsey), and special cousin Gary (Donna). Friends will be received from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Francis G. Ozog Funeral Home, 710 Broad Street. Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Resurrection Parish, the Rev. George M. Gulash. The family would appreciate visitors be masked and vaccinated as a precaution against COVID-19. Committal will take place at Grandview Cemetery, where the Conemaugh Valley Detachment #287 Marine Corp. League will hold honors. Condolences can be sent to the family at fgozogfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Windber Hospice, 600 Somerset Ave. Windber, PA.
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