John F. Novelli Jr.
November 11, 2017
John F. Novelli Jr., 83, formerly of Mocanaqua, passed into the hands of the Lord on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Born and raised in Mocanaqua, he was the son of the late John Sr. and Sophie Kita Novelli.
John was a graduate of the former Shickshinny High School. He proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957.
He was an active and dedicated member of Holy Spirit Parish/St. Mary’s Church, Mocanaqua, not only as a parishioner but as the first volunteer at many of the church functions such as St. Mary’s picnic, making pierogis and opening and closing the church. Often known as “the candle man,” he distributed and took care of the candles in the cemetery.
He was a member of the Polish Falcons of Mocanaqua, where he was chief counselor, advisor and comedian as the club’s bartender.
John was employed for many years by Wise Foods, eventually retiring and taking on the school guard position for Nanticoke Area schools.
He was preceded in death, in addition to his parents, by his wife, Marie.
Surviving are three children, Linda Reilly and her husband, Bud, Forty Fort; Lisa Umbra and her husband, William, Plains Twp.; and Lori Pond; a sister, Theresa Novelli, Mocanaqua; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many cousins and friends.
John enjoyed church bazaars, church functions, driving members of the community to appointments, and polka dancing, where he can still be seen on WVIA TV. He and his wife, Marie, won many awards for their dancing.
Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday from Mayo Funeral Home Inc., 77 N. Main St., Shickshinny, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in Holy Spirit Parish/St. Mary’s Church, Mocanaqua.
Family and friends are asked to call at the funeral home from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
The family wishes to thank Hospice of the Sacred Heart and Sinclair nursing services for their exceptional care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wilkes-Barre YMCA’s LIVESTRONG program for cancer survivors.
For information, or to send condolences, please visit www.mayofh.com.