John Frank Gierla
May 21, 1923 to April 30, 2020
World War II Marine Veteran
Loyal Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather, Age 96
John F. Gierla of Nutley, NJ, formerly of Jersey City and Belleville, passed away on Thursday, April 30, 2020. Johnny was just shy of 97; he spent his life serving his country, his God and his family.
Johnny attended Ferris High School in Jersey City where he excelled at sports; he was captain and quarterback of the football team and catcher on the baseball team. During World War II, Johnny honorably served as a Marine in the Pacific Theatre.
Proudly returning, he joined Western Electric/Lucent Technologies where he remained for 41 years. As a layout operator and then a supervisor of transatlantic telephone cable production, as well as a union representative, Johnny’s career was marked by his always friendly demeanor and a strong work ethic.
The church was a significant part of his life. At Holy Rosary Church in Jersey City, Johnny was a member of the Knights of Columbus. At Holy Family Church in Nutley, he belonged to the Holy Name Society and held numerous parish volunteer and fund raising roles for over fifty years. He enjoyed his membership in the Old Guard and Senior Citizen Association. Johnny was a kind, positive and grateful individual; his family, neighbors and friends could always depend on his assistance, encouragement and most of all his smile.
He is survived by his children and their spouses, Joyce Gierla, John and Robin Gierla, Diane and Tony Cucinotta and Michele and Keith Ansbacher, grandchildren, Patricia Konstantaros, Jill and Michael DePinho, Diana Ansbacher and Carla Cucinotta. Johnny was blessed too with four great grandchildren; Alexandra and Athena Konstantaros and Logan and Adam DePinho. He was the beloved “Uncle Johnny” to a host of wonderful nieces and nephews from the Gierla and Placito families.
Johnny was predeceased by his wife and prom date of 67 years, Olly (Placito) Gierla, his parents, Angela (Slawinski) and Peter Gierla, and eight siblings, Joseph, Peter, Rudy, Angela Balinski, Sophie, Blanche Massa, Genevieve Cierski and Anthony and in-laws.
Johnny’s life exemplified those of the Greatest Generation who were guided by the values of personal responsibility, humility and duty. He died as he lived; without complaint and with dignity.
Because of the coronavirus crisis, private funeral services will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. A mass at Holy Family Church, Nutley, along with a celebration of his life, will be held at a later date.
Donations in his memory may be made to Holy Family Church, Nutley, NJ on their “Go Fund Me” page established by Pastor Ferraro. https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/holy-family-nutley/josephferraro10
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Holy Family Church - "Gofundme"