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Mr. Andrew J. “Butch” Hvozdovic, a well-known and well-respected lifelong resident of the North End section of the city, passed into Eternal Life early Wednesday morning in the care of the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, following a recent illness.
Born March 25, 1934 in Wilkes-Barre, he was a son to the late Andrew A. and Anna (Koval) Hvozdovic. Educated in the city schools, he was a graduate of the former Sacred Heart of Jesus Slovak parochial school, and later became a member of the 1952 graduating class of the James M. Coughlin High School, Wilkes-Barre. At Coughlin, he was a member of the very last all-male cheering squad.
He was a member of the Parish of Saint Andre Bessette, North Wilkes-Barre, having previously been a life member of the former Sacred Heart of Jesus Slovak Roman Catholic Church prior to its closure and subsequent merger.
Following his formal education, Mr. Hvozdovic proudly served our country during the Korean Conflict with the United States Army, earning the rank of Private First Class at the time of his honorable discharge from duties on November 23, 1955.
Upon his return home, Mr. Hvozdovic was employed by the former United Furniture in Wilkes-Barre for some twenty years. On weekends, he also worked as a security guard at Pocono Downs. On April 26, 1958 in the former Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Pittston, he would marry his beloved wife, Margaret Louise (Balint) Hvozdovic, with whom he recently celebrated sharing sixty years of married life together.
A man who dedicated his life to service, instilling these virtues on to his own sons, he later became employed by the City of Wilkes-Barre Bureau of Fire as a firefighter for twenty-eight years, retiring in 1987.
Mr. Hvozdovic remained very active in local fraternal and social organizations over the years. He held membership in the North End Slovak Citizens Club where he served as president, board of governors and chairman of the board of governors; The Carpatho-Russian Citizens Club; The Polish American Veterans Club; the Polish American Organization; the Triangle Club of Miners Mills; was a board member for the Wilkes-Barre Golf Club, Bear Creek Township; the former Tatra Club of Luzerne County; was a member of Council 302 Knights of Columbus, Wilkes-Barre and was a Fourth Degree Sir Knight of Columbus with the Bishop William J. Hafey Assembly.
Proud of his Slovak heritage, he also held membership in the Slovak Catholic Sokols, where he was president of Assembly 59 in Wilkes-Barre; was past president of Group 7, Slovak Catholic Sokols; Past Supreme Vice President; was a member and past chairman of the Supreme Court.
For his many years of dedicated service to these organizations, he was awarded "Fraternalist of the Year" in 2011 for the Slovak Catholic Sokol and was named "Person of the Year" in 2007 at the North End Slovak Citizens Club, Wilkes-Barre.
Enjoying the outdoors, in his spare time, Mr. Hvozdovic was an avid hunter, fisherman, golfer and also enjoyed bowling on various leagues over the years. His favorite baseball team was the New York Yankees, while he held loyal as a fan to the Philadelphia Eagles football organization.
Butch was preceded in death by sisters-in-law, Mrs. JoAnne Hvozdovic, Mrs. Dorothy Lippi and more recently by a niece, Mrs. Darlene Hvozdovic.
Left to mourn his passing, in addition to his wife Louise at home, are the couple's sons, the Reverend Andrew S. Hvozdovic who is pastor of Epiphany Parish in Sayre and Steven A. Hvozdovic and his wife Chyrisse of North Wilkes-Barre; Grandsons Steven Hvozdovic Jr. and Lance Corporal Joshua Hvozdovic, who is currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan with the United States Marine Corps. Twin brother, Mr. Joseph Hvozdovic of Wilkes-Barre; Brother Mr. Bernard Hvozdovic and his wife Charlotte of Kendall Park, New Jersey; One Niece; Several Nephews; fellow parishioners and dear friends.
Funeral services for Mr. Hvozdovic will be conducted on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. from the North Wilkes-Barre location of the John V. Morris Family Funeral Homes Inc., 625 North Main Street, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. in the Parish of Saint Andre Bessette, 668 North Main Street. The Reverend Andrew S. Hvozdovic, his son will be principal celebrant, the Reverend Monsignor Walter R. Rossi, rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine, Washington, D.C. will serve as homilist. The Reverend Kenneth M. Seegar, pastor of Saint Andre Bessette will serve as concelebrant, with the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton in attendance.
Interment with the Rite of Committal will follow in Sacred Heart of Jesus Slovak Roman Catholic Cemetery of Saint Andre Bessette Parish, Dorchester Drive, Dallas where military honors will be accorded by the United States Army and tributes by members of the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department.
Relatives and friends may join the Hvozdovic family for visitation and shared memories Friday evening from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of floral offerings, Butch's family would be humbled if those contemplating a memorial donation in his memory, kindly give consideration to the Church of the Epiphany, 304 South Elmer Avenue, Sayre, PA 18840.
Church of the Epiphany
304 South Elmer Avenue, Sayre PA 18840