John Joseph Rakauskas, age 84, passed away on June 8, 2020 at Thunderbird Banner Hospital. John was born second child to John Peter and Anna Rakauskas on November 11, 1935 in Scranton, PA. He was brother to Magdalene Rakauskas who passed away in 2004 and brother to Thomas Rakauskas who passed in 1996.
John is the beloved husband of Patricia Ann Rakauskas (Ortmann) whom he met in 1955 while working at Western Electric in Kearny, NJ. It was there that John swayed Patricia with his handsome good looks and wonderful charm to get her to agree to go out on a date. After a year of dating, John asked Patricia to be his bride. During this time of engagement, John entered into the U.S. Army as PFC and remained in service for two years. He was honorably discharged at the end of his service on October 29, 1958. John married the love of his life on November 22, 1958 at St. Cecelia’s RC Church in Iselin, NJ. John coached for the Menlo Park Little League for a number of years and was an avid bowler. John was also a Fourth Degree Knight with the Knights of Columbus in Iselin, NJ. John worked as a Systems Analyst for Western Electric and then AT&T for the next 43 years. John and Patricia made their home in Edison, NJ before retiring to Surprise, AZ in 2003.
John was a loving and devoted father to his children, Mary Rakauskas Irving and her husband Michael Irving, Sandra Rakauskas, Donna Rakauskas Wetzel and her husband Glen Wetzel. John is also father to Karen Marie Rakauskas, who died as an infant on December 25, 1960.
John went from being an amazing father to being an exceptional grandfather (Pop). John had a tremendous amount of love for each one of his grandchildren and took great pride in being there for each one of them. Nothing kept John from attending a school or sport event for his grandchildren and nothing said I Love You more than the smile on his face as he watched them perform. John had a special bond with each grandchild and he loved each one for their own uniqueness. John is the proud Pop to Andrew Wetzel, Christopher Wetzel, Samantha Irving, Danny Wetzel, Steven Irving and Cassidy Rakauskas-Feinman.
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that his family must say goodbye to this amazing man. The love John had for his family was evident by the daily interactions he had with his family and how they surrounded him in love during his life and especially in his passing. He was a strong, yet reserved man who left his mark on everyone he met. He will be sorely missed not only by his family but by his neighborhood buddies with whom he shared a wonderful bond, and by his family and friends back home in the state of New Jersey.
A funeral Mass for John will be held at St. Clare of Assisi RC Church 17111 W. Bell Rd Surprise, AZ 85374 on Wednesday, June 17th at 10:30 AM.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Jude’s Children Hospital or the American Cancer Society.
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