OBITUARY

John Kovan

September 14, 1924February 22, 2021

John (Kvochko) Kovan, 96, of Mayfield Hts. (formerly of Wilpen, PA), passed peacefully at home on February 22, 2021.

Loving husband of the late Bernice “Bunny” Zimmerman, beloved father to Janis, Karen and Sandra Kovan and dear grandfather to Alicia Ramos.

After serving in the Navy during WWII, John enjoyed working at TRW for 40 years as a skilled machinist. TRW was where he met his future wife and many of his buddies. The company arranged the golf, bowling leagues and family day events at Geauga Lake that he loved. It was the workplace that provided him with a decent living wage, health care and a pension to help raise his family and secure their future.

John was blessed with an almost equally long retirement. He filled it with travel, sports, eating out, volunteering at a local little theatre, and spending time with his three daughters, nephews, nieces, and friends. He delivered Meals on Wheels to those in need. Private services for family only with burial at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Bedford Hts., OH.

In remembrance of John, please support businesses that pay their workers a living wage, vote for politicians who will create affordable health care for all and contribute to nonprofit organizations working to create a more just, equitable and sustainable planet.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.bkbmc.com for the Kovan family.

Arrangements under the direction of Berkowitz-Kumin-Bookatz Memorial Chapel (216) 932-7900.

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Written by Janis Kovan

My Dad is an adventurer.

He grew up one of six siblings in a small coal mining town outside of Ligonier, Pennsylvania amid flowers, vegetables, chickens, and church. Carpathian Russian parents. Mom never spoke English and father was a strict disciplinarian and church elder.

He hightailed it out of there at sixteen to join the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and never looked back. He built trails and structures in national and state parks throughout the Southwest and then landed a job at a hospital in Jerome, Arizona.

He enlisted in the Navy at eighteen, trained in Rhode Island and served in a supply unit on Guam. At the end of his service, he moved to Cleveland and took flying lessons on the Gl Bill. He got a good job at TRW's Tapco plant, where he met Bernice "Bunny/' Zimmerman. She was a city girl. A former dance instructor at Arthur Murray, outgoing, independent, and Jewish, like him second-generation and of Eastern European descent. Their parents, though born just on opposite sides of the Carpathian Mountains, were worlds apart. Hers were Jewish, his Russian Orthodox. They married, bought a home bordering a large woods and raised three Jewish children.

He was known for his generosity, dry wit and love of children and animals. He was a good provider, often working two jobs to support his family. He enjoyed spending time with his kids. He turned our driveway into an ice-skating rink in the winter. He built a ball field in the woods for the neighborhood and taught us how to pick the best apples, strawberries, and blackberries. Our love of nature came from him. He showed his love through action. He was a jack of all trades: fixing cars, wallpapering, painting, and doing yard work. He loved to keep busy. He helped his three daughters move multiple times and transported one to college.

A skilled machinist for forty years, he found the work satisfying. He enjoyed the comradery of his coworkers, some of whom, remained his buddies for many years. He joined company golf and bowling leagues and his family loved the company’s Christmas parties and family days at Geauga Lake amusement park.

He didn't require much to make him happy. Being helpful to others brought him satisfaction. He tipped generously and enjoyed playing with everyone's kids and animals immensely. He volunteered as a driver with Meals on Wheels and worked on sets and lighting for a local playhouse.

He was a handsome, faithful, and loyal husband. He loved his outgoing, fun-loving wife. He would do anything for his three daughters, although he did not have a clue about what to do during their angst-ridden teen and young adult years.

He lost the love of his life one year after he retired. They had enjoyed one year as snowbirds in Phoenix. His daughters kept him busy. He visited them in New York City, Boston, and Rhode Island. And they went on trips with him to Europe, California, and Florida and to explore our national parks.

In his later years, he enjoyed simple pleasures: weekly breakfast with his buddies, watching baseball, golfing, bowling, visiting Cleveland's great parks and spending time with family. He revisited pool as his game of choice.

Covid-19 kept him inside, so his daughters transformed the family room into his own pool hall and were impressed by his skills honed over 70 plus years. He bested 70-year-olds well into his nineties. In the winter, our fireplace held the most allure. Never having had a fireplace, he relished tending it delicately and putting out its embers each evening. In the warmer months, he enjoyed viewing the passing parade of wildlife from a comfortable chair on the terrace of his daughter's wooded one-acre lot. Yes, there were also gorgeous flowers and vegetables, but no chickens, only wild turkeys and as for church, well, that is a whole other story, but the fact that he married a Jewish girl should give you a hint.

  • FAMILY

  • Bernice "Bunny" Kovan, Wife (deceased)
  • Janis Kovan, Daughter
  • Karen Kovan, Daughter
  • Sandra Kovan, Daughter
  • Alicia Ramos, Granddaughter

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

John Kovan

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Sharon Brown

February 24, 2021

My deepest sympathy to John’s family . I remember John when I was growing up along with his lovely wife, Bernice and daughters, Janis, Karen and Sandy. John and Bernice were friends of my father and mother! I remember how kind and caring John was as he was often helping my dad, Allen with some home projects. He was a wonderful friend and a joy to be around. My thoughts and prayers to all of his family and friends. Sharon

Steven Fox

February 24, 2021

I am sorry on your lost... it been years but I have great memories of your parents and playing with all 3 of you at our house on Berkshire..

Jan Kovan

February 24, 2021

My parents were married 69 years ago this week and they enjoyed 33 years together. My dad’s next 33 years were filled with friends, family, travel and sports.
He said often “I had a good life and I’m satisfied”.

Jan Kovan

February 23, 2021

He enjoyed the comradery of his coworkers, some of whom, remained his buddies for many years. He joined company golf and bowling leagues and his family loved the company’s Christmas parties and family days at Geagua Lake amusement park.
He didn’t require much to make him happy. Being helpful to others brought him satisfaction. He tipped generously and enjoyed playing with everyone’s kids and animals immensely. He volunteered as a driver with Meals on Wheels and worked on sets and lighting for a local playhouse.
He was a handsome, faithful, and loyal husband. He loved his outgoing, fun-loving wife. He would do anything for his three daughters, although he did not have a clue about what to do during their angst-ridden teen and young adult years.
He lost the love of his life one year after he retired. They had enjoyed one year as snowbirds in Phoenix.
His daughters kept him busy. He visited them in New York City, Boston, and Rhode Island. And they went on trips with him to Europe, California, and Florida and to explore our national parks.
In his later years, he enjoyed simple pleasures: weekly breakfast with his buddies, watching baseball, golfing, bowling, visiting Cleveland’s great parks and spending time with family. He revisited pool as his game of choice.
Covid-19 kept him inside, so his daughters transformed the family room into his own pool hall and were impressed by his skills honed over 70 plus years. He bested 70-year-olds well into his nineties.
In the winter, our fireplace held the most allure. Never having had a fireplace, he relished tending it delicately and putting out its embers each evening. In the warmer months, he enjoyed viewing the passing parade of wildlife from a comfortable chair on the terrace of his daughter’s wooded one-acre lot.
Yes, there were also gorgeous flowers and vegetables, but alas no chickens, only wild turkeys. We love you dad 😀
(composed for his 96th
birthday celebration)

Jan Kovan

February 23, 2021

My Dad is an adventurer.
He grew up one of six siblings in a small coal mining town outside of Ligonier, Pennsylvania amid flowers, vegetables, chickens, and church. Carpathian Russian parents. Mom never spoke English and father was a strict disciplinarian and church elder.
He hightailed it out of there at sixteen to join the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and never looked back. He built trails and structures in national and state parks throughout the Southwest and then landed a job at a hospital in Jerome, Arizona.
He enlisted in the Navy at eighteen, trained in Rhode Island and served in a supply unit on Guam. At the end of his service, he moved to Cleveland and took flying lessons on the GI Bill. He got a good job at TRW’s Tapco plant, where he met Bernice “Bunny” Zimmerman. She was a city girl. A former dance instructor at Arthur Murray, outgoing, independent, and Jewish, like him second-generation and of Eastern European descent. Their parents, though born just on opposite sides of the Carpathian Mountains, were worlds apart. Hers were Jewish, his Russian Orthodox. They married, bought a home bordering a large woods and raised three Jewish children.
He was known for his generosity, dry wit and love of children and animals. He was a good provider, often working two jobs to support his family. He enjoyed spending time with his kids. He turned our driveway into an ice-skating rink in the winter. He built a ball field in the woods for the neighborhood and taught us how to pick the best apples, strawberries, and blackberries. Our love of nature came from him.
He showed his love through action. He was a jack of all trades: fixing cars, wallpapering, painting, and doing yard work. He loved to keep busy. He helped his three daughters move multiple times and transported one to college.
A skilled machinist for forty years, he found the work satisfying.
(Continued on next page)

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY