Lindsey Funeral Homes

473 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA


John David Gira, Sr.

April 15, 1933December 17, 2019

John David Gira, 86, of Harrisonburg, Va., passed away on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at home in the care of his loving family and an amazing nursing staff. He was born April 15, 1933 in Yonkers, NY to immigrant parents from Slovakia.

In youth, John developed a lifelong interest in basketball, culminating in a coaching career of notable success. His teams and players remained close to him throughout his life, which he valued immensely. John served in the US Armed Forces and was awarded the prestigious position of Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington, Va., in which he took great pride.

John was a devoted husband to his wife, Ruth, father to three children: John, Jan and Gina Deese, their spouses, Inna Gira, and Prince Deese, grandfather to five and great grandfather to four, all who survive. He will be deeply missed and loved forever.

All services will be private and provided by Lindsey Funeral Home in Harrisonburg. Condolences may be sent to www.lindseyharrisonburg.com.


  • All services are private.


John David Gira, Sr.

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Anastasio Rossi

January 1, 2020

I'm saddened to learn of the passing of John Gira Sr. He was my colleague at Westlake High School, my close friend, and a true gentleman. Our offices were across from each other, and John and I would often sit together and chat about our school and family events, especially about his basketball teams' activities and my students' concerts and musicals. Whenever students involved in both our activities had attendance conflicts, John and I would figure out a way for them not to lose out, or get caught in the middle.

Nearing retirement, John was involved in Flea Marketing and enjoyed bring us "good deals" on reading glasses, (coming in handily at our ages) and other bargain items.

Our "retirement gang" - John, me, Gerald Shulman, and others, often met in his office to plan our proposal to the Board for the best retirement package.

John and I loved teaching at WHS, and had many good times together over the years. They are fond memories I will never forget.

Adios my friend. Rest in peace.

Phil Cutrone

December 19, 2019

I had the privilege of being both a former student and colleague of Mr. Gira. He was kind, professional, fairly soft spoken and always had fine humor. He was a great man.

Bob Roth

December 19, 2019

I’m very sad to receive the news of Mr. Gira’s passing. I have many fond memories of him as my PE teacher in the 1960’s. My deepest condolences to the family. May God Bless.

Susan Rushneck

December 19, 2019

My deepest condolences to the Gira family on your loss. Mr. Gira was such as wonderful kind man. Many fond memories of him in the gym at Westlake High School.

Sharon Grandle

December 19, 2019

I met John and Ruth only a few times through Mrs. Cloud, first sitting down with them at a casual restaurant dining al fresco. Through those few casual gatherings I could tell that John was a tremendous individual and I thought very highly of his character ever since. He truly was the “genuine article,” which is a term that must be earned in my eyes and I give sparsely. We need more people like him. No doubt he was admired and won’t be forgotten by all who knew him. To Ruth and family, I am saddened to hear of his passing and extend my deepest condolences. May he Rest In Peace with our Heavenly Father.

Nicole Cook

December 19, 2019

Ruth and Jane I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

Crystal Tolson

December 18, 2019

John was a wonderful friend and neighbor. i hope you have found dad in heaven . rest in peace and may God give your family strength during these hard times.

Janet Pottier

December 18, 2019

Remember going to the tomb of the unknown soldier to see John perform the solemn ceremony. I think this was about 1955.
So sorry to hear of his death.

Vickie Bierman

December 18, 2019

John David Gira, Sr. was a kind and caring man who touched countless lives because he genuinely cared for others. He welcomed my daughter into his family leaving an impact on her that she always cherish. His passing is an sad event for us all... He was deeply loved.