John William Lightner

June 28, 1948July 1, 2018

John William Lightner, 70, of New Sewickley Township, passed away on Sunday, July 1, 2018. He was born June 28, 1948 in Sewickley, PA, son of the late Donald and Martha (Mitchell) Lightner. John proudly served his country with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Following his honorable discharge, he began a long rewarding career with Michael Baker and retired as a Project Manager. In his leisure, John enjoyed traveling with his wife. He was a classic car enthusiast and liked showing his restored vehicles. John was a member of the Planning and Recreation Board of New Sewickley Township; past president of the Beaver County Diabetes Association; and member of the Rochester Free Methodist Church. John was passionate in community service delivering Meals on Wheels in Beaver and Brighton Township. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son Carey in 2008. John is survived by his loving wife: Sharon (Mayhue) Lightner, with whom he would have celebrated 50 years of marriage this August; two daughters and a son-in-law: Marcy (Warren) Shaffer, Mars, PA; Heather Lightner, Parkville, MD; one brother: Paul Lightner, Tampa, FL; and sister: Linda Burckart, New Milford, CT. Friends will be received on Friday, July 6, 2018 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the SAUL-GABAUER FUNERAL HOME, INC., 273 Route 68, Rochester (adjacent to Sylvania Hills Memorial Park Mausoleum). A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, July 7, 2018 at the Rochester Free Methodist Church, 480 Jefferson Street, Rochester, PA, 15074. If desired, memorial contributions may be directed to the Building Fund of the Church. Following cremation, John will be inurned at the Veterans National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville, PA with Military Honors. On line condolences may be offered at


  • Memorial Gathering Friday, July 6, 2018
  • Memorial Gathering Friday, July 6, 2018
  • Memorial Service Saturday, July 7, 2018

John William Lightner

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Linda (Beglin) McPherson

July 7, 2018

Sharon and Family.
Please accept my deepest sympathy for John's passing. May you be comforted by your memories.

Maris Mangulis

July 7, 2018

Sharon, and family,

I am so shocked to hear of John's passing. John was a mentor and role model to me for many years at Michael Baker. He was of the old school "arrive to work a little early, leave work a little late" crowd. We used to play golf in the last week of June to celebrate our birthdays, and would always pick a nice course that was way better than our abilities to play the game. It didn't matter, we enjoyed them all just the same. I still chuckle at his uncanny ability to hit his tee shot behind a tree. I also enjoy John's love of classic cars and remember when he bought and started assembly of his first Ford kit car. I showed up to the golf course one year in my own German classic, and John said "Nice car, but the motor is in the wrong end, Mar." He was kidding, of course, and I just laughed. I will always remember him repeating a philosophy he heard that said something to the effect of "An old person is someone that is 15 yrs older than you are." Good mantra to live by. I will miss you, my friend. Deepest sympathies for Sharon, Marcy and Heather, and extended family.

Maris Mangulis

Judy Watson

July 5, 2018

Sharon, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I remember singing at your wedding. Love, Judy.

Don Gaffney

July 3, 2018

What a shock! I, too, was a co-worker with John for many years. And I share his love of old cars, and trucks, and ... In December of 2014, John happened to ask if I had a project he could work on. I told him to come over and let's see. He left with a Ford 4-cylinder power unit in pieces that he assembled for me. We grew closer during the nearly 2 years we worked on it. He also came over and helped me with other projects occasionally, too. I saw that he was on the e-mailing list for the Beaver Valley Model A Ford club so he could enjoy that newsletter. Recently I sensed I should reach out to him with a personal email, but that was not to be... I am curious about how things went with that Chevy pickup truck - the project after mine.
I remember when he ran the Pittsburgh marathon. The entire group of us at the office celebrated his success! Many other memories, too... all good. He was quite the selfless, compassionate gentleman! John, we all will miss you!

David Rose

July 3, 2018

Having worked with John for many years at Baker, I always felt he was a man of integrity and great professionalism.

Sharon: Please accept my deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Darlene Muntean

July 3, 2018

My sincere sympathy to Sharon and family. John was one of the nicest men I have ever known. He was a dear friend and co-worker for many, many years. I'm very sad to hear of his passing. -- Darlene

Heather Lightner

July 3, 2018

There are too many memories but also not enough. The ones that keep running through my head just don’t seem good enough. I feel like I’m missing some but that’s probably because I am. We are missing years, possibly decades. You are gone way too soon. I know this page was just published but I don’t want it to be empty so I am going to fill it with one of the memories that keep running through my head.

You remember the story about when you were teaching me to drive, Dad? I hadn’t been doing it for all that long when one weekend you said that it was time to practice. Normally, you would let me decide what roads to take, but this time you were giving me directions. We were heading toward the highway but I was trying not to panic. I kept asking where we were going and you kept evading my questions. So I ended up merging onto I-79 South, driving as slow as could be. You barked at me to speed up, made me change lanes. I’m still panicked but a little more comfortable that I’m not going to kill us both at this point. But, then here comes the split for 279 South. I figured that we would stay on 79 because 279 pretty much just goes right into the city of Pittsburgh and I can’t be ready for that. I was wrong. You made me drive all the way into the city. I almost got us killed at least twice. But, you never seemed nervous, Dad. You gave me directions right to some hotel or maybe the convention center. I don’t remember. I just remember you telling me to park, getting out of the car, telling me I did good, and then walking in and registering to run in The Great Race. I remember being so mad that you had a plan all along but I know now that you did that on purpose. I am a worrier and a chicken. I always have been. You knew that and you knew that I wouldn’t drive on a highway and into a city without basically being forced to. And look at me now, Dad! Highway and city driving is pretty much all I do.

You knew who I am and pushed me to be better. I miss you and love you.