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Schuylkill County Obituaries

John Francis Rada, 93 – Drafted by Philadelphia Athletics Before Called to Service in WWII

John Francis Rada, 93, formerly of Minersville, passed away recently, surrounded by love at Schuylkill Center, Pottsville.

Born on June 23, 1926 in Branchdale, he was one of six children of the late John Andrew and Mary (Hozinchock) Terek Rada.  John graduated in 1944 from Reilly Township High School, Branchdale, where he was a standout basketball and baseball player.  He was the Schuylkill League Basketball Scoring Champion in his senior year.

He was drafted by the Philadelphia Athletics before entering the Army to serve in the European Theater during World War Two.  His unit was part of the Allied Liberating Force which freed the Dachau concentration camp prisoners.  He also served as a military police officer, guarding the war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials.

John worked for ALCOA Aluminum for 30 years, both in the Cressona and Lebanon plants, where he was known as “the yardmaster”.  He retired in 1988.

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He was a member of St. Michael the Archangel Church, Minersville.  He was also a member of the American Legion for over 60 years, as well as the United Steelworkers.

He was married for 53 years to his beloved wife, the former Anna Marie Kostek, who passed away in 2003.

He was also preceded in death by two sisters, Mary Wernosky and Anna Polinsky, and two brothers, Stephen Rada and Michael Rada.

Surviving are two sons, Richard Rada, husband of Betty, Schuylkill Haven, and Gary Rada, companion of Christine Evans, Lake Wynonah; four grandchildren, Christopher  Rada, husband of Lindsay, Sinking Spring, Beth Rutman, wife of Jonathan, Ellicott City, Maryland, Jessica Nabavi, wife of Blake, Ardmore, Kerry Herb, wife of Zachary, Schuylkill Haven; nine great-grandsons, Benjamin, Robert and Tyler Rada, Charles, Samuel and William Rutman, Francis Nabavi, Dylan and Landon Herb.  He is also survived by his brother, Joseph Rada, husband of Irene, Branchdale; a sister-in-law, Phyllis Rada, widow of Stephen, West West Terrace; many nieces and nephews.

John was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.  He was “Poppop” to his grandchildren, but lovingly called “Mr. Fix-It”.  He will be forever in the hearts of those who loved him.

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Services are private due to the pandemic.  In memorial, the family asks for donations to St. Michael the Archangel Church, 538 Sunbury Street, Minersville.

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