POLAND - Prayers will begin Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Poland Chapel, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at Holy Family Church, for John Charles Babyak, 89, who died peacefully Saturday afternoon at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, surrounded by his family.
John was born Jan. 22, 1930, in Struthers, the son of Michael and Barbara (Sopko) Babyak.
He was a 1947 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Youngstown.
John enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in February 1948. In 1950, he landed in Inchon, Korea, with the 1st Marine Div., serving with DOG Co. 2nd Bat. 1st Marines under the famed Col. “Chesty” Puller. John fought at Inchon and the Famed Chosin Reservoir in Korea. He earned the bronze star and Navy Commendation with Combat “V,” five battle stars, as well as numerous awards and ribbons. Because of his accomplishments and service to his country, John was inducted into the Military Hall of Fame in Columbus on May 4, 2018.
John had a combined 24 years, regular and reserve time, after attaining the rank of Master Gunnery Sgt.
John lived his life as a Marine by following the Marine way and code of conduct, and passed this on to his children. The Marines played a major part of his life and lifestyle.
John had worked for automatic Sprinkler, Viking, Scholl Choffin and North Coast Sprinkler. In 1987, due to injuries while working in Fort Wayne, Ind., as a result of an auto accident, he retired.
John loved all sports. He was a great Notre Dame, Browns, Indians, and Cardinal Mooney fan. He also enjoyed coaching boxing for Paterno A.C. and Sami Quick Stop.
John was a member of the Holy Family Church in Poland, where he was an usher. He was also a lifetime member of the VFW in Washingtonville, The Marine Chosin Few, Summer of 1948 Marine Group and SNJP.
He was always very proud of all of his family and especially his wife, who took all of 63 years of teasing, try, help and patience. Above all, he was proud of being a U.S. Marine and his Slovak heritage.
John married the former JoAnn E. Wargo on Sept. 24, 1955, in Spangler, Pa.
He leaves two sons, Steven Babyak of Cleveland and Vince Babyak of Safety Harbor, Fla.; four grandsons, John and Ethan Babyak and Tyler and Trent Babyak; and granddaughter Tayren Babyak; a sister, Pauline Gazdik of Boardman; and a brother, George Babyak of California.
John was preceded in death by his parents; a son, John Jr.; daughters Kathleen and twins Arlene and Darlene; brothers Andy and Michael Jr.; and sisters Mary, Helen and Irene.
Family and friends may call on Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
The family has requested that material tributes take the form of donations to the Tributes-State Marine Detachment #494, Marine Corps League, P.O. Box 2980, Youngstown, OH 44511.
Visit www.higgins-reardon.com to send condolences to the family.