Joseph S. Kovalchick, Jr. of Dunellen, New Jersey, age 83 passed away unexpectedly at his home on Sunday, August 15, 2021. Born December 29, 1937, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, he was the only son of Joseph and Mary (Syoka) Kovalchick. Joe was proud to grow up on Charles Street in the Blackman’s Patch District of Wilkes-Barre and shared many humorous stories from his adolescence there. He entertained folks playing polkas on his clarinet and saxophone as a member of a band in his youth. After attending Catholic high school he pursued a technical education as a diesel mechanic. This profession supported him, his wife Mary (Steinbrenner), and their five children until his retirement in 2002. He moved from Wilkes-Barre to Plainfield, New Jersey in 1958 after his marriage and the birth of his eldest daughter Debra and in 1962 he and Mary purchased their forever home in Dunellen. He made lifelong friends with his coworkers from Thul’s in Plainfield and Binder Machinery in South Plainfield, continuing to meet up for lunch or a danish after attending church at Our Lady of Fatima in Piscataway. Joe’s Polish heritage and Catholic religion were central to his life, and he was an active member of the Polish Home for many years and of his beloved Knights of Columbus since 1975.
Joe cherished his children, grandchildren, and friends, and he often said they gave him strength and purpose after losing his wife Mary after 55 years of marriage in 2012. Joe was one of a kind, a good friend, and a generous and loving father and grandfather. He is survived by his children, Debra Wall (James), Joseph (Patricia), David, Linda Veloso, Donna Stamper (Richard) and his sister Marlene D’Amato (Joseph). He was so proud of his 12 grandchildren, Katherine Wall-Mansen (Jose), Rachel, Joseph, Trevor, Breanna, Brad, Manny, Emma Mae Moya (Steven), David, Kelly, Lilly and Chase. He was blessed to experience the joy of being a great grandparent to Avery.
Family and friends are invited to viewing services on Monday, August 23 from 4-7PM at the Sheenan Funeral Home, 233 Dunellen Ave, Dunellen, New Jersey. A 9:30AM Mass will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Piscataway on Tuesday, August 24, followed by 1PM interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation in Joe’s name to the Knights of Columbus Charities, PO Box 382154, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8154
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