John E. Klansek

November 29, 2019


World War II Veteran Quietly Passes

8 Days Shy of 94th Birthday

John E. Klansek, age 93, of  Damascus, Maryland passed away on Friday, November 29, 2019, just eight days short of his 94th birthday.  He was one of five children born to Slovenian parents Mary and Joseph Klansek in Luzerne, Pennsylvania.  He is survived by his devoted wife Judy of Damascus; son Jeffry of Damascus; daughter Crystal Hulse and husband Larry of Bracey, VA; son Robin and wife Francesca of Germantown; son Scott and wife Dennise of Bracey, VA; daughter Valerie Neal and husband Michael of Gaithersburg; stepdaughter Lisa Hurlebaus and husband Kenneth Barton of Reston, VA; stepdaughter Amy Keener of Damascus, MD; 16 grandchildren; and 12 great grandchildren.

        John enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday and served in the Pacific until end of World War II. Upon returning home he graduated from Wilkes College, continuing to serve as Navy reservist.  After only two weeks employed by the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., he was recalled to active Naval duty in the Korean Conflict until 1952.  For the next 36 years he worked for the Department of Energy in nuclear reactor development, manpower control, and conservation managerial positions.

        Retirement in 1989 gave John the freedom and time to pursue the many hobbies, crafts and interests he is so well known for.  Every family member has a deck, fencing, refinished basement, shelving, or carpentry project he completed.  Hundreds of albums have pictures of the beautiful wedding, birthday and anniversary cakes he baked and decorated.  He passionately collected antiques and memorabilia; proudly served as Treasurer for Branch 108 Slovenian Society; collected and documented family genealogy; was one of the original members of the close-knit “Oatmeal Gang”; was a published author of a family cookbook and biography; and lavished love on his dogs and cats.

        His legacy lives on by having led a principled life, demonstrating a strong work ethic, maintaining the ability to evolve and change; and instilling the belief that you can do what you set your mind to.

        In keeping with John’s preferences, in the Spring as the trees first bloom, bulbs appear and field birds return, there will be a “Celebration of Life” arranged and shared by all who love him.  The family requests that any remembrances or donations be sent to Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, MD, or to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

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