John M. Kotyuk
John M. Kotyuk, 94, of St. Joseph passed away Friday, April 19, 2019, at his residence.
A celebration of life Mass will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph, with Father Robert Creagan officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family from 6-7:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, with a prayer service beginning at 7:15 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Lake Michigan Catholic School Endowment Fund or Berrien County Cancer Services. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
John was born May 17, 1924, in Benton Harbor, to Andrew and Elizabeth (Gacsko) Kotyuk. On May 21, 1949, John married the love of his life, Marilyn C. Maier, in St. Joseph. The two were happily married for nearly 53 years until her passing in 2002. John proudly served the United States by enlisting in the Army/Air Force during World War II until 1946. After a short time of inactive duty, John was called back to active duty through the Air Force during the Korean War. He was the lead navigator of a B-17 and then a B-29, named “Hot To Go." He also was a proud member of the 20th Air Force, 19th Bomb Group, and 28th Bomb Squadron.
Once he returned home, John worked for All State Insurance. After 33 years with the company he retired in 1986 as a senior account agent. John enjoyed playing golf and being a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and The St. Joseph Elks #541. What gave him the most joy was tending to his immaculate yard. John was a perfectionist when it came to his landscaping, always keeping his shrubs, grass and plants looking incredible.
John is survived by his son, Mark Kotyuk of St. Joseph; daughter-in-law, Beverly Kotyuk of Rockford, Mich.; granddaughters: Kelli and Kara; great-grandchildren: Justin, Amy and Arielle; and very close friends, Ed and Pam Dixon.
John was preceded in death by his parents: Andrew and Elizabeth; wife, Marilyn; son, James Kotyuk; and brothers: Andrew, Frank and Robert Kotyuk.