March 3, 1943 to August 28, 2013
Remsen- John Russell Poniktera, 70, of Remsen, NY, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Syracuse, NY, while surrounded by his loving family. He fought a valiant fight against cancer, with the help of many excellent and caring VA doctors and nurses.
John was born in Allentown, PA on March 3, 1943, son of John Joseph and Beulah George Poniktera. He is survived by his wife, Justine Bodley Poniktera; his mother, Beulah, of Ocala, Florida, and his two sons, Richard Allen Poniktera of Constableville, NY and David Wayne Poniktera, of Coopersburg, PA, as well as seven grandchildren: Renee and Alexander; and Caitlin, Chelsea, Chantal, Rhiley and Jacob. He was predeceased by his granddaughter, Chastity Poniktera. He had two stepchildren, Debra Richardson, of Utica, NY and John Richardson, of Clay, NY, along with four step grandchildren, Alexandra and Cody Tilford; Samuel and Avery Richardson. He is also survived by his former wife, Joan Proca Sauers, of Myerstown, PA.
John grew up in Colesville, PA until the age of 16, when his family moved to Pleasant Valley, PA in 1959. He graduated from Palisades High School, Class of 1961 where he enjoyed playing soccer. On August 31, 1961, Mr. Poniktera entered the US Army and served in the Second Armored Division at Fort Hood Texas for three years, until his honorable discharge on August 28, 1964.. He served with the US Army Reserves until August 30 1967. He earned the Good Conduct Medal, and Expert Rifle. John continued his education by enrolling in DeVry Technical Institute of Technology, where he studied and completed courses in electrical technology, electronics, and home building construction. He was employed in the construction field until 1985, when he became Facilities Director at Pennswood Village in Newtown, PA, a Continuing Care Retirement Community. He became a certified soccer coach, and enjoyed managing Little League baseball teams for several years.
In 1997 John married Justine Bodley and they resided in Doylestown, PA. After retirement in 1998, the couple moved to Kayuta Lake in Remsen, NY, spending winters in Ocala, Florida. They spent many years traveling the country in their RV, visiting National Parks and Civil War battlefields. John had several hobbies and loved creating an extensive layout for his HO scale model trains. He took up golf in his later years and enjoyed playing in New York and Florida. He also enjoyed helping his many friends and neighbors with household repairs.
His greatest joy was riding his Goldwing Motorcycle on long trips. He traveled with his wife on the cycle to Nova Scotia, the Skyline Drive in VA, the Blue Ridge Parkway to NC, and the Shenandoah National Park. His favorite accomplishment on the cycle was his completion in 2007 of the Southern California Motorcycle Association "USA Four Corners Motorcycle Tour" challenge, stopping in Madawaska, ME, Key West, FL, San Ysidro, CA, and Blaine, WA. Twenty-one days were allowed to finish the course, and he and his friend, Ron Joy, finished the trip in sixteen days. He and Ron have a plaque commemorating their accomplishment at the Four Corners Park in Madawaska, ME.
John renewed his faith and joined the Boonville United Methodist Church where he became a Lay Servant, assisting at the church and giving several sermons. He was also an associate member of St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Ocala, Florida. He became a member of the Christian Motorcycle Association of Ocala, The Boonville Masonic Lodge165, and the American Legion.
A Memorial service to celebrate John's life will be held at the Boonville United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 11:00 A.M. with refreshments to follow. There will be no calling hours. Interment will be at a later date at the Doylestown Cemetery, in Doylestown, PA. Memorial contributions may be made to the Boonville United Methodist Church, 105 Ann Street, Boonville, NY 13309.
For an on-line message of sympathy please go to www.trainorfuneralhome.com
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