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John A. Holizna
John A. "Halushky" Holizna Sr. 93 of Ford City, passed away while in care of the Armstrong County Memorial Hospital. He was born May 26, 1926 in Ford City to John and Stella (Szymanski). A "44" graduate of Ford City High School, John entered the military service the same year. Sent overseas shortly thereafter, he was assigned to Company F, 289th Regt., 75th Infantry Division, as a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifleman). He also doubled as his unit's Bazooka Man. Participating in two battles (Rhineland and Central Europe), and awarded 2 Bronze Stars.
Recruited by the C.I.A. in 1946, he became their Sergeant Major for the Mission. John was later discharged in Heidelberg Germany as a S.F.C, where he afterwards attended its University, he also attended Sanz School of Languages. Simultaneously, he continued to serve his country in civilian capacity. His last tour of duty as U.S. Foreign Service Officer was in Berlin with the rank of Vice Consul. He served as the American Representative of the Tripartite (American, British and French) and a Quadripartite (American, British, French and Soviet) Boards of the Allied Travel Office in Berlin which was responsible for issuing international travel documents to residents of East Germany. During this tour in Europe, John was an avid traveler, having set foot in 17 countries and visiting countless major cities. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean 5 times by sea and 5 times by air.
He returned to the U.S in the early sixties when he retired as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Vice Consul. It was during this tenure in Berlin that John felt the greatest honor bestowed upon him was receiving an invitation to the reception for the occasion of the 34th birthday of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1960. There followed 20 years of sales, management and instruction of Real Estate in the Northern Virginia area. During this period, he married Nancy Todd, a direct descendent of Mary Todd Lincoln. He also continued his schooling at the University of Maryland and Virginia off Campus. He was also a Graduate of the Lewis Hotel School in Washington D.C.
After a 35-year hiatus, John returned to Ford City, where he retired from the Public Welfare Energy Assistance Office after 15 years of service. John was a member of the FOE-896 and Kittanning Men's Club (past Secretary and Trustee) both of Kittanning; American Legion (Past Adj. and Life Member), Falcons (past V.P. and Steward), Allied Service Club (Past trustee and Sec.), VFW (Charter and Life Member) and Slovak Catholic Union (all of Ford City). He enjoyed reading, philately and numismatics.
Survivors include two sons Gregory in Lower Burrell and John in Ford City; sister Jane (Andy) Duris of North Huntingdon; three grandchildren; Kevin, Levi Thomas and great grandson Carter. As well as numerous wonderful nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Phyllis Jean (Bob) Bennett, Lincoln Park, MI.
Per John's request, no services will be held.
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