Cover photo for John James “Little Johnny” Ponikvar Jr.'s Obituary
John James “Little Johnny” Ponikvar Jr. Profile Photo

John James “Little Johnny” Ponikvar Jr.

March 7, 1951 — November 7, 2022

John James “Little Johnny” Ponikvar Jr. age 71 of Cecil Twp. passed away unexpectedly Monday November 7, 2022, in his home. He was born March 7, 1951, in Pittsburgh a son of the late John James Ponikvar Sr. and Ann Keiffer Ponikvar. John was raised in Pittsburgh but spent many happy hours with family in Thomas West Virginia, near Black Water Falls. He was a graduate of Carrick high school class of 1969 and attended the University of Pittsburgh. He was a Roman Catholic and was a member of St Oscar Romero Parish St. Patrick Church in Canonsburg, where he has lived since 1994. Johns working life had been spent with automobiles, first detailing cars at the former Massey Buick in Dormont and over the past 40 years at Sun Chevrolet, in Peters Twp.  where he had been a service writer. He raced stockcars for championships in his pink, number 16 car at the Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and Learnerville and Challenger Speedways. A dedicated fan of Dale Earnhardt he loved anything to do with NASCAR, including any collectible available and having seats on the rail at the Indianapolis 500. He never missed a race. John was very proud of his show cars, a 1979 Firebird and his pristine 1991 Chevy Silverado. Left behind to cherish his memory are his devoted daughters, Jennifer Terwilliger (Ryan Ludwin) of Houston and JoAnna Terwilliger (David Tyson) of West View, his cherished grandchildren, Aiden Walsh and his beloved granddaughter Isabella “Bella” Walsh both of Houston, his wife Annie Shaver Ponikvar of Proctor West Virginia, his three sisters, Christine A. (Tommy G) Goughler of Robinson Twp., Margaret M.  (Jeffrey) Morgan of McDonald,  Ohio and Catherine D. (Dane) Kincaid of Bon Aire, his godson Eric Kincaid, his significant other Abbey and many nieces and nephews. Deceased in addition to his parents is his beloved son John James “Jay” Ponikvar who passed away August 25, 1989.
Friends and family are welcome from 2 until 8pm Wednesday November 9, 2022, in Salandra Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. Joseph P. Salandra owner/ supervisor 304 Wrest Pike Street Canonsburg 724-745-8120 where departing prayers will be recited at 9:35 am Thursday November 10, 2022. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am in St. Patrick Church St. Oscar Romero Parish 317 West Pike Street Canonsburg. Interment will follow in Jefferson Memorial Park. To view or extend condolences please visit

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