Cover photo for John R. Simko Sr.'s Obituary
John R. Simko Sr. Profile Photo

John R. Simko Sr.

June 11, 1943 — July 31, 2020

On Friday, July 31, 2020, John R. Simko Sr. of Canonsburg, PA (formally Louisville, OH and Ambridge, PA), died peacefully after a short illness. John was truly a lion of a man in stature, intellect and character. He enjoyed a life filled with success due to hard work and the blessings of a quick mind and friendly disposition. He achieved many honors as a lineman with the Ambridge Area High School Football Team and his beloved Penn State Nittany Lions Football Team. He was named the most Valuable Lineman in Beaver County (1961); Best of the MAC Center Team (1959); Ukrainian All American College Football Team; West Virginia All Opponent Team and All American Tackle (1964), Penn State Eastern Champion Team (1962) and (1964) All East College Football Team. He played twice in the Gator Bowl (1961 &1962) and was a free agent of the Minnesota Vikings in 1965. John’s career off the football field was equally impressive. He served as an engineer for J & L Steel for many years until his retirement and returned home to the Pittsburgh area where his children had settled. During his retirement, he tutored many students at Huntington Learning Center. You could always find John sitting at band and piano concerts, baseball games, swim meets, rowing events, football games, school plays and at the back table drinking his coffee at St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church. John was raised in St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ambridge, PA.

Of all his achievements, John was most proud of his family who stayed near him in the short time before his illness overcame him. He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Eleanor M. Simko, daughter Lorie Strennen and her husband Jerry; son John and his wife Dawn; son Mike and four grandchildren – Abigail, Zachary, Samuel, and Brandon. His only surviving sibling is Jenny Mancini who was also by his side during his last illness.

John was preceded in death by his parents Steve and Mary Simko and two siblings, Stephen R. Simko and Mary Simko Curry. He also leaves to mourn him many friends, nieces and nephews. John will be greatly missed by all, especially his smile.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Salandra Funeral and Cremation Services Inc., Joseph P. Salandra LFD owner/ supervisor 304 West Pike Street Canonsburg 724-745-8120. Visitation will be held in St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church 601 Boone Ave Canonsburg from 4-8pm on Tuesday August 4, 2020 where a Funeral will be held at 10am Wednesday Aug 5, 2020. Interment will follow in Oak Spring Cemetery, Canonsburg.

In lieu of flowers family suggest memorials be made to Shriners Hospital, St. Jude Children , and Paralyzed Veterans in Johns memory.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic masks must be worn at Church and will be limited to 25 persons at a time, due to Pennsylvania State restrictions. To view or extend condolences please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John R. Simko Sr., please visit our flower store.

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