John Orleski, 82, of Taylor, entered into eternal rest on Friday at Allied Skilled Nursing Center. He is survived by his wife Elaine Butch Orleski and together they have celebrated 51 years of marriage.
Born to John and Stella Orleski on July 13, 1935. John grew up in Duryea with his 7 siblings: Cecelia, Theresa, Stella, Virginia, Michael, Edward and Vincent. His dad died when he was young, so he quit school in the 8th grade to support his family and went to work as a breaker boy at a young age & was not able to go back to complete high school. (He later received his GED.) He was so adamant to serve his nation that he altered his birth certificate so he could join the PA National Guard at age 13 (you could see the eraser mark on his birth certificate). While serving, they discovered he was underage, so they immediately discharged him. After his short stint in the military, he worked at Bethlehem Steel as a steel worker. After Bethlehem Steel, he worked as a construction worker. Then, after his construction role, becoming an entrepreneur, he purchased and owned two of his own businesses (gas stations, one in Scranton, one in Taylor). It was here where he showcased his passion for repairing cars as an auto mechanic. In 1966, he married Elaine Butch. She was the love of his life. Together, they purchased their home in Lincoln Heights at the top of Taylor Hill. They went on to have three children, Donnell, Stephen and Brenda. John and Elaine put all three of their kids through college. They spent quility time being present in their lives, attending games, events, graduations, celebrations whenever possible. John was his kids’ #1 fan always. During the rest of his adult working life, he worked in the Paper Products Industry at Potlatch/ Pope & Talbot/Cascades Tissue. He earned his “Ironman” title during his time as a Paper Products employee because of his steadfast devotion to his job and the people surrounding him. His “can do” attitude was infectious. You could never be sad when you were in the presence of John. He believed there was nothing you couldn’t accomplish if you set your mind to it. This attitude was passed down to his children and grandchildren. John loved outdoor work—he loved working in the yard and took care of St. George’s cemetery for many years. He took pride in ensuring the gravesites looked amazing for the church and families who visited their loved ones at the cemetery. He took pristine care of his yard and even taught his grandkids to ride the lawnmower when they visited. John was a servant leader. He loved sports. He was the Taylor Little League President for at least 5 years in the 1980’s. This is where he met many of his local friends who have remained close to him throughout his life (Capwell & Gaidula Families). John has five grandchildren (Meagan, Alissa, Quinsey, Spencer and Trevor) and five great grandchildren (Jaydon, Cameron, Cruz, Marley, Evelyn). John retired in 2005 and loved traveling to Las Vegas and Texas to visit his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed gambling at the casinos both locally and in Las Vegas with family and friends. He enjoyed quality time with his wife Elaine and Mary Rachko going to the local casinos and the casino in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. In 2016, John and Elaine celebrated their 50th Wedding anniversary with a beautiful and memorable party at St. George’s. The enduring love John had for Elaine is a love rarely found in today’s world. He was Elaine’s devoted husband until his final breath. John held a leadership role in St. George’s church. He was the Vice President for the St. George’s Parish Council, making executive decisions for church operations. Once again, this leadership role showed his dedication and servant leadership to the church.
Surviving is a son, Stephen and wife, Debbie, Weatherford, TX; two daughters, Donnell Sablan and husband, Ronald and Brenda Orleski and Jane Kato, all of Las Vegas, NV; a sister, Virginia Holleran, Pittston Twp; three brothers, Michael and wife, Vera and Edward and wife, Joan, all of Harding; Vincent, Hughestown; five grandchildren and five great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.
Three sisters, Cecelia Bechtold, Stella Miller and Theresa Cebula preceded him in death.
Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend John’s funeral which will begin on Tuesday at 8:45 am from the Semian Funeral Home, 704 Union St. Taylor followed by Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am in St. George’s Orthodox Church, 743 S. Keyser Ave, Taylor by the Very Rev. Mark Leasure. Interment will follow in the parish cemetery. Friends may call Monday from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Panachida service will be at 5:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial contributions may be made to St. George’s Church.