John J. Minishak

December 24, 1937 ~ January 16, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old

John Minishak Obituary

John J. Minishak, 86, of Orwigsburg passed away Tuesday, January 16th, at Seton Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

John was born in Mount Carmel, PA on December 24, 1937, a son of the late Frank and Catherine (Grybosh) Minishak.

He was the loving husband of Germaine F. (Deklinski) Minishak, his wife of 62 years.

John was a 1955 graduate of Mount Carmel High School where he participated in wrestling, football, and track. He excelled at throwing the javelin and held a state conference record for 19 years. After high school, he enlisted and served honorably in the U.S. Navy, stationed at the Little Creek, VA, Amphibious Base from where he saw service time in the Mediterranean Sea. Upon discharge, he soon entered the Pennsylvania State Police Academy, Hershey, and graduated from there in 1961. He served the Commonwealth for 30 years as a State Trooper in a variety of roles across central and eastern Pennsylvania, predominantly in Schuylkill County. Among his professional accolades was a Letter of Commendation for exemplary performance, which he received two years from retirement, for subduing a combative assailant armed with five loaded weapons at the Cressona Mall.

He earned an Associate Degree in Community Services from Pennsylvania State University, Schuylkill Campus, in 1977 and achieved additional certificates in Administration of Justice, and in Law Enforcement and Corrections.

Upon retirement, he spent several years as a security transport courier for Boyer’s Food Markets. He also occasionally engaged in freelance security details; a highlight was an assignment as a personal bodyguard to Mother Teresa during her June 1995 visit to Mahanoy City, PA. He was a physical fitness enthusiast and was a fixture for many years at the Blue Mountain Middle School swimming pool and Schuylkill Racquet Club & Fitness Center.

In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by seven siblings. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Frank Minishak, (spouse, Cecilia), Green Brook, NJ; a daughter, Debra Ann Minchhoff, (spouse Christopher), Tamaqua, PA; five grandchildren, Jack and Alek Minishak, and Matthew, Michael, and Carly Minchhoff; and seven nieces and nephews.

He was a parishioner of St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church, Schuylkill Haven, for over 55 years. He was an active member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Retired State Police Association. Additionally, he was a life member of the American Legion and VFW. He was proud of his Polish heritage, loyal to his friends and much beloved by his family for his gruff exterior, soft heart, good humor, great judgement, and kind devotion.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 23rd at St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Schuylkill Haven with Rev. Msgr. Edward S. Zemanik as the celebrant. Mass will be preceded by visitation for family and friends in the church’s Daily Mass Chapel from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Interment with military honors will follow at St. Ambrose Cemetery and Mausoleum, Schuylkill Haven.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in John’s name can be made to Troopers Helping Troopers ( or to St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church ( in Schuylkill Haven. Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., Orwigsburg, has been entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences may be left at

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January 23, 2024

9:15 AM to 10:15 AM
St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church
201 Randel Street
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

Mass of Christian Burial
January 23, 2024

10:30 AM
St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church
201 Randel Street
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

Graveside Service with Military Honors
January 23, 2024

12:00 PM
St. Ambrose Cemetery & Mausoleum
Caldwell / Railroad Street Coordinates 40.63215, -76.18262
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972


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