Kovich, John , Jr.
Birth: Wednesday, July 19, 1939
Residence: Ridge, MD
Death: Friday, June 21, 2024 at the age of 84
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John Kovich Jr, 84, a veteran of the Vietnam war and longtime resident of Ridge, MD, passed away on June 21, 2024 surrounded by his loving family. Big John or Jr, as he was known to many, was the first of four children born on July 19, 1939 in Heckscherville, PA to John Kovich Sr and Helen (Katchu) Kovich. He attended Cass Township High School in Minersville, PA graduating on June 5, 1956. On February 8, 1957, he joined the United States Navy entering the AMS "A" school as an Aviation Structural Mechanic attached to Fighter Squadron 142, NAS Miramar. While assigned to FS 142 he was awarded the first of six Good Conduct award medals. The accolades didn't stop there. Having served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War, he received the AIR Medal Meritorious Unit Commendation (3x), Battle "E" Efficiency Award (2X), National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal and the Navy Expeditionary Service Medal. After completing 30 years of active duty Navy service he retired on September 1, 1985. After retiring, and over the next 17 years, he took on his second career as a Navy Civilian working as a Configuration / Logistics Management Specialist supporting various Commands at Patuxent River, MD. He graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics in May of 1993. A great source of pride for him as it was a lifelong dream to one day earn his college degree which he finally did at the age of 54. He finished his civilian career at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in 2002. He had a combined 47 years of Federal and Military service.

On November 28, 1964 he married the love of this life Shirley Ann (Joy) Kovich of Ridge, MD at St. Michael's Catholic Church who preceded him in death on April 13, 2014. Big John and Shirley spent 50 loving years together. Their marriage produced two children; John Michael Kovich (Kristi) of Lexington Park, MD and Carol Kovich Woodard (Donny) of Huntersville, NC as well as four grandsons; Nick, Kyle, Corey and Brandon.

John cherished time spent with family and friends. He especially enjoyed boasting on his grandchildren and following his grandson's many academic and athletic pursuits and accomplishments. He enjoyed volunteering in the community, spending countless hours serving St. Michael's School and the local Hospice house in St. Mary's County over the years. He found a lot of joy playing cards and before Ms. Shirley's passing, those two could often be found at the Tropicana resort in Atlantic City, NJ or a Casino in Dover, DE with her pulling the one arm bandits and he at a poker table close by. He enjoyed playing bingo with friends at the American Legion in Ridge.

In addition, John is survived by his sister's Anne Horan of Minersville, PA, Helen Heller of Port St. Lucie, FL and brother Bob Kovich (Rose) of West River, MD as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends for his Life Celebration and visitation on Monday, July 8, 2024 from 5-7 p.m. (Rosary at 6:30 p.m. and prayers at 7 p.m.) at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Ridge, MD. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. at St. Michael's Catholic Church on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 with fellowship following the service at the American Legion Post 255 in Ridge, MD.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his memory can be made to the Archangel Scholarship Foundation (ASFC) in support of St. Michael's School, P.O. Box 211, Ridge, MD 20680. Condolences to the family can be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com.
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