John N. Kerestan, 90, of Cedar Hills Boulevard, Belle Vernon, Rostraver Twp., passed away on September 3, 2021, at home surrounded by his loving family. He was born on February 10, 1931 in Monessen PA, the son of John “Longy” and Marie Kerestan. He was a 1949 graduate of Monessen High School, attended Duquesne University, and graduated from California University of Pennsylvania in January 1954. In April 1954 he enlisted in the U.S. Army Security Agency and after completing a 12-month program in the Russian language at the Army Language School in Monterrey, California served 16 months in Northern Japan as a Voice Interceptor until discharged honorably in 1957. In 1958 he began employment with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor serving handicapped adults until his retirement in October 1991.
During his tenure as a Lead Counselor with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, he was recognized for his outstanding work, being named Counselor of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania in 1986. In addition to this honor, he was recognized by the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry, James Knepper, for outstanding achievement and also by State Senator Barry Stout, for exemplary performance as a Rehabilitation Counselor.
As a young man, he was a member of the S.G.U.S. Gymnastics team in Monessen, and later, in 1947, was named their head instructor until beginning college in 1949. He was a member of St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Belle Vernon, where he was a daily lector, funeral lector, money counter, and volunteer for many church projects. He was also a member of the Valley of Hope Prayer Group since 1980. He was a Life Member of the American Federation of Musicians, being a well known musician, having performed with many of the areas popular musical groups such as Jack Brown, Frank Paterra, Angie Bates, Ernie Ames, Tommy Carlyn, Bob Trombino, The Continentals, Stewart Arnold, The Lavelles, Frankie Barr, Doc Stewart, Sammy Bill, Frank Lasko, and Lite Touch.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Donna Pinto Kerestan, with whom he enjoyed a wonderful life; a son Mark and wife Pilar Kerestan of Greensburg PA; a daughter Dr. Kristine Garbig and husband Dr. Douglas Garbig of Wilder KY; four Grandsons Gregory and Benjamin Kerestan, and Nathan and Christopher Garbig; sister Dorothy McCoy of Rockwood, Michigan and numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces. He is preceded in death by a sister, Marie “Dolly” Demczyk.
Visitation will be held Tuesday from 2-4 & 6-8 PM at the Parzynski Funeral Home & Cremations LLC, Family Owned and Operated, 626 Broad Avenue, Belle Vernon 724-929-6183. Prayers of Transfer will be held Wednesday at 9:30 am in the funeral home followed by funeral mass at 10:00 am at St. Sebastian R.C. Church with the Rev. Michael J. Crookston as celebrant. Entombment will take place in Belle Vernon Cemetery.
The Family suggests memorial contributions be made in memory of John Kerestan to to OSPTA Hospice special need funds, Rt 51 office, Belle Vernon or to St. Sebastian RC Church, Belle Vernon.