September 26, 1936 - March 14, 2021
March 14, 2021
September 29, 1936
John R. Borits, 84, of Ulster passed away on Sunday, March 14, 2021 at the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA.
...to quote his yearbook upon graduating from Sayre High School in 1954.
John spent his whole life enjoying the world and everyone in it. He was a kind and boisterous man with a tremendous sense of humor and the best stories anyone ever heard a thousand times.
He was born at home on September 29, 1936 and grew up in The Valley. He had an extraordinary and happy traditional American childhood marked by personal and national milestones that shaped his generous and liberal worldview. In February 1942, Franklin Roosevelt gave a fireside chat radio address he listened to with his mother. The president asked Americans to obtain a world map in order to follow the progress of the war with him. He and his mother went to the stationary store to purchase a map the very next day and they were sold out. He put down a deposit from his earnings as a paperboy for The Evening Times and the two of them followed the rest of the war along with FDR, and frequently went to the library for research. He told wonderful stories about hunting with his father and his father’s best friend and fishing in Catherine Creek with his uncle, Al Hodel. He went on marathon trips to Philadelphia and New York City by train to see ball games with both his mother and father, although they were separate trips because his mother was a Yankees fan and his father was a Phillies fan.
During high school, he had an equal love of science, math, and sports; on the side, he played pool with the best of them, having a job at Erwin Rudolph’s pool hall. After graduating, he joined the Navy and often said that the best part was listening to progressive jazz in the clubs in Norfolk, Virginia and getting to meet some of the greats - Stan Kenton, Johnny Smith, Dave Brubeck, Charlie Parker among them. He loved all kinds of music. And he loved to sing more than anything else and we all got the benefit of that. He sang at home, in the car, on the way to work, at work, on the golf course, at Becky’s Diner, and with the Valley Chorus for over a decade.
After his service (1954-1958), where he trained in electronics communication, he worked at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard until his retirement in 1991, when he immediately returned to his hometown, Sayre, Pennsylvania, like an arrow shot from a bow. During his retirement, he renewed friendships, golfed almost every day, and exchanged stories with new friends at Becky’s in Waverly- his inclusion as a benchwarmer, and eventual membership in the infamous Romeos was a highlight and meant a great deal to him.
John died at the Packer Hospital of heart and lung failure on Sunday, March 14, in the company of, and with the comfort of his wife, Claire, and daughter, Margaret. He was the oldest of six children of John F. and Rose (Hodel) Borits. He is survived by his sister, Jeanne Diane (Candy) Morgan, of Washington State and his brothers, Thomas, of South Carolina, and Michael of Southampton, Pa. John was predeceased by his parents and two sisters: BettyAnn (Baba) Bing, of Jim Thorpe, PA and Emma Louise (Cookie) Bing of Mountaintop, PA.
John was proud of his education at The Epiphany School. “I owe what I am today to the I.H.M. Sisters at Epiphany” he once told Sister Kathleen, and he meant it. With that in mind, John’s wish was that, in lieu of flowers, memorials and donations should be directed to The Epiphany School Scholarship Fund in Sayre, (627 Stevenson Street) in his memory.
A private funeral mass will be held at The Church of The Epiphany.
Please watch for an announcement of a get-together to “Join Us With Your Favorite John/Dooney Stories” outside this fall, when vaccines have been more widely distributed and the threat of Covid has been minimized. Family, friends, acquaintances, and anyone he ever offered half of a lottery ticket to are welcome!
Bring the stories you heard a thousand times!
The family is being assisted by the Blauvelt Funeral Home, 625 Broad Street, Waverly, New York. Those wishing to send a message of sympathy to John’s family may visit our Facebook page or in “Obituaries” at www.blauveltfuneralhome.com
From: John M. Mullaly
Claire & Margaret I was shocked and saddened when I read this morning's paper to learn of my long time friend Dooney's death.There is nothing that I can write or say to express my condolences to you. John and I go back a long way from the days when his family lived on Stevenson Street on the alley and we were in Epiphany school together. We had some great political conversations after you moved up from Elkins Park and eventually to your home on the hill. Was a long great friendship with all of you that I sorely miss. If ther is anything that i can do for you,please let me know as that is what old friends are for. John
From: Stephanie Grohol
Dear Claire, I am sorry to hear of the passing of John. My condolences to you and your family at this times. The Staff & TPL Volunteers at the Towanda Public Library all send their love and all to you.
From: Robert & Valerie Hugg
Our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to John's family. John and I were in the club called, The "ROMEO'S" together at Becky's Diner in Waverly.. Always upbeat and with a smile on his face, John will be missed by all who knew him.. I will miss a cherished friend. Love & God Bless, Robert & Valerie Hugg
From: Marie Seibert
So sorry to hear about your husband. May God be with you and bless you, especially in the coming days.
From: Aubrey Carrington
I am deeply saddened to read about John's passing. My heart breaks for you and your loss. My deepest condolences, Aubrey
Claire and Margaret,
A beautiful obituary. Such a gentle giant.
In our prayers,
Claire, Margaret and family. I’m so sorry and my deepest condolences on the passing of a great man. John had a heart of gold and thousands of stories, I loved them all. He was a wonderful friend and sidekick to Dusty when my dad was still alive. We lost one of the nicest guys I ever met. I’m here for you if you need anything, with all my love, Kevin. Ps, you got a minute kid, I will never forget that line
From: Joe Shaw
Clare & Margaret our deepest sympathies for your loss, John was a kind and decent man the world was a better place because of John. I sit here crying and laughing at the same time as I read his obituary, Clare you described and honored John to a tee. John will be missed by my family although we only saw him 2- 3 times a year my daughters stated Mr. Bortis acts like we just had lunch yesterday. I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute spent with John. He was a wonderful, caring and loving friend to my parents and my entire family. He will be dearly missed by all of us and fondly remembered when the blarney starts to fly. It is going to be quite a party in heaven today with John leading the way. May God grant you comfort and love in the days ahead. Rest in Peace John your work is done.
Joe & Colleen Shaw and family
From: Barbara ( Skerpon ) Natoli
It saddened me to read this and I am so sorry for your loss. I had the honor and privilege of caring for John while working as a technician in ophthalmology. I always looked forward to seeing him as he always had the biggest smile and made the day a bit brighter. May he rest in peace and may your family be comforted through this difficult time.
From: Catherine (Tulk) Rupp
Dear Claire, I am so sorry for your loss. Your husband sounds like a wonderful man.
From: Richard M. Robinson, LL.D.
I was surprised to read of your husband's passing in the Daily Review. My most sincere condolences to both you and your daughter as well as prayers for support in the days ahead. God bless--
From: Ron Fiorello
We knew the Borits family. They came to pick cherries
From: John McGinley
Claire and Margaret,
I’m so very sorry to hear about the passing of John. I have great memories of his loud voice but gentle demeanor as a young kid. You guys were always so good to me. My heartfelt condolences to you at this time and may John Rest In Peace.
From: Ron Fiorello
We knew the Borits family. They came to pick cherries from our backyard. I remember visiting Cookie Borits a long time ago in Mountaintop. She made hot chocolate for us.
From: Tom anthony
My thoughts and prayers go out to johns family and his many friends mourning our loss. I’ve cut johns hair for the last 20 years or more and have cherished every time he walked in my shop. As we all know he was never a lost for words . But those stories he told oh my will never forget them . Will forever cherish his friendship. As he always said to me in leaving. Keep The Faith . RIP John
From: Holly Kline
Claire; so sad to hear this news. I was in Valley Chorus with John and as an Alto singer had the opportunity to sit next to John during practices and concerts. He was always in a good mood and smiling. Never anything negative to say. So sad that covid-19 took away the social experience we had at Valley Chorus. Thanks for always being there with him.
From: Donna Fratrik Engle
Dear Claire & Margaret, Sending prayers and my deepest sympathy to you both at the loss of John this past Sunday. Memories have been flooding in and they bring a smile to my lips. John was a big man not only in stature. I can hear his booming voice and see the twinkle in his eyes. My husband John and I enjoyed the cookie baking times we had spent with you both years ago, Claire. Our husbands are gone but what great memories we have been blessed with. In Love & Peace Donna
From: Kathy LeStrange
I'm so sorry for your loss.
From: VFW Post 1536, Sayre
Please accept our deepest sympathy.
From: Sally Hickey
Claire and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Dooney was a friend of my late husband (Bill) and even stopped to visit him! There were lots of laughs and memories shared. Keep your memories safe in your hearts and find comfort as you grieve.
From: kay fulmer
Clair, I was very sorry to hear that your husband passed away.I know the next few weeks will be difficult, but your family and your memories will sustain you.
From: Ed Bok
Claire, my deepest sympathy to you. I always enjoyed talking with John over the years, either at the gym, church choir, or restaurants. Always had opinions to discuss. I pray for you and him.
From: Gene and Alice Lehman
Claire, So sorry for your loss.
From: Ed and Linda Hilscher
Claire our best wishes are with you and yours. Ed and Linda we are making a donation to Epiphany in John's memory.