John J. Koza III, of Vienna, entered peacefully into eternal life on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 9:04 a.m. in Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital following complications from surgery.
He was born Tuesday, May 15, 1951 in Portage, Pennsylvania the son of the late John J. Jr. and Anna Ridella Koza.
A 1969 graduate of Portage High School, John was a graduate of Duquesne University with a master’s degree in Theology. He was ordained to the priesthood from Sts. Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary. He celebrated his 1st Divine Liturgy at his home Parish of Sts. Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Church on his parents wedding anniversary of June 5, 1977. Fr. John served family as a Priest in Parishes of Pleasant City, Ohio, Homer City, Pennsylvania, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, Tarentum, Pennsylvania and his last assignment of SS. Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Church in Warren, Ohio.
After his Priestly service, he remained in Warren and was a full-time substitute teacher for Howland Middle School. After which he worked as a substance abuse counselor at Turning Point in Franklin, Pennsylvania and Glenbeigh Hospital in Rock Creek, Ohio.
John’s mentoring and enjoyment came in his passion for sports and coaching Pee Wee/Little League baseball in the Portage, Pennsylvania area and took teams to championships. He proudly coached his younger brother Peter. John also coached boys’ basketball teams in the Penn’s Marion and Homer City, Pennsylvania area and girls’ basketball outside of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. He was also an avid bowler and golfer with the Greek Catholic Union Leagues. John followed the Boston Pro Athletic teams as well as the Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders Football and Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey.
A loving Priest, husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend, he will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. He is survived by his wife of 13 years the former Dianna Byers whom he married on July 7, 2007; his step-children Edward (Jessica) Smith of Struthers and Amanda Smith of Warren; his grandchildren Jordan, Zachery and Annelise; his siblings Joseph (Dawn) Koza, Peter (Mary) Koza, Mary Ann Bellvia, Anna (Charles) Dixon, Monica (Jerry) Lubinsky, Regina (Dale) Goughnour and Stephanie (Brad) Blackington; John is also survived by his father-in-law Wiley Byers of Howland and the extensive family of Wiley Byers both living and deceased and by a host of friends.
Besides his parents, John was preceded in death by a sister Barbara Koza Myers; a brother-in-law Robert Bellvia and his mother-in-law Dorothy Gaydosh Byers.
Family will receive friends on Sunday, February 7, 2021 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the Staton-Borowski Funeral Home where a Parastas Service will be recited at 5:30 p.m. in the funeral home Sunday.
A Divine Funeral Liturgy, with Fr. Simeone B. Sibenik officiating, will be offered on Monday, February 8, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in SS. Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, 180 Belvedere NE, Warren, Ohio 44483, preceded by closing prayers to be recited at 9:20 a.m. Monday in the funeral home prior in leaving for the church.
Burial will follow in SS. Peter & Paul Cemetery in Warren.
The family, funeral home and church will all be practicing social distancing and proper health protocols. Due to the continued and increasing spread of Covid-19, the 6-foot social distancing rule will be honored, and all guests, must wear a mask. For the safety of everyone, we politely ask that all visitors exit the funeral home after paying their respects to the family. Please do not linger unless staying for the prayers service Sunday.
The Koza family understands if you feel uncomfortable or if you are unable to attend, please keep them and John in your thoughts and prayers.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Staton-Borowski Funeral Home, 962 North Road, NE, Warren, Ohio 44483, 330-394-6200. Dedicated to Serving Your Loved Ones. This obituary may be viewed, and condolences sent to www.statonborowskifuneralhome.com.
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