John Clarence Kusnerik, 90, of Galveston, Texas, passed away July 21, 2020 at Jennie Sealy Hospital. He was born on January 18, 1930 in Streator, Illinois to Andrew and Margaret Kacmarick Kusnerik of Streator, Illinois. John graduated from Streator Township High school in 1947 and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana where he studied accounting. John joined the United States Air Force in 1951 and was stationed Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas as a staff sergeant equal to medical svc specialist. While in Wichita Falls, he met the beautiful Anne Elizabeth Lerner, of Henrietta, Texas, working as a nurse at Wichita Falls Clinic Hospital. John and Anne were joined together by God in marriage on January 10, 1955. After a honeymoon in St. Louis, Missouri they moved to Champagne, Illinois. John and Anne then moved to Galveston, Texas in 1957 where they settled in to continue their 54 year marriage and begin their family where they raised their six children.
John began a career at the Jack Tar Hotel in Galveston as an accountant in 1958. He was recruited by the University of Texas Medical Branch and worked his way up to Associate Vice President and Comptroller, retiring in 1991 after 33 years of service. John was very active in many community services. He served on the Galveston Parks Board, O’Connell School Board, President of the Galveston Men’s Club, Knights of Columbus council 787, Serra Club of Galveston, Treasurer for St. Patrick Church Parish Council, St. Patrick’s Bazaar volunteer, Treasure Ball Association and recipient of the Yellow Rose for Seniors 80 years or older.
In his spare time, John loved working in his garage doing woodwork. He became quite the carpenter making numerous gifts for his children and grandchildren for Christmas and many other occasions. He also enjoyed working in his garden and improving the beauty of his backyard of which he was most proud.
John’s family is his pride and joy. Family gatherings at John’s house on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed to grow larger and larger every year. John would do anything for his children and was also a source of common sense and good judgement whenever asked, and sometimes when he wasn’t asked.
John’s favorite time of the year was Christmas. For more than 25 years John entertained all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren by donning his Santa Claus suit and portraying jolly old St. Nick for memories that would last a lifetime.
John also received recognition for his involvement in many charitable and religious organizations. He was named Serran of the Year in 1993 and in 1990 was named “Father of the Year” by the Galveston Daily News.
John was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Anne, his parents, Andrew and Margaret Kusnerik, brothers Francis, Lawrence, Daniel, and Ervin. John will be sorely missed by his sisters, Delores Nielsen, and Patricia Lyons, his children, David, Lisa, Brian (Lori), Barry (Alice), John Scott (Margie), and Karen (Jeff); grandchildren, Jamie Garza (Elliot), Melissa Dienst (Mike), Shelby Frugia, Alexis Bodell (Kyle), Emily Hein (Keegan), Andrew Kusnerik, Grace Kusnerik, Kelsey Kusnerik, Katelin Kusnerik, Frannie Kusnerik, John Peters Kusnerik, and Ross Owen; great grandchildren, Laleah Garza, Haley Garza, Bella Garza, Laney Dienst, Westin Dienst, Kennedy Dienst, and soon to be Shiloh Hein, expected in August.
The family would like to acknowledge the loving care and support of Daniel Adame and all of the Cardiac Care Unit at UTMB Jennie Sealy as well as Malinda Roque, Cardiac Cath Lab, and Martha Livanec, Director of Patient and Volunteer Services.
Donations may be made to Holy Family Parish or Holy Family Catholic School-Galveston.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 26, 2020, at St. Patrick Catholic Church from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., with a Rosary to be held at 6:30 P.M., with Deacon Sam Dell’Olio officiating. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, July 27, 2020, at 1:00 P.M. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, with Father Jude Ezuma officiating. Entombment will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be David Kusnerik, Brian Kusnerik, Barry Kusnerik, Scott Kusnerik, Ross Owen, Andrew Kusnerik and John Peters Kusnerik. Honorary pallbearers will be Pete Urbani, John Lerner and Owen Lyons.
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic regulations, social distancing and masks are required at St. Patrick Catholic Church for both services.
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