John J. Bielen, 94, a resident of Heritage Hill Senior Community, Weatherly, and a former resident of McAdoo, passed away Sunday, March 19. He was the loving husband of Gertrude (Giner) Bielen, and they recently celebrated 73 years of marriage on February 18.
John was born in Tresckow, PA on November 25, 1928, the son of the late George and Anastasia (Pina) Bielen.
John attended St. Kunegunda Parochial School and graduated from McAdoo High School in 1946, where he excelled in sports, playing baseball, basketball, and football. He was a member of the McAdoo High School 1945 Class B Basketball State Champion team.
John enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1946 and served with the U.S. Army of Occupation in Japan.
Upon returning home from his service overseas, John played for both the McAdoo Comets baseball and basketball teams.
John had a very strong work ethic, which he passed on to his two sons, always doing his best to provide for his family. He worked from an early age, starting with Cara’s Ice House, Jere Woodring, Hazleton Brick Co., McAdoo Manufacturing, Kleen Dairy, Dairylea, Genetti’s Supermarkets, and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, retiring from there in 1989. In his retirement, he worked part-time for Campbell’s Soup, before starting a second career with the U.S. Post Office in Hazleton, PA.
John was a member of All Saints Church, McAdoo, and a former member of St. Kunegunda R.C. Church, McAdoo, where he was a member and officer of the Holy Name Society and served as an usher for many years. John was also a member of McAdoo VFW Post 6708, the McAdoo Prime Timers, the Greater Hazleton Area Polonaise Society, as well as being a Third Degree Knight of Columbus.
John was a die-hard sports fan, loving his Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies, and Penn State Nittany Lions Football, never missing a game on TV. He was a Penn State Football season ticketholder for many years and enjoyed going to games at Beaver Stadium.
In addition to his wife, John is survived by two sons, David Bielen and wife Mary Ann of Hometown, and Gregg Bielen and wife Cheryl of Centreville, VA; grandchildren, Angela Meiss, Matthew Bielen and wife Caitlin, Ashleigh Aviles and husband Haziel, and Emily Bielen; great-granddaughter Julia Meiss; also surviving is sister Mary Ann Mallets and husband Andrew of McAdoo, as well as sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.
John was preceded in death by brothers Joseph and Edward Bielen.
A special thanks from the family to the staff at Heritage Hill, as well as Family Pillars Hospice, for their wonderful care of John.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in John’s name can be made to either All Saints Catholic Church, McAdoo, PA, or Marian Catholic High School, Tamaqua, PA.
His funeral will be held Saturday, March 25. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. in All Saints Church, McAdoo. Burial will follow in St. Kunegunda R.C. Cemetery, McAdoo.
Calling hours are Saturday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the church.
The Damiano Funeral Home Inc., McAdoo, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Condolences may be entered and information is available at www.damianofhinc.com.
Church of All Saints
35 N. Cleveland St., McAdoo PA 18237
Marian Catholic High School
166 Marian Ave., Tamaqua PA 18252