John B. Polivka, 83 of North Huntingdon, passed into the Lord's arms on Friday, July 24, 2020, at UPMC East, Monroeville. He was born on March 4, 1937, in Duquesne and was the son of the late John and Mary (Chonko) Polivka Jr. He married his high school sweetheart, Arlene J. (Takacs) Polivka who he met in the Penny Arcade in Kennywood and they would have celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in August of this year.
He was Byzantine Catholic by faith and belonged to SS. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, Duquesne. John was a 11th Grade U.S. History teacher at Norwin High School from 1966 - 1995, he served as Social Studies Department Head, introduced and designed new courses (TODAE) and (PUSH) which he taught until his retirement.
He is remembered by his students for his Teddy Roosevelt lecture, First Day of School RESPECT lecture, the History Baseball Game, 10 quizzes per 6 weeks, day before Christmas Vacation 6 week exam, and the Presidents Page. John's interest ran from travel, tennis, birding, cross country skiing, movies, photography and music (he played the trumpet) and of course, teasing Arlene, "Say goodnight Gracie!"
He also was the treasurer of the Norwin Teacher's Federal Credit Union (1986 - 1999). He loved teaching and took great pride in the fact that he never wanted to be off from that job. He was always ready to go back after a long holiday.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Arlene J. Polivka, who will miss him to eternity, two sisters, Mary Jane (late Rudy) Ricci and Janet Carol (late John) Bost, two sisters-in-law, Mary Ann (late Wayne) Dowler and Vickie (late Bob) Takacs, nieces and nephews, Michelle (Dejan) Milentijevic, Jonette Bost, John Bost, Krista Takacs, Stacy Takacs, Robin Takacs, and Jennifer (Sonny) Brady, great nieces and nephews, Stevee Jo Takacs, Michael Perkinson, Mason Perkinson, Sonny Brady, Danilo Milentijevic, Zoya Milentijevic, and Emma Bost, great great nephew, Vincent Jay Takacs, aunt, Norma Polivka, and many cousins and friends. John delighted all of his nieces and nephews with his "famous" Turtle story and bag trick among others. He left them with precious memories, as he did us. He was a special, wonderful man and he will live in the hearts of all who loved him forever. Thank you to all his home care staff from Excela for all your love and care for him over the months, especially Chrissy Ambrose, his nurse, also to all the doctors, nurses and staff at UPMC East, God Bless you for all your good work. To our fantastic neighbors Chris and Ed, Ti and Mike and Jon and Nicki for your love and support, Love you back. To our wonderful friends at SS. Peter and Paul Church for your never ending kindness, beautiful cards and constant support, love, love ,love.
Family and friends will be received on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M. in the William S. Skovranko Memorial Home, Inc., 828 Richford Street, Duquesne. A Blessing service in the Memorial Home on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 9:30 A.M. will be followed by Liturgy of Christian Burial in SS. Peter and Paul Church, Duquesne at 10 A.M. Burial will follow in SS. Peter and Paul cemetery, West Mifflin. "Only we know the words to the song that we sing!" good night "Sweet Boy"!
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Originally published July 27, 2020.