John R. Banyas Jr.
Sept. 10, 1951 – Jan. 8, 2020
John R. Banyas Jr., 68, Altoona, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday.
He was born in McKeesport and grew up in West Mifflin, the son of John R. Sr. and Mathilda (Csebrenyak) Banyas.
Surviving are brothers: David F. (Betsy), Leslie J. (Joann), Thomas P. (Karen); a sister, Marian J. (Jeff) Irwin; as well as nephews: William Banyas, Michael Banyas, Christopher Banyas; a niece, Stephanie (Banyas) Goss; and an aunt, Leona (Banyas) Wells (Jay III).
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Rosalie C. Banyas; and a nephew, David (Nancy) Banyas.
He attended West Mifflin North High School, then continued his education earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Shippensburg University. John taught science for 31 years in the Altoona Area School District, primarily at Keith Junior High School.
John’s love of pets throughout the years was a large part of his life and included a lifelong interest in turtles. Not only was John a member of the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society, he was also a loyal and devoted Knight at Mike’s Court in Altoona.
In addition to being a great brother, John had a fine group of friends in the Altoona area. Their support and friendship is truly appreciated by all of the Banyas family members. The family would like to especially thank Mike Luciano, Ed Varnox, George Mahone and many others whom the family has never known. John had a passion for Civil War history and especially all that went on in Gettysburg, taking many trips with his good friends George Mahone and John Evanko.
His sense of wit and humor, as well as great conversations coupled with his interesting ways, will be missed. John quietly gave to people in need without anyone knowing. John’s untimely passing has strengthened the bonds between all of us.
A private celebration of John’s life will be held with family and close friends. Arrangements are by Myers-Somers Funeral Home Inc., 501 Sixth Ave., Altoona.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Central Pennsylvania Humane Society, 1837 E. Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona, PA 16602, Gettysburg National Military Park (managed by the National Park Service) Office of the Superintendent, Gettysburg National Military Park, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100 Gettysburg, PA 17325 or a charity of your choice.