John P. Demoga, Sr., of Worcester, passed away on June 8 after an illness. John was a resident of Christopher House, living alongside his brother Carroll. Carroll always told the story of a snowy February night in Peterborough, NH when John entered the world, born to Bronislawa “Mary” (Wnuk) and Antoni Demoga. John’s family takes comfort in knowing his big brother was again “by his side” when he left us.
John was a member of “The Greatest Generation.” Born to Polish immigrants, John and his family lived in New Hampshire and Vermont before settling in Worcester during the Great Depression. After Pearl Harbor, John enlisted in the United States Navy, proudly serving as a gunner on the USS Baltimore in the South Pacific theatre from 1942-1945. The Baltimore earned 9 battle stars and completed a top-secret mission to sail President Franklin Roosevelt from Pearl Harbor to Juneau, Alaska in the summer of 1944. As a dog lover, John never forgot to include Roosevelt’s dog Fala in his version of this story. John was a gifted storyteller and he shared stories like this and tales of friendship at sea often.
John was a man of impeccable character. He returned to Worcester after the war, married the love of his life Rose, remaining a loyal, faithful and devoted husband for 69 years. Together they welcomed their only son, John Jr (Johnny). John possessed a strong work ethic, and spent his career working at Morgan Construction to provide the opportunities for his family that he never had. Upon retirement from Morgan’s John went on to work part-time at L&J Company well into his 80’s. Despite working long hours, John always made time to be a devoted Dad to his Johnny, of whom he was so proud. He was an always present and picture-perfect Grandpa to Cara and Jonathan. He was a loving father-in-law to Diane. A reserved man, John showed his love through his hard work-whether it be washing cars, doing projects around the house and yard or taking down bees’ nests. If you looked closer you could see that he was also an innate caretaker. He was always there to help aging family, the first one to offer you something to eat or drink and he stayed by both his son and wife’s side through back to back terminal illnesses. He had incredible knowledge and love of aviation and history. He found joy and appreciation in the simple things in life- talking with family over coffee and a donut, scenic drives, home cooked meals (but also fast food), walks, sweet treats, Patsy Cline’s music and animals. He never missed an opportunity to stop and say hello to a baby. He took pride in dressing up but he also liked the new friends he met when he wore his World War II hats. He was often described as a “gentleman.” He was a strong man with the sweetest soul.
John leaves behind his daughter-in-law Diane of Shrewsbury, grandchildren Cara (Patrick) and Jonathan (Lea), brother Carroll, nephews, nieces and close extended family. He is predeceased by his parents Bronislawa and Antoni, sisters Sophie and Alice, brother Michael. A man of deep faith, he joins his beloved wife Rose and loving son John in heaven. He will be missed forever in our world.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with John’s family on Friday, June 12, 2020 from 10:00-11:00 am at Saint Anne’s Church, 130 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury. His funeral Mass will follow at 11:00 am. Appropriate social distancing measures will be taken and masks will be required upon entering the church. Burial will be with his wife and son in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury, where military honors will be rendered for his service in the United States Navy. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans (https://secure3.convio.net/nw2m/site/Donation).