GIRARD, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – John Lawrence Creatura, 83, passed away peacefully, in his sleep, Saturday, November 26, 2022.

John, who was affectionately known as “Big John” or “Cuz”, was born May 19, 1939, in Hillsville, Pennsylvania, the oldest of three children born to the late Armellio “Army” Creatura and Francis Macchio Creatura. 

As a child, John and his family moved to the famous Brier Hill neighborhood where Big John “ran the streets” and made many lifelong friends. John would never shy away from a good fight and was a great storyteller. He would often tell stories of the “good ole days” growing up in Brier Hill over a beer or a two finger pour.

Big John was a 1957 graduate of The Rayen School where he was a member of the football team. Football was one of his greatest passions and during his high school career he was named All-City and All-Ohio Team. John was very proud of the school that gave him his foundation in football and he received many scholarships to play football after high school but turned them all down in order to serve in the United States Marines, another one of his three great passions.

Following graduation, John enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. He proudly served for four years and earned the ranks of Corporal and MP. 

When John returned from the Marines, he laid eyes on the late Serafina Parillo whom he met while working together. From the very first moment he saw her, he knew he was going to marry her. John and Serafina were married on July 22, 1961 and celebrated 60 years of marriage together until Serafina passed away on November 16, 2021.

While living in Girard and raising a family, John worked at the General Motors Lordstown plant where he was given the nickname “Cuz.” He was a people person and was loved by all his co-workers.

Cuz always had a smile on his face and was the light and entertainment of the room. He could often times be heard singing or whistling a tune. John knew how to enjoy life and he and Serafina would host many parties in their basement where singing, laughing and dancing would be had. He was always the first one on the dance floor and would twirl anyone around that was close by. Big John enjoyed working outside in his yard, tending to his garden and his wife’s roses. You would also find him cooking up a storm in the kitchen, canning his famous peppers and even baking his favorite ice box cake which his mother used to make him. John was an avid fan of The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cleveland Browns and every Fall, you would know never to bother him during the Buckeyes or Browns game.

John’s third and greatest passion in his life were his children and grandchildren. He was a good ole’ fashion family man who had a big heart and loved spending time with his family any chance he could. John welcomed and treated everyone like family because to him there was no such thing as a stranger. He really just wanted to make you smile and laugh. 

John loved the Christmas season and Christmas holiday and while his children were young, he would always go out and look for the biggest blue spruce tree he could find and he would never skimp on the decorations. He made his home magical and would always make sure his children and grandchildren had a memorable holiday.

Mr. Creatura leaves to cherish his memory, his daughter, Anna Marie (Frank) Popovich of Poland; his son, Chuck (Millie) Creatura of Poland; four grandchildren, Francesca (Collin) Hocker, Sara (Rob) Proudfoot, Jonathan Creatura and Mila Creatura; two sisters, Sandra Zentko and Mariana Creatura; three brothers-in-law, Rocky (Rosemarie) Parillo, Vince Parillo and Luciano (Marilyn) Parillo; two sisters-in-law, Angeline Kovalchik and Caroline (Sam) Martuccio and many nieces and nephews and extended family members.

Big John will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Besides his parents and his wife, John was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Kenny Zentko and a sister-in-law, Laura Parillo.

Family and friends may gather to pay respects from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 1, 2022, at St. Rose Church, 48 E. Main Street, Girard where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m.

A committal service with military honors will follow the Mass at Girard Liberty Union Cemetery where John will be entombed next to his beloved wife, Serafina.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Kinnick Funeral Home in Girard.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Tuesday, November 29 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.