YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – John Edward Bistrica, Sr. “Johnny B”, age 97, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.
Mr. Bistrica was born in Youngstown and graduated from Rayen High School in 1942.
He was employed at Commercial Shearing Defense Plant before entering the Army in October 1942 and leaving for England in November 1943 as a private in C Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, First Infantry Division, the fabled “Big Red One”. On June 6, 1944, he landed on Omaha Beach in the first assault wave of D-Day. He received many medals for his service including two Bronze Stars and in 1997, the Distinguished Medal of the 16th Infantry Regiment and in 2007, the French Legion of Honor Medal bestowed by the people of France.
After serving 25 months overseas, he returned home to marry and raise a family, working at both Commercial Shearing and General Fireproofing. Much in demand for his carpentry work, in 1957 he began work as a self-employed Master Carpenter. Working with wood became his life long passion. He was a life long member of the local Carpenters and Joiners Union.
He remained involved in military activities including speaking to school students on the subject of WWII. He was a frequent visitor to the D-Day Re-enactment in Conneaut and a member of the American Legion Post 15, Poland, Ohio, the Society of the First Division, 16th Regiment Association and the Samuel Chase Association. He returned three times to the beaches of Normandy, as well as trips to the D-Day Museum in New Orleans and the WWII Memorial in D.C. He was an honored guest for the 70th Anniversary festivities of D-Day at the First Division Museum in Cantigny Park, Wheaton, Illinois.
He was a life long member of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church (now known as Holy Apostles) and a member of St. George Croatian Lodge 66.
John is survived by a daughter, Rosanne (Richard) Reames of Eastlake; a daughter-in-law, Frances Bistrica (John, Jr.’s widow) of Seven Hills and sons, Joseph J. (Cathy Donnelly) of Boardman and
Major (Ret.) Michael E. (Karen) Bistrica of Nepture Beach, Florida. He also leaves behind five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Anna Marie (Misic) who died in 2012 after 65 years of marriage; a son, John E. Bistrica, Jr.; his parents, Rose and John S. Bistrica and a sister, Ann Marie Hosa.
Family will receive friends a Holy Apostles Catholic Church, 421 Covington Street, Youngstown, OH 44510 on Monday, August 9, 2021 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 a.m.
Family requests that masks be worn.
Arrangements handled Vaschak-Kirila Funeral Home. To send condolences to the family, please visit www.vaschak-kirilafh.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Edward Bistrica, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Sunday, August 8, at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on FOX and 9:58 p.m. on MyYTV.