Dr. John J. Duda passed away peacefully at his home, the family farm, with his loving family by his side on Monday, November 16, 2020. Husband of the late Marie Gasper Duda, he was the paradigm for the modern renaissance man and known by many as a scholar and veteran, poet and chef, bird watcher and mushroom picker, gardener and farmer, and eventual patriarch of Duda’s Farm, Inc.
Dr. John J. Duda was born in Gates, PA January 25, 1931. He served in the Army in the Korean War, graduated from Washington and Jefferson College and eventually earned his PhD in Microbiology from West Virginia University. Dr. Duda was active in research at WVU, an institutional pioneer in virology research using electron microscopy. He was the Laboratory Director at Brownsville General Hospital and consultant/director for many other institutions, working at the Centerville Clinic right up to his passing.
Dr. Duda was a mentor to countless individuals over the years, whether medical, nursing or graduate students as a professor at WVU School of Medicine or those he met every day at the Duda’s Farm. He pushed everyone he encountered to better themselves.
“My Dad was the hardest working and smartest person I know, he worked for everything that he obtained,” says his youngest son Mark. “Dad was never afraid to try something new. He read constantly. He was a humble man who passed his work ethic to his three sons and five grandchildren.”
“Dr. Duda was ever present in the community, a friend to everyone,” says Gina Workman, Laboratory Supervisor at Centerville Clinic and PhD candidate. “He was a leader, never a follower. He was my mentor and a mentor to many over the course of his career; he will be missed dearly by many.”
“When I left for college, my father gave me the advice ‘Son, these are the most important things in life: Education, religion and family, don’t ever forget these.’ Without his encouragement I would never have entered or completed medical school,” says his oldest son John.
“Our father also had a wry sense of humor,” his middle son Andrew adds. “One of his favorite goodbye phrases was ‘And remember: if you hit something, hit something cheap!’ After our mother passed, Dad took up a new hobby, he learned to cook and bake, and became quite good at it-- much to the enjoyment of those working at the farm. He would attempt anything and everything.”
Dr. Duda is predeceased by his beloved wife of 53 years, Marie, his parents Jacob and Mary Duda, and his siblings Marie Ferraro, Helen Madgar, Joseph Duda, Michael Duda, Frances Duda and Stanley Duda. He is survived by sons: Dr. John (Donna) Duda, Jr. of Latrobe, PA, Andrew (Barb) Duda and Mark (Rachel) Duda of Brownsville, PA; grandchildren: Sarah, Kevin, Tyler, Jessie and Maria; siblings: Rose Lehman of Baltimore, MD and Alyce Manna, Frank Duda and Stephanie Ross of Republic, PA; numerous nieces and nephews. Do to the current covid precautions his visitation and entombment at Mt. Saint Macrina Cemetery, Uniontown, PA. is private. A funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November, 18, 2020 at St. Cecilia R. C. Church, Grindstone, PA with Father William McGuirk as celebrant. A larger celebration of life will be held for extended family and friends in the future when it is safe to do so. Full Military rights and honors will be accorded by the AMVETS General George C. Marshall Post #103 of Hopwood, PA.
The Kish-Fabry Funeral Home, Inc., Republic, PA has been entrusted with Dr. Duda’s professional funeral arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. John Jacob Duda, Sr., please visit our floral store.