John M. Minni, 97, of Derry, died Saturday, February 9, 2019, at Excela Health Latrobe Hospital. He was born October 25, 1921, in Fairmont, WV, a son of the late Leopold and Amelia (Gasbarro) Minni. John graduated from Derry Borough High School in 1939. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 15, 1942 and was honorably discharged on January 15, 1946. During his tour of duty, he served aboard the USS Nelson (DD623), the USS Oklahoma City and the USS Indiana. He participated in 10 trips across the Atlantic and the invasion of Sicily and Normandy. While in the Navy, John made detailed notes of his duty and travels. Some years later, he typed the notes to create his Navy Diary. He always kept a copy of the Diary by his favorite chair at home and often enjoyed reading from it. He operated John Minni’s barber shop in Derry from 1948 until his retirement in 1998. John was a lifelong member of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Derry where he devoted many hours of volunteering with the annual Lenten fish fry and the weekly bingo. He was an Honorary Life member of the Knights of Columbus (3rd Degree), the VFW (Past Commander), the American Legion, the Fraternal order of Eagles, and the United States Navy Memorial. John was also a member of the USS Nelson (DD623) Shipmates Association and enjoyed attending reunions with his wife, Helen, and daughters Patricia and Amy and son-in-law, Richard. Reunions were held in a number of different locations such as Washington, DC, San Antonio, TX, Myrtle Beach, SC, Philadelphia, PA, and Covington, KY. He and his shipmates were truly members of “The Greatest Generation” . During his spare time, John enjoyed tending to his large vegetable garden, woodworking and wine making. He and his wife, Helen, spent many happy times dancing to Big Band orchestras with their friends. John had a genuine love of animals and provided a home for many beloved pets over the years. Besides his parents, John is preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Helen (Suchan) Minni, one brother George Minni, and one son-in-law Joseph F. Wasnesky. John is survived by his daughters and caregivers Patricia A. Wasnesky and Amy M. Supko and husband Richard. In addition, he is survived by daughter Joanne Petro; one granddaughter, Cristina Helena Petro; three sisters Teresa C. Minni, Rose Petrarca Giannini, and Mary B. Sirnic and husband Robert; numerous nieces and nephews and his kitties Pepper and Pumpkin. The Knights of Columbus will conduct a service 2:30 PM Tuesday, February 12, 2019 in the funeral home The family will receive friends for John’s Life Celebration, on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 from 3-7PM at the Matthew X. Merlin Funeral Home Inc. 529 N. Chestnut St. Derry, PA. 724-694-8331 The Latrobe-Derry Veterans Honor Guard will conduct a Military Service in the funeral home Wednesday at 9:15Am. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10AM Wednesday February 13, 2019 at the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Derry with the Rev. Salvatore R. Lamendola as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Mary's Byzantine Church Cemetery, Bradenville. The Family would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to John’s long time physician, Dr. Vin and his staff, the Excela Health Latrobe Hospital Emergency Room staff, and especially to Dr. Gonzales. The nurses and staff of 2 East (IMU), Lois Wozny, RN, BSN Home Care and Hospice, and our cousin, Patrick Petrarca ACSW, Social Worker with Excela Home Care and Hospice. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church 125 S. Ligonier St. Derry, PA 15627 or Action for Animals Humane Society 386 RT 217, Latrobe PA 15650. Online condolences may be made at merlinfuneralhome.com
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