John Anthony Roncevich, 85. John was born February 25, 1926 to Antone and Mande (Krilich) Roncevich, in Dockton, Washington; he was the loving only son of five children. John and his sisters grew up on the family farm where they grew many types of berries. He passed away, at Sunrise Assisted Living in Bellevue, Washington after a long and painful illness. John was a 1944 graduate of Vashon High School.
John went into the Army June 4, 1944, at the age of 18. He was in the 743rd Tank Battalion in France, Belgium Holland and Germany. He was wounded on the Rhine River during WWII and was decorated by General George Patton at The Battle of the Bulge in 1944. When General Patton pinned on his Silver Star he said “Damn Fine Soldier”. John was also wounded and taken prisoner in Korea and was wounded again in Viet Nam. John also received a Bronze star in Korea and two Bronze stars for valor in Viet Nam. John received three Purple Hearts for the injuries he sustained. John was a soldier he loved his country and showed respect to the American Flag. John was often stopped and saluted when he wore his Purple Heart hat out in the community. He retired from the Army August 31, 1966. John’s sisters remember him commenting and wondering how and why he survived while so many others perished. He suffered from PTSD and was bothered by his war memories him at the end of his life.
In his civilian life he worked and retired from the county roads department. He also taught at the University of Washington in the ROTC program. He married Dorothy Buroker in 1989 and she preceded him in death in 2011.
John was preceded in death by his parents Antone and Mandi, his sister and brother-in-law Goldie and Tom Egness, his nephew Steven John Reifers and his brother-in-law Jack Spaulding. He is survived by sisters, Olga Spaulding of Des Moines, Katie Reifers of Bellevue and Maryann (Jim) Long of Huntington Beach, California, and many nieces and nephews. John had many friends and had recently become reacquainted with and old friend Jackie Sneed, she and his sister Katie had been dedicated caregivers.
Memorials in John’s name can be made to the VFW 2826/American Legion 159 Po Box 2891 Vashon, WA. 98070 or to the charity of your choice.
A viewing and display of John’s military memorabilia will be held at 9am on Wednesday February 15, 2012 in the Island Funeral Service Chapel. At 11:30 am all will gather and process to the Vashon Cemetery for a graveside service with full military honors. A reception will follow at Island funeral Service.
Evening Magazine 7pm Monday Feb. 20, 2012 for Memorial service story.