American Veteran 04

John V. Petrilli

June 23, 1931 ~ August 31, 2021 (age 90)


John Victor Petrilli, age 90, of 463 Rightmeyer Street, St. Marys PA, passed away on August 31, 2021, at Elk Haven Nursing Home.

Born on June 23, 1931, as the son of Rocco and Elvera DeSantis Petrilli.  John, who was the long-time patriarch of the Petrilli family, is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Janet, his son Rocco, and his wife Bethy, who John adored as his daughter, of State College PA. John had many things in life that gave him happiness, but none were surpassed by his endearing grandchildren, Dr. John Petrilli and his wife Emily Hand of Tampa, FL and Alycia (Petrilli) Selders and her husband Caleb Selders of Bellefonte, PA. His great granddaughter, Lorelei Selders, was a further source of his constant happiness even as old age and dementia took its toll.

 He is also survived by his sister, Helen (The late Tom Herzing Sr.) of St. Marys. John was proceeded in death by sisters and their husbands; Lena (Anthony Galati Sr.), Carmella “Mallie” (Lawrence Hoffman Sr.) and Angeline (Angelo Calla) and Concetta, in infancy.  John also was proceeded in death by brothers Herman and Joseph (wife Jean, who survives).  Numerous nieces and nephews and their spouses, who frequently and fondly speak of “Uncle Johnny,” were always blessed by his immense presence and ability to command a room. He loved his entire family dearly.

The working conditions endured by his father as an Italian immigrant motivated John to always respect and fight for the safety and rights of the American worker. His dedication to his extended career in organized labor, which began as Chief Steward in The Stackpole Corporation and included roles as President and Business Agent of Local 502 IUE-AFL-CIO, Vice President of District 1 IUE-AFL- CIO and culminating as organizer and negotiator for the same union, benefited thousands of workers, both union and non-union members alike, in a time where union representation was productive and necessary. These benefits continue to this day. Equally important was that most company owners and leaders, who “sat across the table” from John in highly confrontational situations, considered him as a man who represented the highest level of fairness, ethics and integrity.

As part of his legacy, he birthed four generations of St. Louis Cardinal baseball fans while our tolerance for his love of the Pittsburgh Steelers was a true sign of our uncompromised love for him.

John Victor Petrilli …A GREAT LIFE WELL LIVED.

Visitation and services will be held privately and at the discretion of the family at the Lynch-Green Funeral Home. A celebration of life, consistent with John’s ability to make others laugh during times of great sorrow, will be held later.

The family requests that memorials be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at Donate now to St. Jude and help kids fighting cancer - St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ( in recognition of his own successful defeat of cancer and for his big heart and love of all children everywhere.

Lynch-Green Funeral Home, 151 N. Michael Street, St. Marys, is handling the arrangements and online condolences may be placed at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John, please visit our floral store.

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