John was born in Niles, Ohio in 1926 to John and Mary Saraya, who had immigrated
from Croatia. He worked as a boy for the Niles Times newspaper. John obtained his
driver’s license at age 14. During WWII, he joined the US Army and served in the 128th
Signal Service Battalion. He was sent to Europe as hostilities were ending. He was then
sent to the Pacific Theatre and was aboard ship when word of Japan’s surrender was
He met and fell in love with Frances Lubanovic. They were married on October 27,
1951. They welcomed their son, John, in 1963. Fran passed away October 4, 1985 with
John at her side.
John was an active member of the St. George’s Lodge 66 Croatian Home for 72 years,
American Croatian Citizens Club,and was a councilman at Sts. Peter and Paul Croatian
John found employment with the Pennsylvania and Lake Erie Railroad, where he
worked as a brakeman on trains. He left the railroad and went to work at Youngstown
Sheet and Tube Company until they closed. John became a certified mechanic, working
on the bowling machines at Hubbard Lanes. He retired from there but later found
himself working at Youngstown Landscaping until he finally retired.John’s talents
included bricklaying, carpentry, electrician, plumber, and mechanic.
John found immense joy with his grandsons, John and Nick Saraya. He imparted his
wisdom and love for his Croatian heritage on the boys. John and Nick became the
source of support and travel, taking him shopping, running errands, and spending time
John will be missed terribly by those who knew him. He is survived by his sister,
Josephine Fiorenzo, son John and wife Lisa, his grandsons, nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will be received on December 21,2021 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Vaschak Kirila Funeral Home on Canfield Rd and following a funeral service at 11:00 also at the funeral home with Fr Rudjak officiating.