John Joseph Urbania

John Joseph Urbania, 71, died Aug. 9, 2020, in Washington County, Pennsylvania, after a long battle with cancer.

He was born to the late Frank Urbania and Mildred (Blankenship) Simoncic on Dec. 23, 1948, in Cleveland, Ohio.

He graduated in 1966 from Willoughby South High School in Ohio. He married Francine (Bish) Barwidi, and had two children, John and Melissa.

Mr. Urbania then joined the U.S. Air Force and served in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1972.

“John was a traveler, never staying in one place for too long until he moved to Ketchikan,” his family writes.

In the 25 years that Mr. Urbania lived in Alaska, he was a fisherman, logger and land surveyor. During his final years in Ketchikan, he was the caretaker at the Bayview Cemetery before returning to Pennsylvania to be near his children and grandchildren.

“John was an avid fisherman, outdoorsman and book lover,” his family writes, adding that he had a “love for and an expanded knowledge of American history.”

He enjoyed telling stories of his adventures to his children and grandchildren.

Mr. Urbania is survived by his son, John (Wanda) Urbania of Avella, Pensylvania, and their children, Julia, Jordan and  Johnny; daughter, Melissa (Mike) Urbania Kessler of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and their children, Michael and Michael’s daughter, Emmy, and Matthew, Mark and Meghan; and siblings Ken, Francine, Nancy and Buzz.