James A. “Jim” Stefanko, 86, was called home to be with his wife and our Lord on May 4, 2019. He passed peacefully at home with his loving family around him, in Eastpoint, FL. Jim was born on March 7, 1933 in Youngstown, Ohio to Joseph and Mary Margaret Kopernak-Stefanko. He was brought up by his Uncle John and Aunt Mary Hawk, in Masontown, PA, after his mother passed away when he was 7 months old.
Jim proudly served in the U.S. Navy. At only 19 years old, in April 1952, he was aboard the USS Hobson when it was struck by the USS Wasp. He was 1 of 61 survivors aboard the vessel. 176 of his fellow comrades perished in the North Atlantic. This was the largest U.S. naval disaster during peacetime. Jim served as a journeyman carpenter, and retired as a building inspector for the City of Apalachicola in 1997. Jim played a major role in the development of the volunteer fire department in Eastpoint, FL, and served as their first fire chief. He was also a dedicated member of the Knights of Columbus. His hobbies consisted of farming, fishing, hunting, and reading. He was a wizard of making anything work, even if it was through unconventional means. He was preceded in death by his wife, Veronica Stefanko; his daughter, Connie Stefanko; his son, Jim Stefanko Jr.; his granddaughter, Jaime Stefanko; brother, Joseph Stefanko; sister, Patricia Raville.
He lives on through daughters, Patricia Hale and Mary Margaret Stefanko, of Eastpoint, FL; brother, Bud Stefanko of Okeechobee; grandchildren, Casey Crosby, James Serrato, Amy Crosby, Kruiz Dickerson, Christopher Baines, Brook Pittman, and Sallie Rose Paul of Apalachicola and Eastpoint; great-grandchildren, Madison, Kendyl, Daniel, Kailyn, Ace, and Dallas.
A memorial service will be held at the Eastpoint Fire Department, at the Vrooman Park, in Eastpoint, FL at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 11, 2019. All friends and family are welcome to attend to help honor his legacy.
All arrangements are under the direction of Marlon Peavy at Peavy Funeral Home in Blountstown, FL.