First Posted: 1/20/2013
John Joseph Ace O’Malley entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 in Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.
Ace and his wife, Patricia Leonard O’Malley, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 21, 2012.
Born to John and Josephine Langan O’Malley on April 15, 1922, he was a lifelong Pittston resident. Ace graduated from St. John the Evangelist High School, and attended the University of Scranton where he studied journalism.
Ace joined the U.S. Army in 1943, and saw action from Normandy to the hook up with the Russian Army at the Elbe River in Germany.
In what would later become known at the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action.
Ace worked as the telegraph editor and photographer for the Sunday Dispatch from 1947 to 1962.He joined the staff of the Wilkes-Barre Publishing Company as copy editor, and then became telegraph editor of the Wilkes-Barre Record which later merged with the Times Leader.
In 1978, he and his fellow union members started the Citizens’ Voice. For the Voice, Ace would gather world and national news from television and radio reports because no wire service was available; he would then edit them into newspaper stories. Ace’s column, Running Report, became a must-read for area runners until his retirement in 1992.
Ace was inducted into the Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991 for Sports Journalism.
An avid sports fan, Ace avoided a favorite team, rooting instead for the underdog, unless they were playing Notre Dame or racing against Rusty Wallace.
Ace was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and the Veterans of Foreign War, Post 4909, Dupont. He was a devout member of Our Lady of the Eucharist Parish, Pittston, where he served as a lector and Eucharistic Minister.
In addition to both his parents, he was preceded in death by his son Patrick, infant brother Paul, and sisters Charlotte Doran, and Catherine Russo.
He is survived by the love of his life, his wife Patsy; two daughters, Mary Finnerty and husband Tom, Camp Hill, and Kathy Ercolani and husband Mark, Laflin; two sons, J. J. and wife Suzanne, Port Orange, FL, and Michael and wife Marie, Harding; a daughter-in-law Michele O’Malley Daly and husband John, Plains Twp; thirteen grandchildren, Kevin Finnerty, MD, Jason Newcomb and wife Nikki, Thomas Finnerty, Kelly Newcomb Rowan, Meghan Finnerty and fiancée Chris DiRosato, Patrick Finnerty and wife Shilpa, Patrick O’Malley, Michael O’Malley, Katie O’Malley, Erin O’Malley, Melissa Ercolani, Sean O’Malley, and Mark O’Malley; four great-grandchildren, Bryan Rowan, Kyle Rowan, Calleigh Newcomb, and Madeline DiRosato.
The family would like to thank the surgical team, and staff of the Intensive Care Unit at GWVMC for their wonderful care and compassion during this difficult time.
The Funeral with full military honors was held on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, with a Mass of Christian Burial in Our Lady of the Eucharist Church, 535 North Main St., Pittston.
Interment followed at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Carverton.
Arrangements are by the Paul F. Leonard Funeral Home, 575 North Main St., Pittston