Cover photo for John Stratton Jr's Obituary

John Stratton Jr

d. April 27, 2020

John Stratton Jr

John Stratton Jr., 88, of Erie passed away peacefully Monday April 27, 2020 with family at his side. John was born May 10, 1931 in Oil City, PA, the son of the late John and Vera Flick Stratton. The family moved to Erie and he grew up on a farm and had great tales about life in Erie from the Great Depression through World War 2; selling newspapers and giving shoe shines to the U.S. sailors docked in our bay.

Always industrious, he learned the electrical trade from his father at a young age and was proud to have participated in bringing electricity in full to the magnificent Warner Theater. He met Shirley Johnson, the love of his life, while living in Little Italy as an "Honorary Italian" and playing baseball with The Hickory Street Gang. An outstanding ball player, he had prospects to play at a higher level, but life and the draft would instead take him to Korea. John served honorably as a combat medic with the US Army's Screaming Eagles during the Korean War. He earned a Bronze Star for valor during a daring rescue mission on Heartbreak Ridge, carrying his wounded squad leader up a 100-foot cliff while under enemy fire.

After the war he returned home and married his beloved Shirley. He became an electrical contractor and was the proud owner of John Stratton Electrical Service for many decades, not retiring until he was 75 years old.

John was known for his generous hospitality. He was a kind man who lived for his family and friends and approached everything with good humor. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He and Shirley will always be remembered for the countless gatherings for friends and family; summer picnics, holidays, his famous Sunday breakfasts, and the best party one could ever hope to be invited to; Christmas Eve! His place of honor was the head of the poker table, dealing out cards and life lessons in his "No More Mister Nice Guy" style. He played to win, but he was dedicated to teaching his family how to win at life also. This lesson boiled down to one motto, largely adopted by his entire clan: "Whatever It Takes." When not surrounded by family or taking his Shirley out to dinner, his greatest pleasure was riding his tractor on his land that he loved so much.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beautiful wife of 61 years Shirley, brothers George, Robert, Charles and Raymond and sisters Vera Sayers, Barbara Montelvo and JoAnn Palmatter.

He is survived by daughters Renee (Richard) Lo of California and Karen Kaufmann and Denise (Robert) Manchester of Erie. He leaves behind three grandchildren Alaina (Maxim Tsupko) Manchester, Alyssa Hume, Cameron (Cristi) Manchester; and great grandchildren Morgan, Jack and Taylor. He is also survived by sisters Shirley Hemme, Jenny (Fred) Teubert and Cindy (Doug) Lasky, many nieces and nephews, as well as a large extended family and treasured friends.

Due to the current pandemic, arrangements will be private. A Funeral Service can be viewed online Saturday at 11:00 a.m. on the funeral home Facebook page: The John R. Orlando Funeral Home, Inc. is handling arrangements. A gathering will be held for family and friends at a later date to celebrate John's life. Memorials may be made to Family Hospice Fund, Hamot Health Foundation, 302 French St., Erie, PA 16507-9948. John's family would like to offer special thanks to UPMC Family Hospice for their wonderful care and support.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Stratton Jr, please visit our flower store.


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