Of Robinson Township, peacefully on Thursday, August 29, 2019 surrounded by family, after a brief battle with heart disease. Preceded in death by his father, John A. Biedrzycki; mother, Amelia "Millie" Biedrzycki-Cercone; and brother, David B. Cercone, Esq. Survived by his loving wife of fifty years, Bette Jean (Kinneman) Biedrzycki; son, John A. Biedrzycki, Esq. (Beth); sister, Michele Cercone; brother, Paul Biedrzycki; beloved grandchildren, Max and Molly. John began his career in the U.S. Army, serving from 1967-1970 in Korea as a Pay Distribution Specialist with the 7th Infantry Division. Thereafter, working as a laborer by day and going to night school, he earned his Masters in Education from the University of Pittsburgh and began working for the Pittsburgh Public Schools. John taught Social Studies, American Democracy and was the director the teaching academy at Langley High School. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in 1989, which led to three months of study in Sierra Leone and The Gambia to develop an African Studies curriculum for his students. In addition to teaching, John was the assistant baseball coach for Langley's 1982 State Championship and head coach for back to back City Championships in 1997 and 1998. Since 1969, John had been an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), holding various local and state leadership positions as an advocate for veterans, their families and active duty military. Upon his retirement from teaching in 2005, John devoted all of his free time to the VFW, While his accomplishments within the VFW were numerous, most notably he served as the Commander of the Department of Pennsylvania from 2002-2003 and achieved All American status. Thereafter he served on numerous national VFW committees advocating to the legislature and Veterans Administration to improve conditions for active duty service members and their families, as well as those in the VA health system, John was unanimously elected National Commander in Chief at the 2015 VFW convention held in Pittsburgh. Following his election, John traveled all over the United States and to numerous foreign countries to observe the working conditions and treatment of our active duty and wounded soldiers, During his travels in Asia, he visited remote sites where the missing remains of our fallen were being sought out and recovered. Armed with firsthand knowledge of what he observed, John zealously advocated on behalf of active duty soldiers, veterans and those missing in action, through testimony before Congress and Oval Office meetings with President Obama. Following the expiration of his term of office as Commander in Chief, John continued to travel the country in support of veterans causes until he was physically unable to travel. Family and friends received Monday and Tuesday, 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the SCHEPNER-McDERMOTT FUNERAL HOME, INC., 165 Noble Avenue, Crafton where the blessing service will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday in the funeral home chapel. Burial will be in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, John said prior to his passing that he would be grateful for memorial contributions to the VFW Veterans Village, 13005 N.E. 135th St., Fort McCoy, FL 32134. www.schepnermcdermott.com
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