MEREDITH — John Polonchek finished an epic journey on January 26, 2015 that began on January 1st, 1928. John, the eldest son of Gaspar and Mary Polomcak, was born in Granastov, Czechoslovakia and was preceded in death by his parents, elder sister, Julie Zaiko, and younger brother, Mike. He is survived by his younger sister, Helen Ignas, of Schererville, Indiana.
John was an outstanding scholar and athlete, earning All-State honors as a halfback at Roosevelt High School in East Chicago, Indiana. He was inducted into the East Chicago Hall of Fame in 1979. John attended Michigan State University on an athletic scholarship. In 1949, he was the first recipient of the Potsy Ross Award, an honor given to the football player making the most contributions to the team on the field and in the classroom. He is still among the career leaders in interceptions at MSU. After graduation, John joined the U.S. Air Force and began his coaching career as a player-coach at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. It was there he met his wife of 59 years, Joan, whom he married in 1955. After discharge from the Air Force, John and Joan moved to East Lansing, Michigan, where he coached for Michigan State University from 1956 – 1958. After three years, John joined the staff at the University of Colorado in Boulder as an assistant coach. In 1961, the Colorado Buffaloes were the Big 8 Champions and represented the conference at the Orange Bowl. In 1963, John was hired as a scout for the New York Jets. John joined the Oakland Raiders under Al Davis in 1967, beginning a 25-year NFL-coaching career. John had previously worked for Al Davis scouting National Football League players targeted for recruitment prior to the formation of the new American Football League (AFL).
While with the Raiders, John coached running backs. His first pro-football season in 1967 was a season of electrifying last-minute comebacks led by the "mad bomber" Daryle Lamonica and punctuated by a series of last-second field goals from the toe of George Blanda. That first season ended on a high note, as the Raiders competed in Super Bowl II against Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers. In 1968, he coached the Raiders in the infamous "Heidi Bowl" that forever changed the broadcast sporting world. Never again would a live football game be pre-empted by a scheduled network show, as the Raiders scored two touchdowns to defeat "Broadway Joe Namath" in the final minute: – a comeback that no one on the East Coast saw.
After five years at Oakland, John was hired by the Green Bay Packers, where he coached receivers under Dan Devine from 1972-1975. In 1975, John was hired by the New England Patriots as the Quarterback Coach/Special Assistant to the Head Coach for Chuck Fairbanks (1975-1979) and Ron Erhardt (1979-1983). In 1983, he joined a startup football league, the United States Football League (USFL) as the quarterback coach for the New Jersey Generals. When the league folded in 1985, John rejoined the New England Patriots as the Quarterback Coach/Special Assistant to the Head Coach under Raymond Berry. That same year, the Patriots competed in Super Bowl XX against the Chicago Bears. John continued his coaching career with the Patriots until his retirement at the end of the 1991 football season. Throughout his career, John had the honor of coaching with outstanding coaches and players in both the professional and collegiate ranks. John worked for Hall of Fame owner Al Davis, coached with Hall of Fame coaches John Madden and Bill Parcells and Hall of Fame players Raymond Berry, Fred Biletnikoff, George Blanda, Willie Brown, John Hannah, Mike Haynes, Ted Hendricks, Ron Mix, Jim Otto, Dave Robinson, Art Shell, Bart Starr, Andre Tippett, and Gene Upshaw. His teams competed in sixteen NFL playoff games, with seven wins, earning visits to Super Bowl II and Super Bowl XX.
John is survived by Joan and their three children: son, John Polonchek, of Stillwater, Okla. and his wife, Amy Weaver Polonchek; daughter, Jennifer Ferreira, of Ridgefield, Conn. and her husband, John Ferreira; and daughter, Jeanna Polonchek, of Taunton, Mass. and her partner Robin Gaudreau; grandchildren, Allison Ferreira, MD, Alexander Ferreira, Christopher Polonchek and his wife Maria, Audrey Polonchek, and Kathleen Polonchek, MD; great grandchildren Luke Polonchek, Taj Polonchek and Sola Polonchek.
In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial contributions in John Polonchek's memory to the Trustees of Boston University with a note "In memory of John Polonchek" to support Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Research through the CTE Neuropathology Fund. The address is:
Boston University School of Medicine, Attention Lauren Murphy, 72 East Concord Street Suite B7800, Boston, MA 02118
The CTE Center was established to support high-impact, innovative research and to understand long-term consequences of repetitive brain trauma in athletes and military personnel.
A calling hour will be held in the Narthex of St. Charles-Borromeo Catholic Church, 300 NH Rt. 25, Meredith, on Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Mass will be celebrated at 11a.m. Rev. Dennis J. Audet, pastor will be the celebrant. Interment will be private.
Mayhew Funeral Homes & Crematorium of Meredith and Plymouth are assisting the family. For John's Book of Memories: www.mayhewfuneralhomes.com
Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 10:22
FRANKLIN — Patrick A. Rerrie, 75, of Franklin, died at his home on Jan. 25, 2015.
He was born in Panama on April 19, 1939 the son of Harold and Elizabeth (Tavnier) Rerrie. Pat was raised in Panama and came to the U.S. in 1970. He has resided in Franklin for 44 years.
Pat was at Pike Industries and Market Basket prior to retiring in 2013.
He enjoyed following the Celtics and trips to Foxwoods. Pat especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.
Family members include his wife of 42 years, Anna (Butterfield) Rerrie of Franklin, his son, Patrick Rerrie of Franklin, 2 grandchildren, Sera Nicole Rerrie and Bryson Patrick Adams, a sister, Audria Russell of West Palm Beach, Fla., and nieces and nephews.
The will be a memorial gathering at Franklin VFW Post #1698, 26 Peabody Place, Franklin, on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 from noon to 3 p.m. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to his family to assist with expenses.
Thibault-Neun Funeral Home in Franklin (www.neunfuneralhomes.com ) is assisting with arrangements.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 10:16
EPSOM — Lula F. (Crayton) Berry passed away peacefully surrounded by family on January 7, 2015 at Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida.
Lula and her husband Bruce, were staying in New Port Richey, Florida for the winter.
Lula was born November 26, 1931 in Quincy, Mass. to Lester and Christy Crayton. She grew up in Framingham, Mass. and attended Framingham schools. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Rev. Bruce Berry; her children, Nancy Haddock and her husband Glenn of Laconia, Malcolm Berry of Inverness, Fla., Marjorie Bourget of Manchester and predeceased by Marjorie's husband, David Bourget. She is also survived by multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is predeceased by her parents Lester and Christy Crayton, her brothers Willard and Albert Crayton, and her sister Barbara Ann Crayton. She is also predeceased by her granddaughter Mandy.
Lula enjoyed working by her husband's side as he was pastor of churches in this area and elsewhere. She was a floral designer and skilled at needlework. She enjoyed knitting, especially hats for children through the United Methodist Economic Ministry in Maine. Lula enjoyed going to bingo every week where she had many friends.
There be will a memorial service Saturday, February 7, 2015 at Bow Mills United Methodist Church, 505 South Street in Bow, N.H. Service will be at 1 p.m. followed by fellowship and refreshments in the church hall. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lula's honor may be made to: United Methodist Economic Ministry in Salem Township Maine, c/o Rev. John Blackadar, 23 Birchdale Road, Bow, NH 03304.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 10:13
LACONIA — Jean A. Horn, 84, of 406 Court Street, died Thursday, January 29, 2015 at St. Francis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. She was the widow of Robert T. Horn who died in 1975.
Jean was born on October 5, 1930 in Laconia, the daughter of Clifton and Alta (Norton) Annis. She grew up in Lakeport and she and her husband raised their children in the Winnisquam Depot. After her husband died, she moved to Alton with her daughter and son in law, where she helped to manage the Merrymeeting River Mobile Home Park. There she enjoyed spending her time with her grandson and all her friends. She also was employed by Sears Roebuck in Gilford and JC Pennys in Rochester.
Jean enjoyed gardening, playing bingo and bowling, traveling around the country for thirty years for national bowling tournaments.
Jean is survived by a son, Michael Horn, of Summerland Key, Fla.; a daughter Sandra White, and her husband Donald, of Alton; grandchild Eric White and his wife, Korin and two great grandchildren, Lyndi and Jonah. She was predeceased by her parents and husband and a brother James Annis. She was the sister in law of Jerry and Yvonne Horn of Lakeport. She had many nephews and one niece.
Calling hours will be Thursday, February 5, 2015 from 5 to 7 p.m. and a Funeral Service will be held Friday, February 6, 2015 at 11 a.m. at the Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, using the Carriage House entrance. Burial will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery.
For those who wish, the family suggests that memorial donations be made to St. Francis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center Activities Fund, 406 Court Street Laconia NH 03246.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 10:05