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Obituary of John T. Saylor, 87


John T. Saylor, aged 87, died December 8, 2018. He was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania November 24, 1931. John was the son of the late Philip P. and Kathryn M. (Hoy) Saylor. On June 18, 1983, he married Mae A. Vonada-Greenland who preceded him in death on May 18, 2016.

John graduated from Saint John’s Catholic School in 1945 and the Bellefonte High School in 1949. Upon graduation, he began his working career as a bookkeeper at the Claster Building Supply firm in Bellefonte. When the Korean War began, John enlisted in the U.S. Air Force where he received his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and Sheppard Air Force Base both based in Texas. After receiving advanced training at Northwest Missouri State College in Marysville, Missouri, John was assigned to the Headquarters of the Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. He later transferred to the 93rd Bomb Wing at Castle AFB, California. John was honorably discharged as a S/Sgt in 1955 and attended college under the G.I. Bill at the University of Scranton and Penn State University where he received B.A. and M. Ed degrees.

Early in his career, John was employed as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in Pittsburgh, taught briefly in the Bellefonte School District, and worked as a technical writer at HRB-Singer in State College, PA.

John was very active with the Centre County Democratic Committee, serving as Treasurer and as Secretary of the county committee. In 1972, he was elected as a Democratic State Committee member from the 34th State Senatorial district and in 1975, he was elected to his first of four terms as a Centre County Commissioner where he served as Chairman of the Board for two terms. In 2006, John was appointed County Commissioner again by the Board of County Judges to complete the unexpired term of Scott Conklin.

While serving as a County Commissioner, John also served on several other government boards, including a term as President of the eleven county SEDA-Council of Government, the five county Central County Youth Center, and the seven county Policy Board of the Mid-State Employment and Training Consortium. During his four terms as Commissioner, the Willowbank Building was completely refurbished housing most of the county’s service agencies, the Centre County Youth Center was constructed in Benner Township, five signal towers were constructed which was the beginning of the county-wide 911 emergency telephone service, and public housing was starting in the county for the first time.

Following John’s retirement as Commissioner, he continued his interest in community affairs by serving on the boards of other county agencies, including the Centre Crest Trust, the Centre County Community Foundation, and C-Net, the county’s Government and Education Access Network. John was a member of the Bellefonte American Legion Post 33 where he served as an Adjunct and Post Commander. He was also a member of the Bellefonte Moose Lodge 206, the Bellefonte Elks Lodge 1094, the Knights of Columbus Council 1314, the Bellefonte Kiwanis, and a life member of the Logan Fire Company. John also served for several years as the bugler for the Bellefonte Veterans Honor Guard.

Along with his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Elizabeth.

John is survived by a brother, Monsignor Philip P. Saylor of State College, a sister Irene Dornisch and her husband Bernard of Lock Haven; two nephews, David Dornisch and his wife Eva of Lock Haven and Joseph Dornisch and his wife Jenny of Key West, FL; and two nieces, Michele Dornisch of Glen Cove, NY, and Jennifer Miller and her husband Douglas of Lock Haven; four great nephews, Roland Dornisch, Dominic Dornisch, Jack Miller, and James Dornisch; and one great niece, Bridget Miller. John is also survived by three step-daughters, Jacqui Greenland and her husband Michael Bierly of Bellefonte, Julie Thompson and her husband Darryl of Chesterfield, VA, and Janel Greenland and her partner Craig Santos of Ben Lomond, CA. Also surviving are eight grandchildren, Tasha Smith and her husband Ryan, Katie Miller and her husband Joseph, and Maggie Bierly of Bellefonte; Chloe, Sarah, Megan, and David Thompson of Chesterfield, VA, and Madelyne Falcone and her father Joseph Falcone of Bellefonte. John is also survived by one great-granddaughter, Alaina Mae Smith, of Bellefonte.

There will be a public viewing held on Thursday, December 13, 2018, from 9:30am-11am at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church at 134 E. Bishop Street, Bellefonte. Funeral Mass will immediately follow at the church at 11am with Father George Jakopac officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Bellefonte.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s Catholic School at 110 E. Bishop Street, Bellefonte, PA 16823.

Name of Deceased

John T. Saylor



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Wetzler Funeral Home

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