John Paul Twerago of Eastham died peacefully on Nov 26, 2022 at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. The cause, aspiration pneumonia, was confirmed by his daughter, Donna. He was 89.
The son of Steven and Molly (Susluvis) Twerago, John was born on June 3, 1933 in Boston. His parents were Lithuanian immigrants and devout Catholics. His father worked in a paper mill, and John was the youngest of their eight children.
John grew up in Hyde Park where he had a paper route and excelled in school as a student and an athlete. He played nearly every sport, it seems, including track and field, baseball, football, and hockey. Hyde Park High School won the 1950 state championship in baseball, the final game being played at Fenway Park. John cherished that memory and maintained a deep interest in and an encyclopedic knowledge of sports throughout his life.
After he graduated from high school in 1950, John studied electrical engineering at Northeastern University, becoming the only one of his parents’ children to attend college. While still a student, he met his wife, Patricia, at Mosley’s on the Charles in Dedham, at one time the longest continuously running ballroom in the country. They moved into a tiny apartment that they rented for $35 a month.
John and Patricia married in 1954, the year he graduated. His degree was presented to him by then-Sen. John F. Kennedy. After graduation he was drafted into the Army and served stateside for two years.
After his discharge, John worked for Gillette in South Boston, where he ran the razor-making machines. He and his growing family settled in Hingham, and to take his family to Red Sox and Celtics games (at a time when tickets were still affordable for most people) he worked second jobs as a television repairman and a security guard. He took his family to the weekly workers’ Mass, which lasted only 30 minutes.
In 1972, John took a job with Schick, for which they moved to Connecticut. Soon thereafter he moved to Milford, Conn. to work for the Bic manufacturing corporation. In the evenings, he completed a master’s degree in computer science from the University of New Haven, and he began to serve as a lector at the Church of St. Joan of Arc in Hamden.
During his 12-year affiliation with St. Joan of Arc, John trained at a Catholic seminary in Hartford to become a deacon. He was ordained in 1986. As a deacon, he performed baptisms and communion and confirmation services so successfully that he was one of only 15 deacons from Connecticut to be selected to meet John Paul II on a Papal visit to Detroit. John cherished the memory of shaking John Paul’s hand.
Patricia introduced John to Eastham, where she had spent many summers at her best friend’s family cottage when she was growing up. In 1995, they bought their own house and settled here upon John’s retirement.
John threw himself into his work as a deacon, first in Eastham, then at another St. Joan of Arc parish church in Orleans, which he served for more than 20 years. In addition to offering baptisms, confirmations, and communion, John worked with the council on aging to bring Catholic services to senior centers, and he often brought communion to seniors in nursing homes.
John was proud to have performed the baptisms of many of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
John and Patricia loved to travel, both domestically in an RV and to Europe, where they took special pleasure in touring cathedrals. Paris and the Vatican were two highlights of their journeys.
His love for Patricia was evident throughout their 61-year marriage and in his caring for her in her final illness. Until the day he died, he wore her wedding ring on his pinkie finger.
John was known for his calm demeanor, sense of humor, and love for his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Visits from his children and their families sustained him, and he looked forward to his weekly Zoom call with great-granddaughters Gemma and Clare.
As John’s health began to decline, his daughter, Donna, cared for him at home. They shared fond memories of family bowling matches in Hingham, and they would “bowl” with the Wii gaming system, an activity John enjoyed even though he complained when Donna beat him. To train for the Wii matches, John walked every day up until he entered the hospital.
He is survived by his daughter, Donna Twerago, of North Eastham; his son John Jr., wife Karen, and their daughter Amy of Wallingford, Conn.; his son Michael, wife Sharon, and their children, Mike Jr. (and wife Lindsay and their sons, Braxton and Brooks), Kevin (and wife Alexandria), and Amanda of Southington, Conn.; and his son Jeff, wife Kathy, and their children, Maria (and husband Steve and their daughters, Gemma and Clare), Jeff Jr., and David of Stoughton.
John was predeceased by his wife, Patricia.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Joan of Arc Church in Orleans on Dec. 3. Burial service took place at Orleans Cemetery.
Donations may be made in John’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association. For online condolences, visit nickersonfunerals.com.