John P. Vatavuk was born March 24, 1949 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Vatavuk was a member of the very first graduating class of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 1971. He has served as a Somerset County Commissioner from 2008 up until his passing.
Retired from the North Star School District, where he taught for 36 years and touched the lives of hundreds of students. John was a champion for the completion of Route 219 from Somerset to Meyersdale. That section of highway was opened in October of 2018, fulfilling a great part of his longtime dream of seeing it constructed the whole way to the Maryland border.
He served on the Board of Trustees of the Penn Highlands Community College, the North South Highway Coalition, the Continental One Board, Windber School Board, and numerous other boards and committees throughout the County of Somerset.
His biggest passion was playing basketball with his friends every Wednesday evening at the Windber Community Building. He also loved sports of all kinds, mainly Pitt football and basketball. He was also an avid recycler. John coordinated the Somerset County arm of the Commissioning Committee for the USS Somerset and is an Honorary Plank Owner. He was an active member of St. Thomas Lutheran Church, where he served as its Grove Committee Treasurer, Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School Teacher, Church Council Member, and Manager of the Softball Team.
On April 13, 2019, he was inducted in the Windber Area Hall of Fame, which he considered to be a great honor.