CHARLOTTE - John Allen Katkavich, 73, died Feb. 16, 2013, at a Bangor hospital after a brief illness. John was known across Maine from a Maine Tobacco Helpline commercial in which he described having been given "another chance" to live because of the smoking cessation program. John survived cancer and lived five more years smoke-free thanks to the program. Born in Tunkhannock, Pa., John grew up in Hartford, Conn.
He graduated from Hartford High School in 1957 and shortly after married Jeanne Pardi. The couple was married 50 years with three children and four grandchildren dear to his heart. John was a proud member of the Teamsters Local 559 and drove more than two million accident-free miles during a 30-year career as a trucker. In his retirement John and Jeanne moved to Eastport, then Charlotte. There he enjoyed gardening, woodworking and walking his best friend, Toby.
In addition to his loving wife, Jeanne, John is survived by his three children, Barbara (Savage), John, and Jennifer (Fitzsimmons) and her husband, James, all of Connecticut. In addition he is survived by four grandchildren, Jon, Nathan, Brandon and Jessica; sister, Pamela Katkavich; brother, Jonas Katkavich; and constant companions, Toby and Echo.
Memorial services will be planned for a later date. Donations in John's memory may be made to The Volunteer Fire Department Auxillary, Town of Charlotte, 1036 Ayers Junction Road, Charlotte, ME 04666 or Our Companions Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 956, Manchester, CT 06045 or online at www.ourcompanions.org.
Published in BDN Maine on Feb. 18, 2013