John M. “Big John” Syphrit

big-johnJohn M. “Big John” Syphrit, 84, of Knox Dale Road, Brookville, PA, formerly of Greenville, SC, passed away peacefully in his home at Meade Chapel, PA, surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

He was born on October 16, 1932 in Brookville, PA, the son of Herbert Syphrit and Mildred Reed Mowery. He was married on August 6, 1954 to Elizabeth “Liz” Williams who is originally from Greenville, SC, but survives in Brookville. They met there while he was stationed at Donaldson AFB.

John was a 1950 graduate of Brookville Area High School and upon graduation he joined the United States Air Force where he proudly and honorably served in Korea with the 13th Bomb Squadron accomplishing 50 combat missions in a B-26. He also served in Vietnam with the 310 Tactical Airlift Squadron. While serving in the United States Air Force as a Flight Engineer and air craft maintenance specialist he received many distinguished honors and medals, including serving in the “Presidential Squadron”. After obtaining the rank of Master Sargent, he retired in 1972.

He was a member of the Meade Chapel United Methodist Church in Knox Dale, the American Legion Post #102, the Air Force Sargent’s Association, and a former member of the Brookville Lion’s Club. John was an avid reader of history, especially military history, and had a passion for restoring antique tractors and lawn mowers. He had a talent for fixing anything with a motor. He was always ready with a smile and a good word for others. John especially loved and enjoyed his family, but also loved sweet tea, barbeques, and dessert – especially pie.

John is survived by his loving wife, one daughter – Sherry Lynn Thomas (Larry) of New Jersey, two sons – Scott Syphrit (Donna) of Brookville, PA, and Chris Syphrit of Tucson, AZ, one brother – Leonard Syphrit of Augusta, GA, and one sister – Doris Reitz Thrush of Brookville, PA, and six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was also survived by many nieces and nephews and their families.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 29, 2016, at 12 noon at the Meade Chapel United Methodist Church with the Rev. Joni Williams officiating. Internment will be in the Meade Chapel Cemetery, Knox Township, Jefferson County, PA. Memorial contributions maybe made to the Meade Chapel United Methodist Church, 10193 Knox Dale Road, Brookville, PA 15825. Arrangements are under the direction of the Peterson Funeral Home 153 Jefferson St. Brookville, PA 15825 (814) 849-8355.

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