HORNELLSVILLE: John Philip “Phil” Bretz, 86, of County Route 29, passed away peacefully Sunday evening (April 1, 2018) at his home surrounded by the comfort, care and love of his family after a brief illness.
John was born July 26, 1931 in Rochester to Reinhard and Agnes (Nethaway) Bretz. On February 22, 1960 in Brightwaters, L.I. he married the former June Duryea who predeceased him June 27, 2017. He was also predeceased by a brother Robert Bretz.
John proudly served our country in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Panama from 1954-56. He was honorably discharged from the Army Reserves in 1962. He was a civil engineer working for the NYSDOT until retirement after 34 years of employment.
John was a model airplane and Lionel train enthusiast and a longtime Amateur Radio operator with the local KLARA and the New England Weather Net groups.
His memberships included being a volunteer fireman for the South Hornell Fire District, a member of the Hornell Wind Ensemble and Canisteo Stamp Club for many years, the Hornell YMCA, the Coffee Club and a longtime member of the Buena Vista Wesleyan Church. He enjoyed attending family camp at Chambers Wesleyan Camp and never missed camp for 44 years.
John is survived by a son, John P. (Pamela) Bretz, Jr. of Horseheads, three daughters: Faith (Bill) DeMarr of Canisteo, Susan (John) Wojack of Nunda and MaryLou (Charles) Elliott of Johnson City, 12 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and a sister-in-law Linda Bretz of Rochester.
At John’s request there will be no calling hours or service. A private graveside service will be at the convenience of the family in Woodlawn Cemetery in Canisteo.
Memorial contributions in John’s name may be made to the Buena Vista Wesleyan Church Building Fund, 6034 Cty. Rte. 69 Canisteo, N.Y. 14823.
Arrangements are in care of the H.P. Smith & Son, Inc. Funeral Home in Canisteo.
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