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John Joseph Marefka

June 10, 1933 ~ March 6, 2020 (age 86)


On March 6th, 2020, angels came and escorted John Joseph Marefka, 86, of Copley, OH, into heaven after a long and courageous battle with an auto immune disease.  Because of his athletic training, he never gave up.  He was a kind and gentle giant.  John was born on June 10th, 1933 to John and Cecilia Marefka in Claridge, PA.  He studied Chemistry and Mathematics at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he also excelled in baseball and football.  John was named All American and inducted into the IUP Hall of Fame in 2012.  While at IUP, John completed 4 years of ROTC training and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia.  After his service in the Army, he was honorably discharged and then went to work for the BF Goodrich Company in Akron, Ohio.  He was a successful businessman founding/partnering several companies including but not limited to Graphic Arts Rubber and Kleen Polymers.  John was also an avid golfer, bowler, baseball player and loved to spend winters in Panama City and Myrtle Beach.

John shared 4 children with his former spouse, Dolores Marefka; John (Lori) Marefka, Bill (Connie) Marefka, Rick (Jenny) Marefka and Karen (Tony) Policicchio;  11 grandchildren, Daniel Marefka, Brittany (JJ) Post, Ashley (Mike) Trayer, Brandon (Taylor) Policicchio, Bryan (Sara) Policicchio, Emily Policicchio, Michael Marefka, Adam (Lauren) Marefka, Alex (Amanda) Marefka, Aaron Marefka, Austin Marefka; 7 great grandchildren, Cora, Lochlan, Conner, Benton, Quinn, Andrea and Kylie.

John spent over 30 years with his loving partner, Patty Lawrence and were blessed with her children, Jeff Lawrence, Cindy (Geary) Visca; four grandchildren, Carson (Drew) Owens, Sean Lawrence, Jared (Christy) Visca and Justin (Nancy) Visca; 1 great grandchild, Maylynn.  John also leaves behind his brothers, Bob (Roberta) Marefka and Ted (Barbara) Marefka.

Visitation will be held at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Road, Akron, OH 44333 on THURSDAY, March 12, 2020 from 4 to 7 p.m. All are welcome. Family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Akron Children’s Hospital, Blood and Cancer Fund, One Perkins Square, Akron, OH 44308 or  There will also be a memorial service and luncheon on FRIDAY, March 13th, 2020 at 1 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3300 Morewood Road, Fairlawn across from the main entrance of Summit Mall.

Services in care of The Billow Funeral Homes & Crematory, 85 N. Miller Road, Akron, OH 44333

(Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel)

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Joseph Marefka, please visit our floral store.


March 12, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Memorial Service
March 13, 2020

1:00 PM
Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron
3300 Morewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333


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