American Patriotic 11

John J. Cernick, Jr.

February 21, 1933 ~ December 29, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old

John Cernick, Jr. Obituary

John Jerome Cernick Jr., known to many as Junior, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on December 29, 2023.  John was born in a coal mining company town located near the No. 5 mine between Cle Elum and Roslyn.  For 90 years, he called the Upper County home.

John graduated from Cle Elum High School in 1953 while working in the mines as one of the youngest miners. He was extremely proud to be honored in 2021 as King Coal for his work in the coal mines.

John was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1954 achieving rank of Corporal E4 as a D2 Cook for the 91st Engineering Battalion. Later transferring to the Army Reserves for eight years. John was a recipient of the National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal for his military service.

John was a volunteer firefighter for the Cle Elum Fire Department for many years. He worked for WSDOT on Snoqualmie Pass in many different capacities. John worked for M.A. Segale as a truck driver and equipment operator for 30 years before retiring in 1998.

In 1980 at the age of 47, John married Barbara.  For 43 years, John and Barbara called Lake Cle Elum home. They enjoyed family, friends, wonderful neighbors and their two dogs.  John loved outdoor activities but mostly mushroom hunting.

John is survived by his wife Barbara and his six stepchildren - Tom O’Donnell and wife Jenine; Joanie Hopper and husband Tom; Kelly Thorpe; Teresa Faull and husband John; Bernie O’Donnell and wife Connie; Mike O’Donnell, and their families including 16 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren; his brother Bob Cernick and wife Debbie; nieces Katherine Staberow and husband Shawn; Antonija Womeldorf and husband Jeff; and Angelina Rodstrom and husband Andrew, and 5 grand nieces and nephews, and his two beloved dogs, Pebbles and Rosie.

John was preceded in death by his mother Rose (Crankovich) Cernick and his father John Cernick, Sr.

The Rosary will be prayed at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 5 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Cle Elum.  Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 6, also at St. John’s, with burial to follow at Laurel Hill Memorial Park.  A potluck reception will follow starting at 12:30 p.m. at the Upper Kittitas County Senior Center, 719 E. Third in Cle Elum.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Johnston & Williams of Cle Elum.  Online condolences may be left for the family at

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Vigil & Rosary
January 5, 2024

7:00 PM
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
303 W. 2nd Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922

Mass of Christian Burial
January 6, 2024

10:00 AM
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
303 W. 2nd Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922

January 6, 2024

12:30 PM
Putnam Centennial Center
719 E. Third Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922


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