Obituaries » John Michael Sienkowski

He was a member of Resurrection Catholic Church in Moneta, VA, where a Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, August 30, 2022, at 11 am. The family will receive friends one hour prior.

John Michael Sienkowski

November 9, 1938 - August 18, 2022

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John Michael Sienkowski, age 83, of Smith Mountain Lake, VA, passed away August 18, 2022.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Helen and John Peter Sienkowski; his sister, Joan Sienkowski; and brother Michael Sienkowski.

Surviving are his loving wife of sixty-three years, Virginia (Ginger); four children, John Joseph Sienkowski (Sonja), of Frederick, MD, Wendy Edwards (Dale) of Warrenton, VA, Kristene Shaw (Roger), of Eighty-Four, PA,  and Tammy Roethlisberger (Eric), of Blacksburg, VA;  10 Grandchildren, Brittany Edwards Eckert (Adam), John Matthew Sienkowski, Kayla Sienkowski (fiancé Alex Bumpus),  Alyson Shaw, Ryan Edwards (Alexis), Kylie Shaw, Casey Shaw, Ben Roethlisberger, David Roethlisberger, Sophie Roethlisberger; two Great Grandchildren, Dereck Jace Eckert and Bryn Eckert; three sisters,  Janet Panos (Yorgo), Pat Jordan (Mike), Debbie Vaisnor (Ken); and one brother Ken Sienkowski (Debbie).

John was born November 9, 1938, in Chicago, Il.  He moved with his family to Downers Grove, IL when he was ten years old.  He attended Culver Stockton College in Missouri, where he found the love of his life, his wife, Ginger.  There he also showcased his athletic abilities on both the football and baseball fields.  After graduation he went to work for IBM in the Federal Systems Division.  The highlight of his career was when he worked on the space program in Houston, TX.  He was there for Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, working on many programs including the splashdown program.  After Houston, his work took him to Maryland and then to New Jersey, where he helped pioneer the Air Traffic Control System.  Next, he and Ginger moved to California and then back to Maryland before he retired after 34 years with the company.

After he retired from IBM, he went to work for AOL, working for them for 4 years.  In 1992, they bought their retirement home in Smith Mountain Lake where John enjoyed golf, fishing, woodworking, gardening, and singing with the Harmeneers.  He also enjoyed traveling with Ginger, visiting all fifty-two states at least once and many other countries.  Sharing their love of travel, they took each grandchild on a special trip the year they turned 13.

Special thanks to the Medi Home Health and Hospice care team Katie, Angela, Gwen, Melissa, Shannon, and Marla; as well as the At Home CareGivers, Alicia, Lynne, and Rebecca.

He was a member of Resurrection Catholic Church in Moneta, VA, where a Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, August 30, 2022, at 11 am. The family will receive friends one hour prior.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the charity of their choice.

Tharp Funeral Home, Bedford is assisting the family.

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