American Veteran 01
Official Obituary of

Lt. Col John P. Guzalak

March 22, 2024
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Lt. Col John Guzalak Obituary

Lt. Col. John Philip Guzalak, 85 of Auburn passed away peacefully on Friday, March 22, 2024 at The Commons on Saint Anthony.

He was born in Auburn, the son of the late Alexander and Julia (Dudurich) Guzalak. A graduate of West High School, John received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from The Citadel in 1960 and his Master's degree in Aerospace Systems Management from USC. After he married Janetanne Rhodes in 1962 they embarked upon years of travel with the US Air Force and added two children to their family. John retired from the Air Force as a highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel in 1990. He worked in radar control, had his family accompany him overseas to assignment in Germany for 3 years, and in 1971 became the youngest USAF officer ever selected to command a radar squadron while on remote tour to Tin City, Alaska; he closed out his 28 year military career flying aboard the E-3A as a mission crew commander for the 552nd AWACS Wing, and returned to northwest Florida where he lived for many years through his retirement.

John loved his family above everything, and thoroughly enjoyed the extensive travel he was fortunate enough to have with them. He was an avid sports fan, especially of football, basketball, golf, and Formula One racing. John was an athlete, a talented artist and photographer, loved and adored all animals always bonding intensely with his pets, and cherished all the many special encounters he had with God’s creations, particularly contacts with wildlife.

He is survived by his loving children, son John T. Guzalak of Auburn, daughter Jana (Steven) Latham of Anchorage, AK, two grandsons, Zane (Mariel) Mills of FL and Garrett Mills of AK, his brother David Guzalak, brothers and sisters-in-law, Carol Guzalak, Robert (RoseMary) Rhodes Jr., Patricia (Larry) Maguet, Sheila (Sam) Giangrecco, Kevin (Jean) Rhodes, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

In addition to John’s parents, he is also recently predeceased by the love of his life, his wife Janetanne of 60 years who passed in January of 2023, and a brother, Richard ‘Dick’ Guzalak.

A calling hour for family and friends will be held this Thursday, March 28th from 12:00pm until 1:30pm with services to immediately follow at 1:30pm, all inside of Pettigrass Funeral Home, 196 Genesee St., Auburn. Entombment will follow in St. Joseph’s Mausoleum, where full military honors will be accorded.

In lieu of flowers, please kindly consider a donation to the Gary Sinise Veterans Foundation.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lt. Col John P. Guzalak, please visit our floral store.

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March 28, 2024

12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Pettigrass Funeral Home
196 Genesee Street
Auburn, NY 13021

Funeral Service
March 28, 2024

1:30 PM
Pettigrass Funeral Home
196 Genesee Street
Auburn, NY 13021


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