John G. Podwirny, Sr.


John G. Podwirny Sr., age 79, formerly of West Milton, NY, passed away, on Thursday, October 25th, 2018, at Saratoga Center for Rehab and Skilled Nursing Care, after a long illness.

He was born on Wednesday, August 11th, 1939 at Saratoga Hospital to Stella Dake-Stella and John Podwirny. He was a loving and gentle soul to his family. He is survived by his wife Mary Lou Gonyea-Podwirny, his son, John Grover Podwirny Jr. (Elaine), and his grandchildren, Jacob of Indiana, Mary Arnold (Justin), Katelyn, and Daniel Podwirny. He is also survived by his sisters Carole Esposito-Jones (Timothy), and his sister Patricia Tygard (James).

In John’s younger days, he loved cars. He met his love, Mary Lou when she was bartending, and they were married on her 21st birthday.

Before Stewart’s Ice Cream Shoppes became locally recognized, Dad would take animals around to visit local schools and used to run delivery for his mother’s family and Percy Dake. The Dake dream has grown to be loved more than the family expected, with the family joke that Percy and Charles Dake would drive around, and wherever they were when they wanted a cup of coffee, they would start a Stewart’s. After high school, John served as a Seaman First Class in the United States Navy from 1958 to 1961, with an honorable discharge. He was a truck driver-owner operator for a few years, and then became a Regional tractor trailer driver for Destiny Transportation based out of Chicago, Illinois from 1987 til 2006.

When traveling over the road truck driving, he often took his wife, Mary Lou with him, and their little dog, to visit his family when they lived in Ohio. It has been a family tradition for 23 years, for all the family to stay overnight on Christmas Eve, for Christmas morning. On the weekends he loved cooking on the grill, and watching the humming birds with his wife. John worked very hard over many years to give his son an example of a good work ethic and to provide for his family.

When he became ill in 2006, he was cared for at home by his loving wife, Mary, for 7 years. John became a resident of Saratoga Center in 2014, and was visited by his wife every day. They played Bingo and Pequino many times a week, and when they won, she would hang them all on his wall, along with all the drawings she had made. Saratoga Center became a real home to dad. She and dad were so grateful for all of the loving nurses and aides that took loving care of him, and she did her best to make sure he felt he was at home. They just celebrated 50 years.

John was very sweet, patient, and kind to everyone he met, and his “Million Dollar Smile” will be dearly missed by his family and friends, and all of those lives he touched. A private service was held. He will lay to rest at Rock City Falls Cemetery. A donation may be made in lieu of flowers, to Hospice.

Guest Book

Tina Robson

We love you Uncle John. We will miss you dearly. I will always remember your kindness and sweetness. May you rest in peace. Love your niece, Tina Robson

Iva Atwell Lienau

So Sorry to hear this. You and Jay are in my prayers. I know John was your everything. He's now listening to Dad play the fiddle.