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John Frederick Rylke, 67

April 27, 2012

John Frederick Rylke, 67, Punxsutawney, died Friday, April 27, 2012, at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester.  

He was born Nov. 10, 1944, in Revloc, the youngest of eight children born to Carl and Josephine (Janiszewski) Rylke.  

A 1962 graduate of Central Cambria High School — where he played football and was team captain during his senior year — Mr. Rylke went on to play football at Millersville State College. A starting player for all four years, he was also a defensive captain for two years and was the team’s sole representative to the 1966 All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.  

Upon graduating from Millersville in 1967, Mr. Rylke moved to Lancaster, where he taught for six years at Lafayette Elementary School and coached football at McCaskey High school for three years.

In 1973, Mr. Rylke moved with his family to Punxsutawney, where he assumed the duties of defensive coordinator for the Punxsy Chucks football team and began teaching at Mary A. Wilson Elementary School. He then served as head coach for three seasons, from 1978 to 1980.  

From 1982 until his retirement in 2002, he taught at Longview Elementary School. 

A member of Ss. Cosmas & Damian Roman Catholic Church, Mr. Rylke was also active in the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Punxsutawney Booster Club, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Millersville University Athlete Alumni Association. 

Surviving relatives include two daughters and their children, Leslie Rylke and husband Jonathan Friedman and their daughters, Maya and Tess Rylke-Friedman of Downingtown, and Renee Parr and husband Stephen Parr and their sons, Benjamin, Nathan and Gabriel Parr of Exton; three sisters, Dorothy Garis of Coraopolis, Elizabeth Natcher of Richfield, Ohio, and Adelaide George of Streetsboro, Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Carl, Edward and Robert; and a sister, Marion Nigborowicz.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, April 29, 2012, at the Shumaker Funeral Home Inc., Punxsutawney.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 30, 2012, at Ss. Cosmas & Damian Roman Catholic Church with Msgr. Joseph Riccardo as celebrant.  

Interment will follow at the Holy Name Catholic Cemetery in Ebensburg.  
Memorial gifts in Mr. Rylke’s name may be made to the Eugene Groff-Arhur Hulme Football Scholarship Fund, Millersville University Development Office, P.O. Box 1002, Millersville, Pa. 17551-0302, or to the Punxsutawney Booster Club. 

Online condolences may be made at www.shumakerfh.com.

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