John Joseph Rasz Jr. went home to Jesus on Monday, January 7, 2019.

He was born October 14, 1948, and grew up in his beloved Wellsburg, West Virginia. He attended St. John’s School, St. Anthony’s, graduated from Wellsburg High in 1966 and attended West Virginia University.

John’s love of music shaped his early 20s. He had a recording contract in NY with his friends, Frank DeFede, Davey Buhl, Glen Reasner, and Greg Gorby, otherwise known as the Sons of Liberty. (They were kind of a big deal, in Wellsburg). His love of music led him to learn multiple instruments and appreciate many bands and genres, especially the Beatles. He worked as a grounds crew manager with his father at the Highland Springs golf course, which was an integral part of the Rasz family history.

He married his wife Marilyn, the girl he thought was cute in grade school, in 1970. Together they share three amazing children and four fantastic grandchildren. John’s second family was his church family. He began his career as a pastor in the mid 70s. He made an impact through his mission work in Russia and Brazil. He was the epitome of a pastor because he loved and cared deeply for people. He loved his worship team and Free Wheelchair Mission. He established connections within national and international circles of the Vineyard and was an area pastoral coordinator for the Vineyard.

John wanted people to find and follow God, to live their best lives. There were no strangers in his life, only friends. Many friends were like family! The Slivchenko family, the Adamo family and Wendy Scatterday were especially dear to him. He was a shepherd who was involved in the community early in his career through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers and Sisters. He helped anyone in need, whether it was for five minutes or five hours.

John also loved riding his motorcycle, his beloved family pets, his grandchildren, the beach, popcorn, and Pittsburgh sports.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn (Melnick); daughter, Julia Bachmann; son, James (wife Amy Brinson); daughter, Corrie Rasz; grandchildren, Phoebe, Milo, Theone, and Sophia; siblings, Marguerite Bostonia, Madelon Rasz, Michael Rasz, and Monica Lyle.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret Juliet Colaizzi; and father John Joseph Rasz Sr.

Friends will be received on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 from 3-8 p.m. at Kepner Funeral Homes, 900 National Road, Wheeling, WV (304-232-2739), and on Thursday, January 10, 2019 from 10 a.m. until the time of service at noon at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship Church, 647 Warden Run Road, Wheeling, WV 26003, with Lead Pastor Chris Figaretti officiating.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations to Free Wheelchair Mission will be accepted in his memory. Donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 52001, Department 921, Phoenix, AZ 85072. Website:; or calling 800-733-0858.

Personal condolences may be made to the family at