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John Moshak

December 18th, 1929 - April 15th, 2020

Obituary John Moshak, 90, of Longmont, CO, formerly of Skokie, IL, died peacefully at the Bridge at Longmont Assisted Living Facility in the early morning of April 15, 2020. John was born in Mishawaka, IN in 1929, the son of Anton Moshak and Olga (Stasula) Moshak. One of eleven children, he is preceded in death by eight sisters, Pauline Jerzak, Katherine VanHuffel, Olga Grubbs, Helen �Lu� Mikulyuk, Rosa Mitchell and Anne Grezeskowiak of Mishawaka, IN, Tillie Winrote of South Bend, IN and Mary Hacker of South Bend, IN and one brother Anthony Moshak of Beardstown, IL. He is survived by his wife, Helen (Casper) Moshak and their daughters, Helen Moshak (Scott Baskerville) of Louisville, CO and Jenny Moshak (Chris Hofmann) of Seymour, TN and son, Damian Moshak (Joni Moshak) of Chicago, IL and his brother, Bill Moshak (Catherine Moshak) of Mishawaka, IN and numerous nieces and nephews. John attended Mishawaka High School in Mishawaka, IN, and graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Slavic studies. He continued graduate course work throughout his career. John was a veteran of the Korean War. He taught Russian language and literature, English as a second language, world history and advanced placement American history over a 33-year career at Niles East and Niles West High Schools in Skokie, IL. He also taught history at the Fasman Yeshiva High School for many years. John was a union organizer, a community volunteer, a civil and gay rights advocate, and a wonderful husband and loving father. Over the decades he taught many young people the powerful lessons of language and history. He also taught by example, he was a constant source of truth, wisdom, support and generosity. He was respected and loved by his students, friends and family. John had a warm sense of humor, quick wit and a strong belief in equality and justice. He welcomed his children�s partners into the family with open arms and heart. He loved nurturing babies and gardens. With family and friends he built a summer home in Lawrence, MI where everyone gathered to visit, play, walk in the woods, read books, listen to music, enjoy John�s art and sculpture park, relax and play hearts and bridge. He will be deeply missed by his community. In honor of John�s request, his family will plan a remembrance event later in the year. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union to support the protection of free speech and civil rights. https://action.aclu.org/give/now. Services You can still show your support by planting a memorial tree in the memory of John Moshak

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Tributes

Share a favorite memory, send condolences, and honor John’s life with a heartfelt message.

Ken Schubert

Published March 9th, 2024
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Nicholas Nikitow

My condolences to the family. Mr. Moshak was my Russian teacher at Niles East 65 -66 and 66-67. AWESOME teacher and person. I'll n⁰ever forget his one legged verticle leap from the floor to the top of his desk!!! RIP Mr. Moshak. You still are and always will be remembered.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Andrew Mills

Mr. Moshak was one of my first teachers when I was in high school at Niles West, and I remember him fondly. He was a caring, dedicated, humane teacher who cared about his students' success. It was also a treat to watch him do a standing jump from the floor to the top of his desk at the end of the year. His was certainly a life well-lived. Damian was a friend from Theatre and I send my condolences to him, and to all of the Moshaks.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Barb (Shedroff) Johnston

Damian and Helen, I am so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing to you both. I remember both of you from high school, and will be thinking of you during this very difficult time.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Paul Sucherman

I took Western Civ in summer school JUST SO I could study with Mr Moshak...he was amazing, great sense of humor, every day he'd assign a reading, then say "read these chapters, and tomorrow...I'll tell you what REALLY happened...anyway, the 1st day of class, while taking role call, he kept asking "Melick? Is Melick here?"...no Melick...every day, the same thing...fast forward to the last day/Final..."Melick? Melick?" and a kid we'd never seen before, from the back,says,"Here!" "very good..." he replied... ...we all flipped out...the kid took the test and left...never knew if it was a joke, or a plant, or the kid really waited til the final to show up...been wondering that all my life!!!!! My regards to his family -May his memory forever be a blessing.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Mike Rich, MD, class of '68

I was in John's Russian class from 1964-1968 at Niles East High School in Skokie. A superb teacher and truly great guy. I was a bit of a disruptive student and I still remember Mr. Moshak bellowing "YAKOVICH!" (son of Jacob) when I pushed him a little too far. But he was the sort of teacher who was more than a teacher -- a friend in turbulent times. And we kept in touch for some years after I graduated and I always enjoyed the times we spent together, as well as his perspectives on politics, the Vietnam War, and life in general. Sorry to learn about his passing and condolences to his family and friends. Thinking of him inevitably brings back fond memories.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Ellen Schusteff

Damian and family,My deepest sympathies. Sorry to hear of the loss of such a lovely person. My thoughts, prayers, and strength are with you all. May his memory be a blessing...

Published March 9th, 2024
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Ros Behr Gillman

I remember Mr. Moshak with such fondness - best teacher ever. Took 4 years of Russian language '76-'80. Always smile when his name comes up in conversation. We still talk about him standing next to his desk on one foot and then jumping up onto his desk in one fell swoop. Sincere condolences to the Moshak family.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Gary Barron

Mr. Moshak was my home room teacher back at Niles East from 1966 - 1970. I will always remember him standing on one leg next to his desk. To the amazement of everyone in the class, he would then jump straight up in the air and land on his desk. I don’t know if there was one kid in the class that was able to do that. I took his class in Russian history. Because of that class, I developed an interest in Russian literature that has stayed with me until this day. I have nothing but fond memories of Mr. Moshak.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Judi Sloan

John was one of my favorite colleagues at Niles Township. He was a true star in every way. I send my deepest sympathy to John’s wonderful family.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Mike Rich, MD, class of '68

I was in John's Russian class from 1964-1968 at Niles East High School in Skokie.A superb teacher and truly great guy.I was a bit of a disruptive student and I still remember Mr. Moshak bellowing "YAKOVICH!" (son of Jacob) when I pushed him a little too far.But he was the sort of teacher who was more than a teacher -- a friend in turbulent times.And we kept in touch for some years after I graduated and I always enjoyed the times we spent together, as well as his perspectives on politics, the Vietnam War, and life in general.Sorry to learn about his passing and condolences to his family and friends.Thinking of him inevitably brings back fond memories.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Paul Sucherman

I took Western Civ in summer school JUST SO I could study with Mr Moshak...he was amazing, great sense of humor, every day he'd assign a reading, then say "read these chapters, and tomorrow...I'll tell you what REALLY happened...anyway, the 1st day of class, while taking role call, he kept asking "Melick? Is Melick here?"...no Melick...every day, the same thing...fast forward to the last day/Final..."Melick? Melick?" and a kid we'd never seen before, from the back,says,"Here!" "very good..." he replied... ...we all flipped out...the kid took the test and left...never knew if it was a joke, or a plant, or the kid really waited til the final to show up...been wondering that all my life!!!!! My regards to his family -May his memory forever be a blessing.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Judi Sloan

John was one of my favorite colleagues at Niles Township. He was a true star in every way. I send my deepest sympathy to Johns wonderful family.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Gary Barron

Mr. Moshak was my home room teacher back at Niles East from 1966 - 1970. I will always remember him standing on one leg next to his desk. To the amazement of everyone in the class, he would then jump straight up in the air and land on his desk. I dont know if there was one kid in the class that was able to do that. I took his class in Russian history. Because of that class, I developed an interest in Russian literature that has stayed with me until this day. I have nothing but fond memories of Mr. Moshak.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Howard Reich

One of my two favorite teachers at Niles East High School. Superb Russian teacher, extraordinary role model, inspiring figure. I’ll always remember him.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Pamela Urkov Bennett

Mr. Moshak was my Russian teacher in high school, and most lovely and intelligent man. I remember him most fondly.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Anita Brook Dupree

I was a student of Mr Moshak when I attended Nikes East High School in Skokie Ill I took Russian language and Russian history with him. I read the obituary and never knew of his politics when I was his student. But it makes sense now. What I remember was this high energy, passionate teacher.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Mr. Moshak (as we knew him then) was a wonderful teacher. I was in his Russian classes at Niles East Hight School and he brought not only a knowledge of the language but of its history, literature and people to the classes. I am only sorry I didn't know him when I was an adult. From the obituary his humanity and knowledge would have made him a good friend.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Andrew Mills

Mr. Moshak was one of my first teachers when I was in high school at Niles West, and I remember him fondly. He was a caring, dedicated, humane teacher who cared about his students' success. It was also a treat to watch him do a standing jump from the floor to the top of his desk at the end of the year. His was certainly a life well-lived. Damian was a friend from Theatre and I send my condolences to him, and to all of the Moshaks.

Published March 9th, 2024
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Anita Brook Dupree

I was a student of Mr Moshak when I attended Nike’s East High School in Skokie Ill I took Russian language and Russian history with him. I read the obituary and never knew of his politics when I was his student. But it makes sense now. What I remember was this high energy, passionate teacher.

Published March 9th, 2024
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