John Stephen Petercuskie, also known as “Coach” or “Cuskie”, 93 of Centerville, MA, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on April 20th. He is survived by his beloved wife Dorothy Pritchyk whom he married on June 4th, 1949. They were happily married for 68 years. He is also survived by their three sons, John (Judy), Jerry (Karen), and Gary (Jo Ann), seven grandchildren Jill (Ryan), Julie (Tom), John (Kimberly), Mark (Tarah), Alexandra, Alisa and Matthew, five great grandchildren Grace, Catherine, Julien, Jesse and Brynn, and two step grandchildren Curtis and Caylin. He is also survived by sister in law, Sonia Buberniak, brothers in law, Al Pritchyk and John (Irene) Pritchyk, and many cherished nieces and nephews.
Born in Old Forge, Pennsylvania on January 31, 1925, he was the son of Mary and John Petercuskie. He is predeceased in death by his sister Leona Mundenar. In 1942 he graduated from Old Forge High School and immediately enlisted into the United States Marine Corps. He honorably served in the South Pacific and the invasion of Okinawa. Upon returning from the war he attended East Stroudsburg University and graduated with a degree in Health and Physical Education where he was a football All American and baseball All Star.
Coach Cuskie’s football coaching career began at Old Forge High School in Langhorne, PA. He then went on to coach at Neshaminy High School, where he led the ‘Skins to a 51 game winning streak and an overall record of 59-1-5. In 2010 Neshaminy High School honored him with a life size statue at the entrance to the stadium. He began his college coaching career at Dartmouth College in 1966, and would go on to coach at Boston College, Princeton University, Harvard University and Liberty University. He culminated his career with the Cleveland Browns for eight seasons, and in 1980 the Browns won the AFC Division Championship. That same season, he coached the AFC Pro Bowl Team in Hawaii. His 42-year coaching career was recognized by the following: Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, East Stroudsburg Football Hall of Fame, Pennsylvania Football Hall of Fame- Lackawanna County, Luzerne County and Bucks County, Neshaminy Hall of Fame, Scranton Hall of Fame, All American Foundation – Lifetime Achievement Award.
Petercuskie retired on Cape Cod, where he enjoyed playing golf and woodworking, and would make wooden name plates for all he knew. Affectionately and simply known as Coach during his days on the Cape, he was an early riser and could be found on the back nine at Olde Barney any day ending in Y. The highlight of his life was spending time with Dorothy, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. When he wasn’t on the golf course, he could be found on his deck with a cigar and a Manhattan surrounded by friends and family. He was a member of the OYC and a lifetime member of the American Legion. Dorothy and Coach also attended yearly Marine Corps reunions. Coach will be greatly missed. His endless generosity, leadership, jokes and smile will forever live on in the hearts of his friends and family.
The family would like to thank Beacon Hospice for their loving care and support.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in John’s name to: St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church, 62 Main St. Cotuit, MA 02635 or to “our beacon of light” Beacon Hospice, 68 Center St. #19, Hyannis, MA 02601.
Visitation will be held at John Lawrence Funeral Home, 3778 Falmouth Road, Marstons Mills, MA 02648 on Wednesday, April 25th from 9:00 – 11:30. Funeral mass will follow at 12:00 p.m. at St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church, 62 Main St. Cotuit, MA 02635. Burial will be private.