John Joseph Niznik of Franklin, Tennessee passed away Oct. 8, 2021. Preceded in death by his wife, Marlene Louise Niznik; parents, George and Elizabeth Niznik and son, Daniel Patrick Niznik. Survived by: sons, Mike (Sherri) Niznik of Longboat Key, Florida and Mark (Sharon Wright) Niznik of Morehead City, North Carolina; daughters, Kris (Tony) Morton of Decatur, Illinois and Mary (Jeff) Littlejohn of The Woodlands, Texas; daughter-in-law, Susan Niznik of Gallatin, Tennessee; grandchildren, Angie (John) Morehead, Libby (Jason) Parks, Baylee and Isaiah Morton, Greenley and Brant Littlejohn, Samuel, Jacob and Luke Niznik; great grandchildren, Alex Cook and Knox Parks.
John grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of 13 children of immigrants, whose father was a coal miner. In high school, he was a good student and played football, basketball, and baseball. He went on to attend Wake Forest University, where he played football as a Demon Deacon. During his college years, John also served our country in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955. He was later drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1957, but he chose, however, to go on to work as he and Marlene, his wife, already had two sons.
John was a faithful Catholic, who loved the Lord and prayed fervently. In 1970, he and his family joined St. Philip Catholic Church in Franklin, Tennessee, where he became an integral member. He worked with the Christmas Basket program as well as Meals on Wheels.
John was a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates fan, which he passed on to his children. He never met a stranger and had a kind word for everyone…and if you were a kid, he would also give you a dollar. He coached little league baseball and softball at the Brentwood Civitan ball fields. Many players and families knew him as Coach Niznik.
His career mostly included working for Rudy’s Farm (VP of Transportation.) After retirement, he loved to golf and enjoyed working as a volunteer at The (Vanderbilt) Legends Golf Club in Franklin. He read with elementary school children so they could practice becoming better readers. He also taught adult ESL students. John volunteered at the Williamson County Hospital as a greeter and escort. He was part of the group known fondly as the “pink ladies.” …All the women in his life were “princesses” and the men were always his “best buddies.”
A Celebration of Life Funeral Mass will be conducted on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 at 1 p.m. at St. Philip Catholic Church, Main church, with Father Bala as Celebrant. Family visitation and private graveside services will be conducted at Williamson Memorial Gardens.
615 794-2289. www.williamsonmemorial.com
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to the Alzheimer’s Association. www.alz.org