John W. Mastalerz
John W. Mastalerz, 92, passed away at his home in Chandler Arizona on June 1, 2018, surrounded by his loved ones. John was born in Three Rivers in 1926 to the late Sophie Koziel Mastalerz and John E. Mastalerz.
He graduated from Palmer High School in 1944. He obtained his B.S. at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1948, a Master’s degree from Purdue in 1950, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1953. His met his future wife, Lois Ames Coolidge, while working at the Massachusetts Field Station in Waltham. John and Lois were married in 1954 and were together for 55 years until Lois passed in 2009. John became a full professor of Horticulture at age 30 at Penn State University in 1956. John and Lois were wonderful parents to three children, Mark, Liane and Jay who were raised in State College, Pennsylvania.
John published numerous research articles and was editor of the Pennsylvania Flower Growers Association magazine for 30 years. He also authored a textbook entitled, “The Greenhouse Environment,” which was used by students across the United States. His knowledge of flowering plants allowed him to lead floral tours to Hawaii and Europe numerous times. He retired from Penn State with emeritus status in 1986 and he and Lois moved to Chatham. While living on Cape Cod he volunteered to deliver Meals on Wheel, designed and laid an extensive brick patio for the Chatham Railroad Museum and the South Chatham library, was newsletter editor for the Orleans Garden Club and enjoyed time with the Chatham Mens Club. He wrote a weekly column for the Cape Cod Chronicle on gardening for many years and then gathered those columns into a book entitled, “Notes form John’s Garden,” published at the age of 80 in 2004.He recently authored an article about greenhouses on the White House grounds for the “White House Historical Association Quarterly Journal, which is expected to be published in 2018. He reluctantly moved to Arizona in 2010, after the passing of Lois, telling everyone in Arizona that he’d rather be on Cape Cod and who could blame him. He spent the last 8 years with his daughter Liane and her family. While living in Arizona, he went on numerous trips and cruises with Alaska being the highlight. Throughout his life, John was an accomplished woodworker having made much of the furniture for both houses they lived in. He also enjoyed swimming, longs walks, ice skating, reading, history and Penn State football. He was always out in his garden during the nicer months growing blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries as well as a host of flowering plants. Neighbors often came for advice and left with cuttings or whole plants for their own yards.
He is survived by his sister, Ruth Jamrog of Thorndike, his children Mark of Arlington, Va., Liane Bowles (Darrell) of Chandler, Ariz. and Jay (Sue) of State College, Pa. He also is survived by his grandchildren, Dustin and Isabella Bowles of Chandler, Ariz. and predeceased by his grandson, Johnny and several nieces and nephews.
Buelers Mortuary in Chandler is handling arrangements. A funeral Mass will be held on June 8 at 9:30 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Chandler. John will be laid to rest beside his late wife Lois at the South Chatham, MA cemetery on July 7, 2018 at noon. A reception will follow. All who knew John and Lois are welcome to attend.