Obituary of Richard J. Jankunas Sr.
Mr. Richard Jankunas Sr. of Amsterdam passed away peacefully and went to his eternal resting place on December 28, 2023. He was born in Amsterdam, NY on April 25, 1943, the son of the late Joseph and Ursula Jankunas. He is also predeceased by his in-laws Ralph and Jennie Navarretta who thought of him as a son.
Richard graduated High School from St. Mary’s Institute in Amsterdam in 1960. Richard received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Niagara University. He also received a Master’s Degree in International Studies from Union College. From there, he went on to receive advanced Master’s Degrees in Education from The College of St. Rose and The University at Albany. His love for education led him to further pursue his Principal’s Certificate in Educational Leadership and Administration.
Mr. Jankunas was a teacher of social studies at the Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School from 1965 to 1977. He then went on to work at the Wilbur H. Lynch Middle School from 1977 to 1987. He became Assistant Principal at Amsterdam High School from 1987 to 1994 and was also the summer school principal from 1988 to 1993. At the pinnacle of his career in education, he became Principal of the Wilbur H. Lynch Middle School from 1997 to 1999.
Richard married the love of his life Jeanne and shared an amazing 53 years together filled with memories especially family vacations in Rockport, Massachusetts. His pride and joy was raising his two beautiful children. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his two children, Mary Grace (Richard) Leonard of Ballston Lake, NY and Dr. Richard Jankunas Jr. (Kimberly) of Johnstown, NY. Three grandchildren whom he loved and cherished and gave scooter rides to, Jayce Jankunas of Johnstown, NY and Nicholas and Gianna Leonard of Ballston Lake, NY.
He was very active in his children’s lives, such as coaching his sons little league baseball team. In his spare time, he was manager of the Mohawk Dairy Softball Team in the Cinderella League. He also managed the Columbians Team in the Wee Men Major Baseball League. Mr. Jankunas was an avid Mets Fan, NY Knicks fan, Philadelphia Eagles fan, and loved his dog Cookie.
Special thanks to all of the doctors and nursing staff care team at St. Mary’s Hospital and special thanks to Dr. Michael Sheridan and Sue Frasier. Also, special thanks to his devoted caregivers: Joanne, Debbie, Marie, Ana, Brenda, and Dale.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Thursday, January 4, 2024, at 11:00AM at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church, Amsterdam with the Very Rev. O. Robert DeMartinis, E.V. officiating. A Calling Hour will take place before the service from 10:00AM to 11:00AM at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church 39 Saint John St in Amsterdam. A private burial will take place at the convenience of the family.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Funeral Homes 171 Guy Park Avenue Amsterdam, NY 12010.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Jankunas Sr., please visit Tribute Store