Father John L. Sostrich

Father John L. Sostrich Commander US Navy Chaplin died on Sept 20, 2019. He was living at the Woodlands Assisted Living facility in Eastland, Tx.

Father John was born on Mar 8, 1930 in Strawn, Tx. He is preceded in death by his father, Mickey P. Sostrich and his mother Eva E. Sostrich, 2 brothers, George W. and Mickey J., one sister, Evelyn, one nephew Paul Wales.

He is survived by nephew Bill Sostrich, niece Virginia Moon niece Janet Dugas, nephew Eddy Wales, nephew Gary Wales and their families.

After graduation from High School in Carlsbad, NM., he joined the US Navy, and served on USS Caloosahatchee AOE 98 and in Guam from 1949 through 1952, during the Korean war. After his military service he worked for 2 yrs in the underground potash mines in Carlsbad, NM. At that point he was called to become a Catholic Priest. He completed his undergraduate studies at St Francis Seminary receiving a BA. He then completed his priestly studies at Immaculate Heart Seminary and was ordained in March of 1962 in San Diego. Father John completed assignments in Churches in El Centro, Lemon Grove and San Diego. In 1968 he was granted leave to serve in the US Navy Chaplain Corp.
1968 through 1969 service in Vietnam.
1969 through 1971 served at a Moroccan NATO base.
1971 through 1973 served at coast guard station cape May New Jersey.
1973 to 1974 the ship’s chaplain aboard the USS Seattle AOE 3 fast combat support ship.
1974 to 1977 served as base chaplain at Norfolk Virginia naval operations Base.
1977 to 1980 served at Okinawa Japan naval Base chaplain.
1980 to 1984 served as chaplain at Pearl harbor naval Base Honolulu Hawaii.
He retired in 1984 from the United States Navy at Pearl harbor naval station.
His kind words and gentle spirit was most welcomed by those in combat.

Father John lived in many places, as he loved to roam! 1984 through 1996 he lived near Hilo, Hawaii area on the big island. 1996 to 2008 Father John lived in Hollywood, Florida. And 2008 to 2019 Father John lived between Texas and California. During his time in these areas Father John served Parishes in each area. And as he moved from town to town, he traveled light. His possessions usually fit in a couple of boxes. Father John was such a kind and giving man that many in his parishes helped him furnish his humble surroundings.

He also loved family. In the 1990’s he took a trip to Croatia to discover the Sostrich family’s roots. And on that trip, through contacts in the Catholic Church, Father John found the town where his father, Mickey P Sostrich was born and raised; Glina, Croatia, just south of Zagreb. Mickey P. Sostrich came to the US via Ellis Island in 1906. For many years Father John corresponded with some of the relatives he met while in Croatia.

Funeral Masses are being held at 10am Oct 5 in Strawn, TX, Carlsbad, NM and San Diego, CA.  Burial will be in San Diego at the Holy Cross Cemetery November 14. A rosary will be held at 7pm in Cisco Holy Rosary Catholic Church. The family asks that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to the Catholic Relief Services, crs.org.

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