Dr. John's Story

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Colonel (Ret.) passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 11, 2017. John was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on April 22, 1933. He was the youngest child of Jacob and Marianna (Nassar) Salem. John graduated from the Greater Johnstown High School, where he competed in swimming and diving. He went on to study Pre-medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and earned his Doctorate in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After completing his residency at Ohio Valley Hospital, Dr. Salem joined the United States Army. Prior to his deployment, he married Shirley (Johnson) Salem on November 22, 1963. Dr. Salem served three tours as a combat surgeon in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. Dr. Salem ultimately served in the Army for over twenty-one years, attaining the rank of Colonel prior to his retirement in 1983. After retirement, Dr. Salem settled in Ligonier, Pennsylvania and dedicated his life to service. He was an active member of the Byers-Tosh American Legion, Post 267 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 734. Dr. Salem also believed strongly in youth mentorship and served for many years as a doctor and counselor at the Christian Ligonier Camp and Conference Center and the American Legion State Police Youth Week. John had a quick sense of humor and often enjoyed playing practical jokes on his friends. His favorite place was the beach, especially at sunrise and his favorite activity was spending time with his granddaughters. Dr. Salem is preceded in death by his sisters Helen (Salem) Shahade and Norma (Salem) Sandor and his brother Albert Salem. He is survived by his brother George Salem, as well as, his wife of fifty-four years Shirley, his daughter Tara (Salem) Agne of Wilmington, Delaware, and his four granddaughters, Mary, Leah, Kira and Olivia Agne. Family and friends will be received from 2- 4 and 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday at the SNYDER FUNERAL HOME INC., 402 East Church Street, Ligonier. A Blessing Service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. A private interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery. The Ligonier Valley Veterans Honor Guard will hold services at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors or Action for Animals, P.O. Box 814 Latrobe Pa 15650 or a charity of one's choice.
Published on October 13, 2017
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