John Bereza


Fort Edward – John Bereza, 96, of Fort Edward, NY and formerly of Queensbury, NY and Vero Beach, FL, died on Saturday, February 26, 2022, at the Glens Falls Hospital.
John was born on November 13, 1925 in Herkimer, NY, where he was also brought up, being the son of the late Walter and Michelina (Drapolski) Bereza.
A graduate of Herkimer High School and of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, he was a Merchant Marine Veteran of World War II, seeing service in the Pacific Theatre of operations, as a cadet midshipman aboard a tanker running fuel for the Navy from the Caribbean to Australia and New Guinea.
After graduating from the USMMA in 1945, John returned to sea for a year in the employ of the Keystone Tankship Corporation, and then found work ashore with the NY State Department of Public Works (later renamed Department of Transportation). During a long career with the DOT, he sought and obtained a series of engineering certifications, accompanied by appropriate job promotions, in the field of highway design, construction and maintenance. After a start in the Albany and Utica regional offices, John was Resident Engineer in charge of state highway maintenance in Fulton County from 1962 to 1968, and later served as an Associate Civil Engineer in the Highway Maintenance Division at Albany. He retired from the NYS DOT in 1983, after 36 years of service.
In 1948, John married Stella Grzeszczuk of Mohawk, NY, his wife for 73 years, at St. Joseph’s Church in Herkimer.
As his career advanced, John settled in Gloversville, NY, where he and Stella lived for a quarter century and also raised their young family. Several years after his retirement, he relocated to Queensbury, with a winter home in Vero Beach. John maintained those residences until 2015, when he moved to the Fort Hudson Campus in Fort Edward, first to an apartment at The Oaks and subsequently into the nursing center.
John was a hands-on home improver. Adept at the use of hammer and saw, he added or upgraded facilities in the homes he owned and took satisfaction in his handiwork, as did his family. He also enjoyed golf, fishing, billiards, symphonic pops, country music and good biography literature. He was a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and the American Legion.
In addition to his parents, John was predeceased by his sister, Johanna “Jennie” Haley and his brother, Walter Bereza, Jr.
Survivors include his wife, Stella; a son, Michael; two daughters, Linda Serfis (David) and Sandra McDermott (Brian); four grandchildren, Amy Gascoigne, Shana McDermott, Ryan McDermott and Devin McDermott; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at The Church of St. Mary’s/St. Paul’s in Hudson Falls, NY, at a future date, still to be determined, with the Rite of Committal at St. Joseph’s Cemetery , Fort Edward.
Arrangements are under the care of Carleton Funeral Home, Inc. located at 68 Main Street in Hudson Falls.
In keeping with John’s wishes, there are no scheduled calling hours. Condolences, memories of John, and other contributions to his online memorial, may be made by visiting
John’s family wishes to thank the staff of the Fort Hudson Nursing Center for their excellent care of and compassion toward John during his residency.

By LH Staff

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