Frank Dennis “Denny” Kovarik, age 78, of Jewett passed away Monday, February 15, 2021 in UPMC Passavant Hospital, McCandless, PA with his loving wife Betty by his side.
Born March 20, 1942 in Martins Ferry he was a son of the late Frank and Anna Horsky Kovarik.
He graduated from Dillonvale High School in 1960 and received his Bachelors in Music Education from West Liberty University in 1964. In 1970 he graduated with a Masters Degree from the University of Dayton through the Franciscan University of Steubenville, followed by classes to earn a Masters Plus. A hard worker all of his life, Denny started working at the Co-Op Store in Dillonvale while still in high school He began his 34 year career teaching for Jewett Schools, then Jewett-Scio and then Harrison Hills CSD, where he was an assistant principal and school bus driver. But he is more fondly remembered by his students as “Mr. K”, the band director of both the Jewett Wildcat Marching Band and the Jewett-Scio Viking Marching Band. Always willing to help a friend when needed, he would occasionally drive truck for his friend Tom Hare at Hare Excavating and Blacktopping. In 1997 he began his second career, working alongside his son Damian at his excavating and hauling business.
When he was young he enjoyed fishing and he always had a garden. He joined “The Thirsty Thirteen”, a Czech band, made up of family and friends that played at Dillonvale and surrounding area concerts and parades. Always community minded, Denny joined the Jewett Volunteer Fire Dept. in 1968 and has been their fire chief for 30 years. He has also been the Secretary/ Treasurer for the Harrison County Community Fireman’s Association for over 40 years and was on the Harrison County 911Committee. He was a 50 year member of both the Harrison Masonic Lodge #219 and a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason s and was a founding member of the Conotton Creek Trail Committee, who enjoyed mowing the trail for everyone to enjoy. For a few years he was on a bowling team at Valie Lanes in Jewett and later in his life, he belonged to the Ohio Valley Railcars and the North American Railcar Operators Assoc. He owned and operated many railcars. Together he and Betty saw many sights and made new friends on their railcar adventures over the past 25 years. More recently he has found joy in simply watching red birds and fox that would visit his home.
Surviving is his wife Betty Jean Williamson Kovarik; a son Damian Nathan (Amee) Kovarik; a sister Sharon Lynn Kovarik Zerla; nephews Andy (Patti) and Jim (Jeannie) Zerla; great nephews and nieces Nick, Laura, Jenny, Nancy and Noah; a brother-in-law Jim (Karen) Williamson and several cousins. He was preceded in death by his mother-in-law Frances Williamson and brother-in-laws Glen Williamson and Frank Zerla.
Services will be held Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 11 am at his son’s Damian’s, 88375 Fairview Rd., Jewett with Pastor David Lee officiating along with a fireman’s service presided by Bob Koch. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Jewett. Friends may call Monday from 3-7 pm also at Damian’s where a Masonic Service will be held at 7:30 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to Jewett VFD PO Box 15, Jewett, Ohio 43986 or the Conotton Creek Trail, 90151 Kilgore Ridge Rd. Scio, Ohio 43988.
Koch Funeral Home, Scio has been entrusted with his arrangements.