American Veteran 04

Ernest H. Josar

January 18, 1937 ~ November 23, 2022 (age 85) 85 Years Old

Ernest Josar Obituary

Ernest “Ernie” H. Josar, 85, of Bethlehem, a social worker who spent his

career ensuring society’s most vulnerable received the mental health

services and care they need, died Wednesday, November 23, 2022, after a

lengthy illness. He died at home surrounded by his family and listening to

classical music.


He was the husband of Virginia M. (Macsek) Josar. They were married 58

years. Born in Bethlehem, he was the son of the late Stephen and Mary

(Pecsek) Josar. He was a graduate of Bethlehem High School, earned a

B.A. in History from Moravian College and a Master’s of Social Work from

the University of Pennsylvania. Ernest also earned additional credentials

through the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in New York City.


He served two years in the U.S. Army as a military police officer. He would

entertain family members with slideshows of his travels and tales such as

how, while on patrol, a U.S. missile outfitted with a nuclear warhead toppled

but failed to explode.


Mr. Josar worked for 40 years as a clinical social worker and in executive

roles for Northampton County Children’s Aid Society, St. Luke’s

Hospital-Fountain Hill, Correlative Therapy Education Center, the Lehigh

Valley Guidance Clinic, Family and Counseling Services of the Lehigh

Valley, and retired from Apogee Services.


In 1984 he was named “Social Worker of the Year'' by the Lehigh Valley

Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. He also worked as


an adjunct professor and field work supervisor for Moravian University,

Marywood University, and Cedar Crest College.


Ernest valued giving back to the community and demonstrated this as a

member of numerous boards in the Lehigh Valley. He was most proud of

his work with Allentown's Neighborhood Housing Services. As president, he

helped the organization secure financing for low-income home-owners.


In retirement Ernest, along with his wife, was a dedicated volunteer at the

Lehigh Valley Outreach Depot, a mission founded by Wesley United

Methodist Church of which he was a member and greeter. Ernest also truly

enjoyed his work as a student mentor at Marvine Elementary School.


Ernie had fun camping and traveling with his kids packed into the back of

the family station wagon to visit historical sights of the mid-Atlantic states.

In retirement, Ernie and Virginia traveled to family and friends in Germany,

Greece, Australia, Slovenia, South Africa, and Chile.


Ernie was proud of his Slovenian-Windish heritage and Bethlehem roots.

He was a first generation American and grew up in the Windish community.

He and his wife knew each other their whole lives and met as members of

St. John’s Windish Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1979 they purchased a

house from the Old Allentown Preservation Association and restored it into

a beautiful home and garden oasis for their family. The property was

featured numerous times on the OAPA House Tour.


A man of varied tastes and ravenous appetites, Ernest and his wife enjoyed

socializing as part of several dinner groups. He will be deeply missed by

their lively Gourmet Group, which explores exotic and themed menus; and

the Share Group which has been meeting regularly and supporting each

other through food and friendship since the mid 1970s. Even as his health

declined, Ernie’s appetite was legendary. During his last weeks, he asked

for Yocco’s hot dogs, MaryAnn Doughnuts, strawberry milkshakes, and

cheesesteaks. He requested and consumed several root beer floats during

his final days.


Ernest was a fan of pigs, spicy food, classical music, old movies, and Cape

May. Favorite pastimes included reading historical books, playing 500

Rummy with his family, and attending his grandchildren's athletic events.

He and Virginia were season ticket holders of the Allentown Symphony

Orchestra for decades and also went to the annual Moravian College

Christmas Vespers as often as possible.


In addition to his best friend and wife, Ernest is survived by a son, David

Josar and his wife Eve of Washington, DC; a daughter, Laura B. Zaharakis

and her husband Steve of Saucon Valley; and four beloved grandchildren,

Dino, Zoe, Leonidas and Colette; cousins, Charles Forkas and Thomas

Beer; and “Boots,” a large, fluffy cat.


Service: Funeral Service 11 am Monday, November 28, 2022 at St. John’s

Windish Evangelical Lutheran Church, 617 E. 4th St., Bethlehem, PA.

Family and friends may call at the church starting at 10 am. Arrangements


are being handled by the Cantelmi Long Funeral Home, Bethlehem. Please

record a memorial tribute at

Contributions: In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Moravian

University Scholarship Fund, Development Office, 1200 Main St.,

Bethlehem, PA 18018.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

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Calling Hour
November 28, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. John's Windish Evangelical Lutheran Church
617 E 4th St
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Funeral Service
November 28, 2022

11:00 AM
St. John's Windish Evangelical Lutheran Church
617 E 4th St
Bethlehem, PA 18015


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