Seminary Graduation Year: 1966
Our beloved Father John Ayoob passed away Jan. 4, 2024, at age 86. He died peacefully and without suffering while swimming in the pool on a cruise ship. He paused his swimming to gaze up at the sky as he drew his last breath.
Father John was the son of the late John J. and Frieda (Frank) Ayoob and uncle of Lynn Ayoob of Kennedy Township, Pa., and Lisa (Doug) Lindsay of Lakeland, Fla., both of whom looked up to their uncle as a second father. He was also a “bonus” grandfather to great-niece Gina (Brandon) Ortega of Artesia, N.M., and great-nephews, Schulyer Lindsay of Chicago, Ill., and Spencer (Abby) Lindsay of Ft. Moore, Ga. He is also survived by many Ayoob, Fadool, Frank and Michael cousins scattered throughout Western Pennsylvania and across the country.
Born in Rochester Hospital, Father John was raised in Aliquippa, Pa. He always stated that he was “just a middle-class kid from Aliquippa.” Father John’s Catholic education began at St. Titus Elementary in Aliquippa and continued at St. Veronica in Ambridge. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1959, majoring in psychology. After his undergrad studies, he achieved his Doctorate of Divinity from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. His ordination was held at the Vatican.
Father John was pastorally assigned to the St. Paul Parish, St. Christopher Parish, Diocese of Pittsburgh Pastoral Center, Resurrection Parish, St. John Parish and St. Margaret Mary from which he retired. He also served as the director of mental heath in Butler County, while also serving as vice chancellor to Bishop Leonard in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Father John was an avid reader of the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and more nonfiction books that can be counted as demonstrated by his vast library collection. He retired from active ministry as a Roman Catholic priest in 2010, but he continued working as a mental health counselor in his retirement. He was a student of life and people, and he was always trying to understand the human condition as it related to God’s divine plan. He chose to live out his retirement at the Cork Factory where he became the unofficial chaplain. He exuded kindness, humility and wisdom, and all who knew him clamored for more time in his presence.
The life of Father John was like a tapestry woven together by his caring gentle nature and his free spirit. The rich and colorful threads of his tapestry were the relationships he formed with his family, his parishioners, his mental health practitioner colleagues and clients, his numerous priest friends, and his Cork neighbors. We know that his spirit will remain in all of us forever.
AYOOB — Friends and family of the Rev. John Ayoob who died Friday, Jan. 4, 2024, will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the R.D. COPELAND FUNERAL HOME, 981 Brodhead Road, Moon Township, and also from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Margaret Mary Church.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Margaret Mary church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Father John Ayoob Trust at the Pittsburgh Foundation, 5 PPG Place, Suite 250, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.