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Wilkes Remembers Dr. John Orehotsky

It is with sadness that we share news of the passing of Dr. John Orehotsky, longtime faculty member in the College of Science and Engineering.  Dr. Orehotsky passed away on March 23 at the age of 87 after a battle with leukemia.  He is remembered by colleagues as being a dedicated member of the faculty who inspired his students in the Department of Engineering.  Many recalled, with fondness, his daily LCTA bus rides to and from campus.  We extend our sincere condolences to members of the Orehotsky family. 

Dr. Orehotsky’s obituary can be found below. 

Dr. John L. Orehotsky, 87, Dallas, Pa., passed away on Wednesday, March 23, at Greenbiar in Dallas, Pa. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he was the son of the late Louis and Irene Bernath Orehotsky and was a graduate of Windham High School.  He continued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a B.S. in Metallurgy.  He followed that with an M.S. from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, and finally received his PhD from Syracuse University in Solid State Physics.

Dr. Orehotsky served as a professor with Wilkes University until his retirement. During his tenure as a professor, he received two Fulbright Scholarships, one to Porto, Portugal in 1981 and a second to Bratislava in the former Czechoslovakia in 1987.  Additional research fellowships received included Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Brookhaven National Laboratories in Upton, Long Island, New York; The Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) in Pasadena, California; and the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) in Boulder, Colorado.   He was an avid reader, and historian. He attended The Community Bible Church, Tunkhannock.

Among John’s greatest passions was time with family.  He was preceded in death in August 2021 by his wife of sixty-five years the former Ruth Ann Larsen; and his brother, Richard Orehotsky in May 2017. Surviving are his daughter, Jennifer Whisenhant and her husband Gregory, Fairbanks, Alaska; sons, John Orehotsky and his wife Nicole, Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania, and David Orehotsky and his wife Deborah, Dallas, Pennsylvania; nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren; brother, Norman Orehotsky.

Funeral service and celebration of their lives will be announced for later in the spring.  Arrangements are under the direction of The Richard H. Disque Funeral Home, Inc., 2940 Memorial Highway, Dallas. Online condolences may be made at