The Life of John Robert Unell

John Robert Unell, 67, of Schuylkill Haven passed away unexpectedly at his home. 
Born March 16, 1956, in Pottsville, he was the beloved son of Isadore and Kathryn Marks Unell.   
John was a devout Christian man of the Protestant faith who knew the Bible well. He graduated from Minersville Area High School in 1973.  He worked in knitting mills throughout his life, and was last employed by ClassTex Mills as a knitting mechanic.                     
John was a kind, thoughtful and caring nature lover who loved and studied birds, insects, plants, and all of God's creatures. He maintained a Monarch Butterfly WayStation, and was a consultant to many others everywhere who cared for Monarch butterflies.  John also loved music, playing the organ in church, flying airplanes, and planting thousands of plants.  He loved the Lord, and his family and many friends. We all will miss John dearly.                                           
John is survived by his sister, Beverly Hernandez and her husband, Jaimie, along with their three sons; Jaimie, Gabriel and Adam.  John is also survived by his brother, James Unell and his wife, Gail, along with their son, James J. and daughter, Jessi.               
A funeral service will be held on Thursday at 11:00 A.M. at the Grabowski Funeral Home on Route 61 in Schuylkill Haven.   Family and friends are welcome from 10:00 A.M. until the time of services. John Unell will be laid to rest next to his parents at Schuylkill Memorial Park.  In lieu of flowers John wished that donations in his memory be made to: MonarchWatch, Gift Processing Dept., KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044-0928. Memories and condolences can be shared at

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Rise Up, Fly High

John was a gentle, loving soul who was always happy to make new  acquaintances

I wrote the following tribute poem for him after learning of his passing


We're so blessed to have known you Johnifly
Now spread your wings and soar
May you find peace and contentment

In heaven forevermore


As God takes you in his arms
For a new beginning and not the end
I'm so lucky to have known you Johnifly
I was glad to call you my friend


Posted by Mark P on 09/10/2023

Thank you all

This is to thank all of you, friends and family, who have expressed their condolences on John's passing and final flight to Heaven. John loved to fly airplanes, watch birds fly, hatch butterflies and send them off in flight. He did have many friends, whom he very much appreciated. It's interesting that we've had a number of persons who now remember John as a "gentle soul".  The family thanks all of you for your kind remarks, your thoughts and your prayers.  He now has his wings, and is flying high.  

Posted by James U on 09/11/2023


Good evening, 

I only had met John a handful of times. He was a very nice, sweet man. I remember as he had milkweed in the garden to attract the monarch Butterflies! I absolutely loved that he did this, because I too love Butterflies! 
I pray for him, now that he is in Peace with no pain. I also send prayers for his beautiful family left here on earth. John was never alone because God is always with us, no matter what the cercomstance. May God always be with the family and bring them peace and comfort their hearts. 
Love always, 

Amber Rivera 

Posted by Amber R on 09/14/2023