Mr. James Michael Sysko, Esquire, 67, a resident of Scranton and formerly of Chinchilla, North Wilkes-Barre and Illinois, passed peacefully into Eternal Life Wednesday evening with his beloved family at his bedside, following a prolonged illness amid recently declining health.
Born on Tuesday, June 22, 1954 in Kearny, New Jersey, he was the son and only child of the late Zigmund and Aldona (Bagdonas) Sysko. Educated in the New Jersey schools, he was a 1972 graduate of Queen of Peace High School, North Arlington, New Jersey.
He furthered his education by attending the University of Scranton for both his bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees. He additionally attended the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome, working towards his original vocation of religious life. During his studies in Rome, he was blessed to have an audience with late Pope John Paul II.
It was during a religious assignment to the former Sacred Heart of Jesus Slovak Roman Catholic Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA, he felt that his calling in life was evolving. Here he would meet and eventually marry Anne Marie (Morris) Sysko prior to the completion of his religious vows. Together, the couple would share 23 years of married life together, raising two wonderful sons and watching their families grow as proud grandparents to three adoring grandchildren.
Just as in the seminary, Jim’s calling remained one of service. This journey brought him to the doorstep of the Pennsylvania State Attorney General's office, Bureau of Consumer Protection, in Scranton, PA. During his tenure here, he began working towards his law degree by commuting nightly to the Widener School of Law in Harrisburg, PA, where he ultimately graduated with honors and successfully passed the PA State Bar exam. As an attorney, he would excel and set record firsts, such as being the first in the nation to file state action pursuant to a Puppy “Lemon Law,” ultimately earning the title of Senior Deputy Attorney General at the time of his retirement after 25 years of faithful service.
Despite the demands of raising his family and a successful career with the state, Jim could not deny his love of imparting knowledge to others. His quick wit and approachable personality quickly landed him a position as an adjunct professor at King's College in Wilkes-Barre where he found his next passion and went on to teach fulltime. He furthered his career by accepting a position at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL until illness caused his retirement and transitioned him back home to Northeastern Pennsylvania to be near family and friends.
Having a deep-rooted faith and a love of Christmas for its message of joy and hope, he became well-known for his annual Christmas light display at the family home in Chinchilla. The display grew to over 120,000 lights, and was even highlighted on the evening news and in a center spread in the Scranton paper. He was a member and Communicant of Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Clarks Summit.
Above all else, Jim's greatest love was that of and for his family. His passing leaves an irreplaceable void to those who knew and loved him. He will be truly missed by all those he touched in this life.
Left to cherish the wonderful memories they hold of him are his sons, Joseph J. Sysko, his wife Sara Lily and their daughters Evelyn and Katherine of Dunkirk, MD; Matthew J. Sysko, his wife Riannon and their son Jacob of Westbrook, ME; his former spouse, Anne Marie (Morris) Sysko, South Abington, PA; several cousins, numerous nieces, nephews, former colleagues, students, dear friends and his loving and faithful dog, Rooby.
Funeral services for Jim will be conducted on Wednesday, 16 March 2022, at 10:00 a.m. in Our Lady of the Snows Roman Catholic Parish, 301 South State Street, Clarks Summit, PA. The Reverend Monsignor Michael J. Delaney, pastor, will serve as celebrant and homilist.
In accordance with Jim’s final wishes, interment will be held privately and at the convenience of his family with no formal visitation.
In lieu of traditional floral tributes, the family kindly requests that any donations be made in his name towards those who helped Jim in his final moments: Hospice of the Sacred Heart, 600 Baltimore Drive, Suite #7; Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.
The John V. Morris Family Funeral Home Inc. is honored to care for our Uncle Jim and family at this time.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Michael Sysko, Esquire, please visit our floral store.
Hospice of the Sacred Heart
600 Baltimore Drive, Wilkes-Barre PA 18702