Cover photo for John Cigan, Sr.'s Obituary
John Cigan, Sr. Profile Photo
1933 John 2021

John Cigan, Sr.

February 21, 1933 — January 10, 2021

Sinking Spring

John Michael Cigan, Sr., 87, of Sinking Spring, passed away from complications of Covid-19 and Parkinson’s disease on Sunday, January 10th in West Reading, Pennsylvania. John will live on in the memory of loved ones and friends as a man of integrity devoted to his family. John's calm and thoughtful manner belied a deadpan joviality that lives on in his loving children and grandchildren.

John was born February 21, 1933 in Leetsdale, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to Mike Cigan and Anna Marie (nee: Chapon) Cigan. He graduated from Leetsdale High, where he quarterbacked the football team, served as class president and was named class valedictorian. It was in Leetsdale schools that John met the love of his life, his future wife, Elizabeth Diane Drake.

John and Diane settled in Leetsdale, where they raised four children and lived within walking distance of each of their parents.  John was a respected member of the community who was elected to five terms on the borough council, including 16 years as council president.

The first in his family to attend college, John earned multiple degrees in metallurgical engineering, culminating in a Ph.D. from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1961.

John worked for many years leading metallurgical research at St. Joe Minerals Corporation, where his colleagues considered him to be a vital force in the field of zinc technology, from extractive processes to product development. Later in his career he moved into environmental engineering as that field grew in importance. John continued working in this field into his seventies at Horsehead Resources. He will be remembered for his gentle leadership and work ethic.

John had a passion for gardening, at one time maintaining vegetable gardens at his home as well as at the homes of his parents and in-laws. His children treasure the memories of Dad leading them through football passing drills, working on jigsaw puzzles on the kitchen table, and helping Diane in the kitchen so they could be together that much more. Throughout his life, John enjoyed playing basketball, tennis and platform tennis with his friends and children. A favorite pastime was walking to the high school field to play catch with his children along with the family’s German Shepherd, Ben, who was utterly devoted to John. John remained healthy, fit and active into his eighties, and enjoyed going grocery shopping and following the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a member of St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church.

John’s survivors include Diane, his wife of 64 years; his daughter Mary Cigan and sons John Cigan, Jr., Eric (Diana) Cigan and Joe (DeeDee) Cigan; his brother James (Barbara) Cigan; his grandchildren Rebecca (Ian) Turk, Alex Cigan, Jason Cigan, Carter Cigan and Cole Cigan; and great-grandson Samuel Moshe Avraham Turk. John was preceded in death by his sister Mary Ann Cigan.

Funeral procession will depart Bean Funeral Home, 3825 Penn Ave., Sinking Spring, Friday January 15, 2021 at 8:45 am. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, 2810 St. Alban’s Drive, Sinking Spring at 9:30 am. Interment will follow in Gethsemane Cemetery. The family will receive relatives and friends in Bean Funeral Home Friday 7:45 am to 8:45 am. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at Online condolences may be made at

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