John Kominitsky was born in the “hard coal region” of  North Eastern Pennsylvania  in 1943. His father and grandfather were coal miners of Russian descent.  They spent much of their lives more than 1000 feet underground. John truly became appreciative of that fact many years later when he visited Mine Shaft No. 15 in Coaldale in 2000. His father Nicholas “Mitch”, worked that mine for thirty-five years earlier, dying at the age of sixty-six of silicosis, “Black Lung” disease.  In 2000, the mine shaft and “miner’s equipment and wash shanty” were then under preservation as an Anthracite Coal museum.

John volunteered for Naval Service in 1961. In the navy, he was assigned to the aircraft carrier, Essex, in the 6th Fleet. As a 2nd Class Petty Officer, Mr. Kominitsky performed anti-submarine warfare duties with Anti-Submarine Squadron VS-34, equipped with STF-2 Aircraft. He participated in air-borne, anti-submarine warfare patrols during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

After Mr. Kominitsky’s discharge from the service, he used his GI Bill in California, first attending Bakersfield JC and transferring to Cal. State University-Fresno. In 1971, he graduated with a BS in Industrial Technology-Electrical and a minor in Marketing.

Mr. Kominitsky commenced his career in the Aerospace Industry, joining an Engineering R & D group at Watkins-Johnson in Palo Alto, CA. He participated in the design, testing, and manufacturing of Hi-Rel Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTA) for spacecraft Viking Mars Lander/Orbiter, Voyager I & II, and the first Space Shuttle. After six years in an engineering environment, Mr. Kominitsky took up various high-tech sales and marketing management positions. Prior to retirement, he attained the position of Sales/Marketing Vice President of a telecommunication and military equipment manufacturer located in San Jose, Ca.

John started to lose his hearing in his late thirties.  The reason?  Loud noise aboard an aircraft carrier, intense noise and vibration with over one-hundred catapult shots, playing drums without ear plugs…hell, who knows? His father contracted spinal meningitis prior to John’s and sister Vera’s  birth. Vera is four years older and lived with hearing loss into her late sixties. She recently underwent an cochlear implant. With some acclimation, she is doing quite well….easier for Vera to engage now.

Mr. Kominitsky is now retired. He resides contentedly and harmoniously in California’s Central Coast and Wine Country. He is the very proud father of son Nick and daughter Kate.

He was fortunate to have total support, hearing help, and encouragement from a great, liberated woman, Karis.  She is the wonderful Mom of Mr. Kominitsky’s aforementioned troops.


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