Rev. Polacok of Hanover passes away suddenly

The Reverend John Michael Polacok, of Hanover, passed away at the Hanover and District Hospital, on Thursday, October 20, 2022. He was 57.

Born on July 13, 1965, in Homestead, Pennsylvania, to the late John and Joanne (nee Bretsnyder) Polacok. John had fond memories of his childhood growing up in Avon Lake, Ohio. He started his career as a schoolteacher and coach and enjoyed teaching and working with young people.

He was called into Ministry and attended seminary in Ontario.  He accepted a call to St. Matthew’s Evangelical Church in Hanover, where he felt blessed to be part of such a welcoming church community.  This special relationship lasted for over 16 years and John felt so fortunate to be the Pastor of this congregation. He enjoyed many trips back to the United States to visit his family and friends, and spent time at one of his favourite spots, in Ocean City, New Jersey.  John had a passion for history and politics, and he was a talented singer. He was involved with a variety of choirs, and he loved to share his gift.

He was also an avid sports fan, cheering on his teams from Cleveland, especially his favourite baseball team, the Cleveland Guardians. He also grew a love for golfing in recent years and enjoyed time on the course with friends. Most of all, John loved people, and had a way with forming meaningful connections with almost anyone he knew or met. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, congregation, and community.

John was the beloved partner of Tammy Aitken of Hanover. He was the cherished brother to sisters Laura Musat (Carl) of Avon Lake, Ohio, and Alicia Polacok (Shaun Kelly) of Portland, Oregon. Adored uncle of Alyson Musat (Anthony Covelli) and Carah Musat. John is also survived by father-in-law and mother-in-law Ross and Joyce Aitken, and brother-in-law to Kim Aitken, Bruce and Michele Aitken, Brian and Jenny Zeinstra, Rod and Sara Aitken, and their families.

Visitation will be held at St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Hanover, on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, from 1-4 & 7-9 pm, where a Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 11 am. Bishop Michael Pryse officiating.  Cremation to follow.

For those unable to attend the funeral service, it will be live streamed here on Pastor John’s obituary page on the funeral home website, and through the Mighton Funeral Home YouTube Channel at:

The live stream will start approximately 5-10 minutes prior to the service – at that time, please look for the live video post on the obituary page on our website or the Funeral Home YouTube Channel to join the service.  For people unable to join at the time of the service, the live stream video will remain posted and available for viewing afterwards.****

Memorial donations to Canadian Lutheran World Relief ( or to St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Hanover,  ( would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.