John G. Kovac

John G. Kovac, beloved husband, brother, Harpist, and friend, 76, of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 6, 2022 at his home.

A graveside service will be held on Monday, July, 11 at 11:00 a.m. at Cool Spring Natural Cemetery at Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville with Chaplain Kenneth Patrick officiating.

John was born November 11, 1945 in Kearny, New Jersey, son of the late Edward Vance and Ellen Economos Kovac.

He graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Seton Hall University School of Law in New Jersey. During the Blizzard of 1977 in upstate New York, he read the entire Whole Earth Catalog sparking his interest in the Peace Corp, which he joined in Colombia, South America where he was introduced to the Paraguay Harp.

John has lived in Front Royal for 40 years, having followed his best friend, Michael Ordower, from New Jersey. He worked for Blue Ridge Legal Services until January 1, 1991, when he, in his words, “He gave up the practice of law for the practice of music”.

His love for music led him to become a harp maker and writer of three books, which enabled others to make their own harps. He has had instruments in all seven continents including a PVC Harp in Antarctica.  He was also a music teacher of harp and guitar, recorded CDs and attended craft shows.

John lectured at the Library of Congress.  While traveling in Cyprus, he recorded with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.  He also hosted several South American harpists at his home.

He also designed and built four passive solar homes, one in New York, one in Lake Front Royal, and two at Point of Woods.

He is survived by his older sister, Carolyn Kovac of New York, New York; his wife, Judith L. Floyd; and his beloved dog, Nandu.

In lieu of flowers, donation may be made to the Salvation Army 357 Cloud Street, Front Royal, VA 22630; Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 W. Court Street, Winchester, VA 22601; or Mountain View Music Studio Scholarship Fund, 217 East Main Street, Front Royal, VA 22630.

Anyone wanting to sing, play an instrument, or share a memory of John, are more than welcome to do so the day of service.

  8 comments for “John G. Kovac

  1. July 8, 2022 at 9:37 am

    You are missed, my beloved harp-making mentor.

    “Each one, teach one.”

    Your legacy will live on.

  2. Georgia and Gary Holder
    July 8, 2022 at 10:35 am

    John was a special person. We enjoyed being with him and his interest in solar power. His music was beautiful.

    • Bryan and Jan McCarty
      July 8, 2022 at 3:13 pm

      We will miss you dearly John… you touched so many lives with your kindness and music. Thank you for being a wonderful friend and neighbor.

  3. Chuck and Janet Brome
    July 8, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    John Kovac was such a generous, talented and loving individual. He will be so missed by this community.

  4. Rick Blotner
    July 9, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    I will miss you greatly my friend…our morning ping pong games and your corny jokes….

    Your energy and humour will always be felt and missed.
    . from your other community here in San Pedro Guatemala all our thoughts are with your family

    My condolences and many happy memories to you all


  5. Tom Harrison
    July 9, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    I greatly admired John as an all-around kind and considerate human being with many talents. With John’s help and direction, I build for each of my four children one of his wooden harps. Several occasions, I also visited a local restrurant with John and his South American master harpist guest to promote the guest’s CD. All those that have had the pleasure of John’s company will sincerely miss him.

  6. Teresa Bailey
    August 1, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    My sincere condolences to the family , I never met John but had followed him often on his YouTube videos , I was born in Paraguay but never learn to play the harp , so I very much enjoyed hearing him play .
    He will be miss by many , Rest In Peace Mr John in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  7. Nina Epard
    May 12, 2024 at 6:13 pm

    His was the most soothing music I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. I recently asked him to send me more of the CDs I enjoy. I am 90 years old and do not drive anymore. Not knowing he had passed I asked him to send me the discs I indicated. If anyone wants John’s music to be heard I am open to having them mailed to me still.I want his music played at my funeral.

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