John graduated from Medford High School in 1950 at age 16, where he played clarinet as a member of the Mustang marching band. In 1951 at age 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served aboard the USS Salem, a heavy cruiser and flagship of the 6th Fleet, during the Korean War. After his honorable discharge in 1954, he worked for New England Telephone before serving nearly four decades as a deputy sheriff for Middlesex County and a court officer at Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge. As a youth and for much of his adult life, John spent his summers with family and friends at the family cottage in Hyannisport on Cape Cod.
John was a fierce advocate for his beloved daughter Kim and other children with special needs. He worked diligently with local government officials and education leaders to support legislation, secure funding, and improve overall conditions within the special needs education community. In 1975, he moved his family to Braintree to enroll Kim in Project PROVE, the town’s groundbreaking program that offered children with developmental delays access to a high school education – a right that had been denied previously.
A former season ticket holder for the Bruins, Patriots, and Red Sox, he and Kim shared a love for Boston sports and the two attended nearly every Red Sox spring training game in Fort Myers, Fla., for 15 years. In his earlier years through the Irish American Club, he also organized annual member trips to South Bend, Ind., for Notre Dame/Boston College football games and to Montreal for Canadiens/Bruins matchups.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a visitation period Tuesday, October 8th, from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM in the Cartwright-Venuti Funeral Home, 845 Washington St., Braintree, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM in St. Francis of Assisi Church, 854 Washington St., Braintree. Burial will take place in Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Camp Fatima (Gilmanton Iron Works, N.H.), Cardinal Cushing Centers (Hanover), the New England Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (Wellesley), or the Alzheimer’s Association (Chicago, IL).
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