John Joseph Morrone (June 6th, 1933–January 7th 2023).
John was born June 6th, 1933 in New York City to Anna and Anthony Morrone, and spent his early life in Elmhurst, Queens. He and his younger brother Terry both attended the prestigious Brooklyn Technical High School and received their undergraduate and graduate degrees from Columbia University. Of his many academic accomplishments, John was proudest of his attendance record. Though he had to take two subways to get to high school every morning, he was never absent and never late, a fact he was not slow to remind his children of during their teenage years.
When proven right about something, which happened often, John would remark that he “didn’t go to school just to eat his lunch.” He was the consummate gentleman, honest and kind and thoughtful with everyone he encountered, unless you had the misfortune of cutting him off on the highway, in which case you would become the object of a vocabulary most certainly not learned in school, unless it was during the aforementioned lunch periods.
John was an engineer by profession and also by disposition. There was little in life he loved more than a job well done. He spent his career designing everything from radar systems for fighter jets to traffic systems for major metropolitan areas. He was good at things. He once swapped out the oil furnace in our house for a gas one. Who does that? Not to mention all of the renovations, new windows, new decks, and countless other home improvements. In admiring his handiwork, a friend once observed that “if we ever have to go on a wagon train, John should be the one to lead it.”
John loved skiing. He loved getting everybody up in the morning, getting to the mountain early while it was still quiet, and hustling the out-of-towners through the rental process. He loved stopping for hot chocolate and he loved those french fries they serve at lunch. He loved carving his way down even the most difficult trails in an unbroken series of graceful turns, a style which he referred to as “getting his money’s worth,” long after he was old enough to get his season passes for free.
And skiing loved John back. It was where he met Wenda, his loving and devoted wife of 53 years, who claims to have picked him out of a crowd of eligible bachelors for his skiing ability (this was the late 60s, remember) and only gotten lucky with the rest of his good qualities. John is survived by Wenda; his children, Marco and Heather; his son-in-law, Chad; and his grandchildren, Annabella, Maria, Milo, Huck, and Adi, all of whom are united in having received elaborate driving directions from John long after we had come to rely on our phones for that kind of thing, including Adi, who is eleven.
For those of us closest to him, there was never any doubt that we were always John’s highest priority. His love for us was present in every little thing he did for us every single day that we knew him.
If you knew John, you know how much he will be missed. His family will be hosting a Celebration of John’s life this summer, date and time yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please bring a story
about John to share. He left us with many to choose from.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com