John Vitale

John J. Vitale

Thursday, July 19th, 1923 - Friday, August 23rd, 2019
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John Vitale, a World War II veteran, skilled plumber, craftsman, and gardener passed away on Friday, August 23, 2019 at the age of 96. He was pre-deceased by his loving wife, Wilma, his two brothers, Alex and Sam Vitale and his sister, Susy Vitale Leach. He is survived by his children Joanie (Ronnie), Rolf (Amy), Susan, and Debbie. In addition, he is survived by his many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
John was born July 19, 1923 in Lenola, Italy to Vincenzo Vitale and Natalina Fasolo Vitale. He would often recall walking by himself as a young child to visit his two grandmothers who lived on opposite ends of the town. In 1929, his family emigrated to the United States and came through Ellis Island. As a child during the Great Depression, John did whatever he could to help support his family in addition to going to school. He trapped and set up pins in a bowling alley in order to help feed his family and provide them with a better life. John was drafted and proudly served his country from 1943-1945 on the European front in World War II. On June 6, 1944, he joined thousands of other brave heroes and landed in the waters of Omaha Beach in Normandy, France during the D-Day invasion. He received several medals and was honored for his service. After the war, John returned home to his family in Pleasantville, NY. He began his plumbing business, John J. Vitale Plumbing and Heating, which would last for over fifty years. While maintaining his business, John always helped his parents maintain their Pleasantville home and his own home, yard, and garden in Somers. John has been described as a renaissance man always strove for perfection. He took great pride in his work and fault could never be found in any job or project that he completed. John passed along his knowledge of plumbing to his brothers, son and several of his nephews. With his incredible eye for detail, John built homes and many unique pieces of furniture. John’s immense garden was his lifelong hobby. He took great pride in what he grew and would always invite friends to come and pick his delicious tomatoes, corn, and many other vegetables. John never truly retired and was still giving plumbing and gardening advice to friends. When friends came to visit, he would share the stories of his life and laugh over many of the things and practical jokes he played as a child. John was never one to allows others to do things for him and would still ride his tractor to mow his lawn as often as he could and cook his own meals. Even at the age of 95, John still started four hundred tomato plants by seed and later moved them into his greenhouse where most of them were given away to his many friends. John was a lifelong Yankee fan and would look forward to watching them every night. Even in his last days, he found comfort in listening to his favorite team play. John truly believed that you can do anything you want to do if you set mind to it ad that age is only a number. His life is truly an inspiration to those who knew him best. The family will receive friends at the Beecher Flooks Funeral Home in Pleasantville on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 from 2-4 and 6-9. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at Holy Innocents R.C. Church at 9:30 AM. Entombment will follow at Ferncliff Mausoleum.
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  • Visitation

    Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Beecher Flooks Funeral Home
    418 Bedford Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Second Visitation

    Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 | 6:00pm - 9:00pm
    Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm
    Beecher Flooks Funeral Home
    418 Bedford Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 | 9:30am
    Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 9:30am
    Holy Innocents R.C. Church
    431 Bedford Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 11:00am
    Ferncliff Mausoleum
    280 Secor Road
    HARTSDALE, NY 10530
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Your friends at Hudson Valley Volkswagen/Volvo, The Mahoney family, and other have sent flowers to the family of John J. Vitale.
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Your friends at Hudson Valley Volkswagen/Volvo

Posted at 09:26am
Sending caring thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
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Your friends at Hudson Valley Volkswagen/Volvo purchased the Peaceful White Lilies Basket for the family of John Vitale. Send Flowers



Posted at 01:03am
I am fortunate enough have called this great man my father. From a very young age, I can remember helping him in his garden. I learned the difference between a weed and plant when I tried to "surprise" him only to find out the hard way that I pulled out all of his cucumber plants! Many hours were spent holding twine while he tied the tomato plants and listened to the Yankee game on a small battery operated radio. I recall helping him plant corn and when the stalks were nearly tall enough I was somehow persuaded by Kathryn and some other to play tag in the cornfield. I later had to confess after being interrogated as to why some stalks were laying flat while others remained tall and why the footprint of my sneaker could be found among the stalks. My dad had a passion for the work that he did and always strove for perfection and took pride in his completed job or project. He was always strong and determined even at the end of his life. While leaving his hospital room at night, I would tell the nurses not to let his age fool them and that he was still very strong. Later, when I called the nurse to check on him, I was often greeted with a, "you were not kidding when you said he was strong or they don't make 'em like that anymore. " My dad was truly a unique man and I am blessed to be his daughter.

The Mahoney family

Posted at 07:39pm
Sincere condolences
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The Mahoney family purchased flowers for the family of John Vitale. Send Flowers


Kathryn Mahoney

Posted at 06:19pm
Two weeks ago I was driving home from the house I grew up in, passing all of the neighborhood scenes: the familiar mailboxes, our old school bus stop, and John Vitale out on his tractor mowing the lawn. I thought, “he’s.......96?!” He was a fixture of my childhood as much as he was the neighborhood. I remember growing up with Joanie and playing in their yard - which he kept like a carpet....being one of the lucky benefactors of gardening, by being given a bag to bring home filled with corn, tomatoes, and other vegetables...thinking about how, in all the time I knew him, I didn’t know about his participation in the D-Day invasion until hearing he had gone to the 60th anniversary upstate....or the time we found abandoned kittens in the woods and he let Joanie keep them....the tire swing he made that we spent so many hours playing on....He was always working, planting, growing, fixing or crafting something. He will be missed tremendously and though I can’t imagine him agreeing to rest, I know he’ll rest in peace.

With sincere condolences,
Kathryn Mahoney

Josh, Kristina, Lucas, Laila, Leah

Posted at 09:38am
With deepest sympathy.
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Josh, Kristina, Lucas, Laila, Leah purchased flowers for the family of John Vitale. Send Flowers


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