Forti, John Phillip, Sr.
It is with great sadness that the family of John Philip Forti Sr. announces his passing after a shocking and very brief illness, at the great age of 97 years. John was born in 1921 and as a member of the “greatest generation”, devoted himself to his family, helping others, and to his country.
John will be continuously and lovingly remembered by his lifelong partner and wife of 75 years, Angie and their four children, Paul, Johnny, Dave, and Donna (Attanasio) as well as his daughters-in-law Carol Tyson and Lynda Forti and son-in-law Rick Attanasio, all of whom he always welcomed as part of his family like one of his own. John will also be lovingly and affectionately remembered by his eight grandchildren: Paul (& wife Nichole), Carrie (& husband Brian Fox), Marisa (& husband Rod Marriott), Laura (& husband John Mirabella), Tom (& wife Viviana), Eric Attanasio (& wife Liz), Alyssa Attanasio, and Nick Attanasio, his 10 great grandchildren, and by his sister, Josephine Liotta. John was predeceased by his parents Paul and Mary and his 5 brothers Anthony, Dominic, Felix, Joseph and Philip.
John was born in Barnesboro, PA, moving early in his life to New Brunswick, NJ in 1926. Throughout his years in New Brunswick, he was involved in many activities. He attended Lincoln School where he acted in a play rendition of Hansel & Gretel which received many honors up through Princeton University where the play was performed as well. While attending New Brunswick High School (NBHS), John became a member of the Cheer Team where he was able to display his fantastic gymnastics skills and was active at a prominent gymnastics organization. He was known for his sequential back hand springs usually at the end of cheer and gymnastic performances. John could be seen flipping on a trampoline, doing hand-stands off a diving board and always playing with his grand and great grandchildren into his 90s. He also loved playing the trumpet and harmonica, both of which he started early on as a young man playing in the St. Mary’s Boys Band and as part of the NBHS Band. He passed on his musical talents to some of his grandchildren and was often seen playing duets with them around holiday gatherings.
John met his lifelong love, best friend and wife, Angie (née Calapa), at New Brunswick High School where he graduated in 1940. He always told the story of them meeting, declaring that it was love at first sight. He recalled walking down the street with a friend and saying to him as he saw Angie walking on the other side of the street - “I am going to marry that girl” - and he did just that! In January of 1944, John and Angie were married. They started their lives together living in Brooklyn. For the love of his country, John enlisted in the Merchant Marines during World War II (WWII) and served in the Philippines and England as a medic helping many of his comrades get through simple and difficult medical issues. After the end of WWII, John came back home and attended Rutgers University in the evenings while working to support his family during the day. He earned a degree in Electrical Engineering. While attending school he worked in the Engineering department of the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company and through his dedication and hard work he eventually worked his way up to management. John worked there through many company changes for a total of 36 years ending his career as District Manager and retiring in 1985. During this great career, John also gave much of his time volunteering for various organization. He was a member of the Lions Club, the East Hanover Rotary where he played Santa for many years entertaining children of all ages, helped to teach swimming to children and senior citizens at the YMCA, and also dressed up and played CHI CHI the Clown to help people get through difficult times in prominent places like Kessler Institute and Rehabilitation in West Orange.
John loved his life, enjoyed spending time with his large family, but most of all loved spending time with his wife Angie including that daily afternoon vodka cocktail which he called his “medicine”. During retirement they were blessed with good health and happiness which allowed them to take many cruises/trips and enjoy many unforgettable times at their summer retreat in Ocean City NJ which was always a gathering place for family. John will be celebrated for his devotion to life, family, and his country, his positive “glass half full” attitude about people and situations and will be sorely missed by his family and many friends.
Visitation at the Leonardis Memorial Home, 210 Ridgedale Ave. Florham Park on Sunday from 3-7pm. Funeral on Monday assembling at 8:45am followed by the funeral mass at St. Rose of Lima Church in East Hanover at 9:45am. Entombment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105