John R. Tort, Sr. passed away peacefully on July 25, 2019 at the age of 99 in Morristown, New Jersey. John was born on June 24, 1920 in Newark, New Jersey to Mary (nee Palumbo) and Rocco Tort. Mary and Rocco raised ten beautiful children during the Golden Age of Newark. John was their eighth child, and the last surviving child, predeceased by his siblings, Rose, Mary, Victor, Lucille, Florence, Julie, Peter, Robert, and Richard.
John graduated from Barringer High School, where he played football and received All-State honors as an offensive and defensive guard. He was awarded a scholarship to Upsala College but was unable to attend.
John felt compelled to join our nation’s fight for democracy in World War II. Due to a childhood accident, John was legally blind in one eye. This impairment prevented him from enlisting with the Navy and Marines. Not to be deterred, John joined the Merchant Marines, the service that transported provisions and ammunition to the troops in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater of Operations. He was later awarded the Distinguished Services Medal by former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey.
During John’s deployment, he was in charge of supplies and made regular visits to the Norfolk Naval Yard. It was there he met the love of his life, Marge (nee Davis), who made the bittersweet decision to marry and leave her family behind to relocate to New Jersey. Marge and John resided in Bloomfield and then West Orange before retiring to Toms River in 1987. John worked for Prudential Insurance Company as an insurance agent for over 30 years.
Marge predeceased John on January 1, 2012 after 68 years of marriage. John leaves behind his loving daughter, Diana Park of La Quinta, California, son, John R. Tort, Jr., and daughter-in-law, Frances Tort (nee Miraldi), of Morristown. He is also survived by three cherished grandchildren, Christine Mariniello of Point Pleasant, Anthony Mariniello (and his wife, Hollie) of Orlando, Florida, and Lauren Tort Rainone (and her husband, Anthony) of North Caldwell, as well as three great-grandchildren, Ella and Bishop Mariniello, and Sebastian John Rainone. John is also survived by many caring nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Monday, July 29th from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at Leonardis Memorial Home, 210 Ridgedale Avenue, Florham Park, New Jersey. A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, July 30th at 10:00 am at Holy Family Church, One Lloyd Avenue, Florham Park, New Jersey. A private interment will follow.
John had a gift for entertaining children with his stories, magic tricks, and music. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Make-A-Wish NJ, 1384 Perrineville Road, Monroe Township, NJ 08831.