John Louis Spadazzi, age 85, passed away peacefully in his Walpole, Massachusetts home on Monday, March 23, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 1, 1934, he was the son of the late Joseph and Mary (Rossi) Spadazzi. He was raised in Roxbury and graduated from Roxbury Memorial High School with the Class of 1952. Following his graduation, John continued his education at Boston State College, earning his bachelor’s degree with a focus on education in 1956. While his education was important, John knew how to have some fun, playing football in the Boston Park League for many years. One of his greatest athletic achievements was coaching, as well as playing with, the Roxbury Red Raiders, when they won the 1959 Boston Park League Football Championship.
Upon his graduation from Boston State, John began his teaching career in the Boston Public School System. He was assigned to schools in Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Brighton, working as an elementary teacher and a reading specialist. Over his teaching career, John became a member of the Boston Teachers Union and the American Federation of Teachers. As John realized his passion for teaching children, he began taking night classes at Boston State College to earn his master’s degree in elementary education and became a state certified reading specialist. His passion for teaching children how to read carried home with him, and he always kept his mind sharp, reading a new book, solving crossword puzzles and crypto quotes.
John married his beloved wife, Mary T. Whalen, on June 25, 1977 in Saint Columbkille’s Church in Brighton. Together they made their home in Walpole, Massachusetts, where they welcomed their son, James, who John loved to coach in the Walpole Little League Program. While living in Walpole, John continued his career with the Boston Public Schools, until his retirement in 1993, after 37 years of dedication to the students of Boston. In his retirement, John joined both the Retired Massachusetts Employees Association and the Retired Boston Teacher’s Union.
Throughout his life, John was an avid football fan. He loved following the football teams at Xaverian Brothers High School and Boston College, however his autumn Sundays were always reserved for the New England Patriots. John and his wife had a wonderful relationship and loved traveling the world together. They took trips to Canada and Europe, ensuring a stop was made in Italy for John to sample his favorite Italian foods, and took many cruises, visiting ports in the Mediterranean, Bermuda, Canada, and the Caribbean.
John was a loving, generous, and giving person; quiet and introspective with a kind heart. To him, everything was “fine, good, or great!” when asked about how he felt. John’s courage and fortitude was truly demonstrated during these past five years of his life’s journey as he faced many health challenges that tested his will to want to recover and move forward in life.
Beloved husband of Mary T. (Whalen) Spadazzi.
Loving father of James J. Spadazzi and his wife, Elena (Son) Spadazzi, of Foxborough.
Cherished and proud grandfather of Dylan Spadazzi, Harrison Spadazzi, and Ella Spadazzi all of Foxborough.
Dear cousin of Kathy Ludvicksen of Washington.
Brother in law of Marjorie P. Whalen of Medford, Richard F. Whalen of Florida, the late Eileen A. Whalen, and the late Thomas J. Whalen.
Devoted uncle and grand uncle to many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
As a result of the ongoing health crisis in the world and our community and with genuine concern for the well-being of all involved, John’s family has decided that his visitation and funeral services will be private. Interment will take place in Saint Francis Cemetery in Walpole. A Memorial Mass at Saint Timothy’s Church in Norwood will be held when we return to calmer and healthier times. A Celebration of Life gathering will take place following the Mass. Memorial donations may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center, 736 Cambridge Street, Brighton, MA 02135, in care of Olga Kozyreva, MD. Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.
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