WHITEHALL — John A. Putorti, 87, of Broadway, died peacefully Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at Glens Falls Hospital lovingly surrounded by his family.
He was born in Whitehall, the son of the late Anthony and Caroline (Martucci) Putorti.
He was a graduate of Whitehall High School.
He is a U.S. military veteran and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. John entered service May 19, 1943, and after completing basic training in Samson, N.Y., was assigned to duty on a destroyer, the USS Walker out of Norfolk, Va. John was a member of the first crew assigned to the USS Walker after it had been christened.
For the next 30 months, he was engaged in active combat operations both in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war. John participated in more than eight major battle campaigns across the Pacific. The USS Walker was the first U.S. Navy ship to fire directly upon Japan just before the dropping of atomic weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the cessation of World War II.
During one brief leave back home to Whitehall, N.Y., John married Antoinette Cechnicki on Jan. 28, 1945, then returned to the Pacific. John separated from the U.S. Navy on Nov. 14, 1945, after the end of World War II. and returned home to his bride in Whitehall, where they raised their five sons together.
He first went to work full time as a mechanics apprentice at Parker Garage in Whitehall. A few years later, he leased some local space and opened his first business, Putorti’s Garage and Repair in Whitehall. He then went on to run the Sinclair Station also in Whitehall, and later, John assumed the responsibilities of shipping supervisor at Patrician Paper Co. in South Glens Falls, N.Y.
After several years with Patrician, John opened his second business, Putorti Repair Shop, in a new location in Whitehall, which is where it still operates today. As the years went by, the repair shop was taken over by John’s two sons, Robert and James (both U.S. Navy veterans like their father), but he remained active in the business up until just days before he passed away.
During his time in Whitehall, John was active in the local American Legion Post No. 83. He was also active in the local Knights of Columbus No. 276 where he was a 3rd degree knight. He was a member of the Whitehall Chapter of Mount Carmel Society, a member of Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church and served as an usher through most of his life.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Antoinette, who passed away Feb. 10, 1989; and his two brothers, Joe Putorti and Fred Putorti.
He is survived by his sons, Robert and his wife, Sharon, of Whitehall, James and his wife, Debbie, of Whitehall, Francis and his wife, Cheryl, of Whitehall, John and his wife, Polly, of Seymour, Conn., and Michael and his wife, Kathy, of Whitehall; his beloved 11 grand-children, Robert Putorti Jr. (Pam), Jeremy Putorti (Stephanie), Kristy Putorti (Michael Rocque), James Putorti (Jan), Angel Noonan (Kevin), Matthew Putorti, Sondra Smith (Stephen), Rachel Putorti, Reba Putorti. Elyse Putorti and Allie Putorti; his beloved 14 great- grandchildren, Brittney and Rebecca Putorti, Shane Bennett, Ryan, Ben and Cole Putorti, Chloe and Sophia Harris, Giuliana and Anthony Putorti, Jake and Brittany Noonan and Jaiden and Beckett Smith; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and his companion of more than 20 years, Mary Van Ness, her three children, William Van Ness, Thomas Van Ness and Gail Morehouse, and their families.
Friends and family may call from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, at Jillson Funeral Home Inc., 46 Williams St., Whitehall. N.Y. The American Legion Post No. 83 will conduct a legionnaire service at 5:30 p.m. followed by a prayer service by the Knights of Columbus No. 276.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, at Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church, Skene Street, Whitehall, with the Rev. Terence Healy officiating.
Interment, with full military honors, will follow at Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Whitehall.
A time of fellowship and refreshments will follow the interment at the home of Francis and Cheryl Putorti.
The family would like to acknowledge the good times he had with his friends at Bayview Gardens and Whitehall American Legion at which they had many laughs together.
The family would also like to extend a special thank you to the doctors, nurses and the staff of Glens Falls Hospital, who took incredible care of John during his brief stay.
The family asks in lieu of flowers, please extend an expression of sympathy in the form of donations in his memory to Our Lady of Angels Cemetery Fund, 9 Wheeler Ave., Whitehall NY, 12887.