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SPITALIERI JOHN J., 88, of Atco, passed away on September 16, 2013. Beloved husband of the late Letitia (nee Serratore); devoted father of Regina, Dr. John Robert (Donna) and the late Salvatore (surviving wife Debbie); loving grandfather of Salvatore, Jr., Stephanie, Helen, Emily, Maximus Spartacus, Steven C. and Jennifer Mersiowsky and Josh and Amanda Hubler. Dear brother of Mary (Ed) De Paolo-Roach, Paolo-Roach, Paul (Josephine) and late Alfred (surviving wife Catherine); also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
   Born and raised in South Philadelphia, John attended South Philadelphia High School, where he participated in gymnastics. Mr. Spitalieri was a US Army veteran of World War II, Honorably discharged from the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division of the US Army during World War II. He served in the Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns (Germany, France and Austria).
   After the military, John attended Syracuse University where he received his Bachelors' Degree. He was proud to be the Captain of his gymnastics team. He met and married his beloved wife Letitia and moved to Atco to raise his 3 children there. He was a devoted and loving father and grandfather.
   An educator for over 30 years in the former Edgewood Junior High School, Mr. Spitalieri earned his Masters in Special Education and became a learning disabilities consultant and eventually a principal. John was responsible for creating an in-district program, "The Annex", for high school students with social and emotional disabilities. He was also proud to be both a counselor and later director of the Sherwood Day Camp formerly in Turnersville.
   Upon "retirement", John became an adjunct professor at Glassboro State College for students earning teaching certifications in Special Education. Education. John and his wife, Letitia were life long parishioners of Christ the Redeemer Parish Assumption Church in Atco. He was also a respected member and former president of the Atco Seniors, for more than 20 years. He was an avid gardener and he loved bowling.
   Relatives and friends are invited to a Viewing on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 from 7 to 9 P.M. and Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, from 8:30 to 9:30 A.M. at the L e R OY P. WOOSTER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, CREMATORY, 441 White Horse Pike in Atco. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 at 10AM at Christ the Redeemer Parish Assumption Church, 318 Carl Hasselhan Dr. in Atco. Interment will follow at Atco Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice, 5 Eves Drive, Suite 300, Marlton, NJ 08053.

[The Courier-Post, Camden, NJ, Tue, Sep 17, 2013, Page B4]

John J. Spitalieri, 88, Camden County teacher

John J. Spitalieri, 88, of Atco, a public-school public-school public-school teacher and principal, principal, died Monday, Sept. 16, of complications from cancer at the South Jersey home of his daughter. daughter. Born in South Philadelphia, Mr. Spitalieri grew up near 12th Street and Snyder Avenue and graduated in 1943 from South Philadelphia High School, where he was a gymnast.

A member of a World War II Army infantry parachute unit, he served in France, Germany, and Austria, his daughter, Regina, said. "He would tell stories," she said, not about combat but about "going from village to village helping any refugees that were there."

After World War II, he earned a bachelor's degree in education at Syracuse University, where he was captain of the gymnastics team. His first job was "as a teacher and principal for a small school in Tansboro," in Winslow Township, Camden County, "a pretty rural area at the time," where there were only 75 students in grades seven through 12, his daughter said. Mr. Spitalieri became a teacher at what was then Edgewood Regional Junior High in Winslow and, while there, earned a master's degree at what is now Rowan University, focusing on learning disabilities. He first became a consultant on that specialty to schools in lower Camden County and then was principal of the Annex, a regional program he developed for students with disabilities, she said.

He retired in 1989. During summers from 1956 to 1978, he was a counselor at Sherwood Day Camp in Turnersville and for the final eight years was its director, she said. In retirement, he was an adjunct professor of special education at what is now Rowan from 1984 . to 1995. Mr. Spitalieri was a member of the group Atco Seniors from the 1990s until 2012 and, for a time, was its president.

Besides his daughter, Mr. Spitalieri is survived by son John R.; a brother; a sister; and nine grandchildren. His wife, Letitia, died in 2007, and son Salvatore died in 2012. Viewings were set from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, and 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the LeRoy P. Wooster Funeral Home, 441 White Horse Pike, Atco, before a Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. at Assumption Church, Christ the Redeemer Parish, 318 Carl Hasselhan Dr., Atco, with interment in Atco Cemetery. Donations may be made to www.samaritanhealthcare.org.

[The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 18 Sep 2013, Wed, Page B09]

[courtesy of Sandy Boyd]

Grave marker for John J. Spitalieri in Atco Cemetery, Atco (Camden county), New Jersey.

John enlisted in the Army at Philadelphia, PA on 21 September 1943.

Pfc Spitalieri was transferred to the 508th PIR in late 1945.  He was discharged on 23 April 1946.


On 02 February 1950, John submitted this application to receive the Pennsylvania WWII Veterans Bonus.  It was calculated that he had served domestically for 16 months and in foreign loalities for an additional 13 months.  He received an award of $355.

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