John Baccarella, a World War II veteran from Bayonne, died on Sunday, about one month after he celebrated his 100th birthday where he was honored by local first responders.
After receiving a tribute from Bayonne first responders on his birthday last month, Baccarella told HCV in an interview that people should never hesitate to tell their loved ones how they feel.
“Say to them, more often, that ‘I love you.’ That’s three beautiful words that kept me going. ‘I love you’ and that’s the way I feel about most people that I’ve dealt with that were always there to help me and me help them.”
Born in Bayonne on June 18th, 1923, Baccarella served in the U.S. Army, 7th Armored Division as a Medical Technician. Upon being discharged from the service, John studied music at the NJ Musical College and Fine Arts Academy under the G.I. Bill, according to his obituary.
“He was a permanent presence at public events in the City of Bayonne and particularly known for his singing of our National Anthem. John found great joy serving his church and his community, he was a founding member of the Concerned Citizens of Bayonne (CCB) serving two terms as President,” his obituary continued.
“John worked tirelessly on behalf of the Bayonne community. His service to others throughout his life earned him numerous awards and citations from community leaders across the spectrum. John’s life was a true reflection of putting service to others above himself.”
Also during last month’s interview, Baccarella claimed that he’s been involved with every Bayonne mayoral campaign since he came back home from the service.
Furthermore, he stated that his greatest accomplishment is his two daughters and that he feels blessed to live long enough to meet his four grandchildren.
He is survived by his only sister Jean Perrucci, his brother-in-law Joe Fargano, his loving daughters Ann Marie and her husband James Pelliccio, along with Jacqueline and her husband Dr. David Fagan.
He is the grandfather to Danielle and Dean Pelliccio and Jack and Meredith Fagan.
Baccarella’s visitation will be held at Migliaccio Funeral Home, located on John F. Kennedy Boulvard, on Thursday, July 20th from 2 until 4 p.m. and then 7p.m. through 9 p.m.
A funeral mass will then take place on Friday, July 21st at St. Andrew’s Church, 125 Broadway, with an internment to follow at Holy Name Cemetery, 823 West Side Ave., in Jersey City.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Baccaella’s memory may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, with envelopes available at the funeral home for those who would prefer to make their donation in person.