American Veteran 01

John Salvatore DiGirolamo

August 27, 1946 ~ October 28, 2022 (age 76) 76 Years Old


John Salvatore DiGirolamo (aka Papa D, DiGi, GUS, JD), resident of Southington, CT, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 28, 2022. He was 76. 

Born on August 27, 1946 in Brooklyn, NY, he was the son of John and Sandy DiGirolamo. John attended Archbishop Molloy High School where he made strides as a competitive sprinter on the track team, including setting a record in the 50 yard dash that has yet to be broken. His passion for track continued throughout his life, as he regularly volunteered at Molloy track events and loved walking around the track for exercise while reminiscing about his teammates and coaches. He shared stories of his glory days with his children and grandchildren. 

John attended Manhattan College, where he became fast friends with Alan Zimmerman and John Crotty, who he introduced to their wives Kris and Gail. They remained best friends throughout his life and are considered extended family. 

John went on to serve in Vietnam as a chaplain’s assistant at Hawk Hill. Following his time in the service, he continued to support and advocate for veterans, later working as a customer support administrator for Alpha Veteran’s Disability. After returning home from Vietnam, John went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Queens College and a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in accounting from the University of Hartford. In his career, John worked for Northeast Utilities for nearly 20 years as a team leader for business information. 

John enjoyed many hobbies and sports, including fishing, bowling, crossword puzzles, jumbles, rollercoasters, dancing, golfing, football, baseball, and travel. He was an avid New York Yankees and New York Giants fan and passed the love of his teams on to his children. In fact, if you asked him, being a Yankees and Giants fan was in the DiGirolamo DNA.  

The thing he loved most in this world, and took the greatest pride in, was being a dad. He never missed a single event in his kids’ lives. John went to every school concert, play, sports game, track meet, you name it… he was there. He coached his sons’ little league teams and continued to do so after his own kids were grown. When his oldest daughter’s college graduation and his youngest daughter’s senior prom fell on the same weekend, he flew out to Colorado for the graduation, and then back home to Connecticut for the prom. He NEVER missed a thing.

Growing up Italian in Brooklyn, NY, John learned that family is everything and food is love. John always had an open door policy to his own home. Quite literally, his house was never locked; everyone was welcome. His children’s friends would often be found hanging out in the house without his own children being home. John fondly became known as Papa D to his children’s friends. He was everyone’s second dad. If you ever wanted a snack while watching a late night movie, John cooked. He warmed your belly with comfort food, be it fried macaroni, chicken cutlets, or one of his favorites, potatoes and eggs. He always made you feel safe, loved, and like family. John was the most humble, gentle, loving person you could ever hope to meet. He was kind and compassionate to every person that crossed his path. 

John is survived by his sister Joanne DePaula, sister Annette Vanore and her husband Lorenzo Vanore. He was a devoted father to his children Lisa, John, and Gina DiGirolamo; Keith Weldon and his wife Ashley, and Todd Weldon and his wife Beth. He was the cherished grandfather to Joseph Rothbaum; Sidney, Will, Tyler, and Allie Weldon. John is also survived by his four nieces and nephews, their spouses and their children. 

The DiGirolamo family will hold a celebration of life on Friday, November 4, 2022 from 4-7pm at Luddy & Peterson Funeral Home, 205 South Main Street, New Britain, CT.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial donations be made to:

Vietnam Veterans of America

8719 Colesville Road

Suite 100

Silver Spring, MD 20910



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Celebration of Life
November 4, 2022

4:00 PM
Luddy & Peterson's Funeral Home & Crematory
205 S Main St
New Britain, CT 06051


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