John R. Lembo
June 4, 1925 – October 1, 2020
John Raymond Lembo peacefully passed away early Thursday morning surrounded by his loved ones. Beloved husband to the late Catherine (Kitty) Napoli-Lembo, of 55 years, he is survived by his daughters, Joyce Lembo-Valenti, Diane Lembo-Reisher and her husband Kenneth and son John Lembo, and his wife Jean. His legacy includes six grandchildren; Dana Valenti-James and her husband David, Joy Valenti-Boisclair and her husband Jason, Scott and Glenn Reisher, Allison and Carly Lembo, as well as, six great-grandchildren; Connor, Ryan and Molly James, Marshall and twins Anderson and Zachary Boisclair.
John was born in Paterson, New Jersey, during the Calvin Coolidge administration, to a modest and struggling, blended family. He was preceded in death by his sisters; Anna Gattuso, Josephine Pace, and most recently Caterina Iandoli and his brothers Pat, Andrew and Frank Lembo. He was a true child of the streets of Patterson. Some of his fondest childhood memories were when he worked delivering bread at the age of seven. He loved running through the neighborhood backyards in the dark, morning hours, as the bread-truck went from street to street, all before school began each morning.
John lost his father Sabado, when he was about eight years old and continued to live with his brothers until the age of sixteen, when he left Paterson permanently, and found his way to Brooklyn to live with his mother Giovanni and sisters. When John was 17 he took on the responsibility of caring for his sick mother until her death, while working nights at a rubber factory. John soon become the foreman of the rubber factory, despite workers nearly twice his age. He had natural leadership qualities and had several jobs including working in an electric, motor factory, during WW11, and as a realtor, until finding his true calling in the upholstery field.
At age 18 John and Catherine Napoli were married and moved into an apartment on 70th Street in Brooklyn, New York where they had their two daughters Joyce and Diane. They moved to a house in Laurelton, Queens, nearly twenty years later when John Jr. came along. The family moved to Staten Island and eventually, after John retired, Catherine and John, moved to the Original Leisure Village, in Lakewood, New Jersey.
John’s true passion in his life’s work was upholstery and became a master craftsmen in this field. He was an apprentice for his brother-in-law Joseph Gattuso Sr, where he eventually took over the shop in New York City, along side Joseph’s son. Together they established a successful and highly respected reputation in the world of fine upholstery. He worked for decorators of the rich and famous and did numerous pieces of furniture for the White House.
John and Catherine embraced the life offered at Leisure Village. They participated in the many activities offered, including Bingo, trips to Atlantic City and Holiday parties which John continued even after Catherine passed away in 1999. John was an active member of the Italian American Club and enjoyed his job doing the 50/50. John’s discovered a passion for the game of Billiards, and excelled in this and won many championships. After the passing of his wife he met Catherine Zayac and together they spent 15 years as companions and good friends until her passing. John’s life was about family, food, laughter- strong, spiritual beliefs and high moral standards. He was loyal and very caring, a wonderful listener and story-teller.
He said ”A thing is worth that part of your life you’re willing to give up to achieve”. He believed that nothing was free and that you need to continue to make decisions on what you want out of life. John never aspired to be rich or have material things. He was simple in his endeavors and always provided for his family. He instilled in his children a love of God and this country, a strong sense of family values, decency and honesty. All of which are being passed down to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
John was a generous man of faith who gave to numerous charities and selflessly helped those in need.
John Raymond Lembo was a fine man and will be dearly missed by all who had the good fortune and privilege of knowing and loving him.
A private family viewing and cremation was held, as per his final wishes.
A Memorial Service to celebrate John's legacy and life will be held on a date yet to be announced. All who knew and loved him are invited to attend.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
John R. Lembo
October 11, 2020
I just want to send Love to John’s entire family. Diane has shared so many stories and memories with me over the years, I feel I know you all. The entire extended Lembo family Is in my ❤️ heart and prayers......Bless you all!
October 8, 2020
Your dad I can be sure was a wonderful beautiful man to raise a wonderful man like you.
I miss you, Jeannie and beautiful daughters. I hope someday your family Candela get together with mine.
Roy, Nancy, Damien, Caroline, Julien ans Alexandra
October 3, 2020
Sending my deepest sympathy of the loss of your Father. Even though his years were advanced, you will still feel his passing deeply. I did when my father left us at 92 years.