John J. (Joseph) LaFazia passed away on September 21, 2019 at 92 years of age and on the very Date of his Birth - while in Hospice Care at the Cadia Healthcare Facility on Silverside Road. Born in Wilmington, Delaware on September 21, 1927, he was the son of John LaFazia and Isabella Ventura LaFazia.
In addition to his parents, He is predeceased by his wife Anna Mae Brown LaFazia, and his son, Edward LaFazia. He is survived by his sons, John Jr., and Ellen his wife, of Wilmington; Gregory, and Beverly his wife, of Laurel; Robert, and Patricia his wife, of Hockessin; and Joseph, and Shelli his wife, of Wilmington. And by his Daughters Linda LaFazia Seamen, and her husband Brian, of Selbyville; and Debbie LaFazia Perrone, and Paul, her husband, of Newark. A list of nearly 50 Grandchildren, including Great and Great Great's make up the five Generations he both knew and loved and which loved him.
John is also survived by his brothers, Robert (Bob) LaFazia, and Dennis LaFazia, and his wife Carolyn.
'JJ' joined the Navy in his late teens and would attend Boot Camp at Bainbridge, Maryland. And he would fill out the remainder of his Service Year stationed in New Orleans on the LCIL 576. Afterwards, he married Anna Mae Brown and eventually found a full time position serving with the Wilmington Fire Department from 1951 to 1971. His other enterprises included a Wilmington Grocerette (JJ's), Flower Shop (LaFazia Flowers), and ... a Take-Out Restaurant (Momma Mia's), in Ocean City, Maryland.
The Love of his Life (Besides his beloved wife Anna) would be found in 'Playing Music'. He would become a well-known and well-liked Musician (Drummer) who played with a number of groups over many years.
All of this started at the tender age of 4. He was so moved by listening to a Violin over the Radio, that he decided that he wanted to learn how to play that instrument. He could 'feel the music' inside of him and somehow inwardly identified his own calling at such a young age.
Although, after expressing this desire, family overruled and persuaded him to play the drums instead ... and this he did. They would move to Washington D.C. and it was here where he would stand behind a microphone in the Studio of the very popular Arthur Godfrey Radio Broadcast and recite - "I am a Little Teapot Short and Stout'.
Between the ages of 4 and 7 he would join the Fox Theater Band which was associated with his School in Washington, D.C. And because of the close proximity of the School to the White House, these youngsters would be invited to 'Play' before the Roosevelts on several occasions.
John would eventually have his own Orchestra and would also play for 'The Rhythm Doctors'. This band played all the popular music of its day but specialized in their love of 'Jazz'.
The list of bands and groups John was associated with, as well as the night clubs and events they played in and for, would be too numerous to post. And it would take many paragraphs to share something more of the essence of his life. Let it suffice to say that with much grace and patience he slowly made his way off the stage and has finally journeyed beyond the curtain.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday, September 27, 2019 at 12 noon at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 901 N. DuPont St. Wilmington where family and friends may call after 10am.
Burial will be held privately.
When so many Lives Touch One Life ... that One Life cannot help but Touch Many Lives! And this he did ...
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