John S. Spezzaferro passed away suddenly at home on October 28, 2018. John was born on May 23, 1975 to Massimo and Linda Spezzaferro. He graduated from Mohonasen High School in Rotterdam NY. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Siena, followed by a master’s degree in Education from Union College.
For more than 15 years, John taught English at Schenectady High School. He was active in the teachers’ union as a building representative and a delegate to statewide union meetings. He gave his time working with students in many after school activities. His students and colleagues were part of his extended family, and he touched many lives in ways only Mr. Spezz could.
John loved kayaking and hiking; beer with his buddies and juice boxes with his kids; Metallica and Mozart; Shakespeare and South Park; spirited debates and quiet conversations. He could be passionate and serious, but his humor knew no bounds. Everyone became a friend, and everybody knew his name. John’s love for life was endless and surpassed only by his love for his children.
With a spirit that burned too brightly to be contained, John has left us way too soon. He has reached the Final Frontier in a galaxy far, far away. He left a Godzilla sized hole in our lives that not even the Hulk could fill. He will forever be our favorite superhero and guiding star.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by Nicolina Suriano and their two young children, Massimo and Gioia.; his sister Sandra (Scott) LaBrake of Clifton Park; nieces Alexandra and Samantha; Michele Suriano and Jason Suriano of Rotterdam; Jennifer, Mark, Rowan, and Declan McGuire of Rotterdam; several aunts, uncles, and cousins both locally and in Italy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Church, 331 Seward Place, Schenectady, New York 12305. Calling hours will be held on Friday, November 2, 2018 from 3 to 7 p.m. at De Marco-Stone Funeral Home, 1605 Helderberg Ave, Schenectady, New York 12306. Interment will be held following Mass at Saints Cyril and Method Cemetery in Rotterdam.
The family is setting up a scholarship in John’s name to help keep his thirst and passion for knowledge alive. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to the John Spezzaferro Memorial Scholarship c/o First New York FCU, 1879 Altamont Ave, Schenectady, New York 12303.
“Every trail has its end, and every calamity brings its lesson!” – James Fennimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans