Obituary: John ‘Geovannino’ DeLeo, 92

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John “Geovannino” DeLeo, 92, of Southington passed away in the comfort of his home on Friday, January 31, 2020 surrounded by his loving family. He was the devoted husband of Rose (Bader) DeLeo.

John was born June 24, 1927 in New Britain, the son of Jennie (Matera) DeLeo. John was a World War II veteran who proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corp seeing action in China, Japan, and the South Pacific. Upon return from the war, he pursued his ‘need for speed’ by becoming an accomplished midget race car driver. Driving remained one of his passions throughout his life.

John was an avid swimmer. For many years, he swam daily at the Plainville YMCA, recording 8000 miles in the pool. He took great joy as a swim instructor and teaching his grandchildren to swim.  His love of the water extended to scuba diving.  He and Rose spent many fun weekends diving with friends. He eventually achieved a Dive Master designation. He and Rose moved to Florida for several years where he continued swimming and scuba diving at Pompano Beach.   There he enjoyed playing golf and tennis, winning a gold medal playing tennis at the Senior Olympics.

John owned J-Ro Grounding Systems for over 50 years. He held patents on several innovative ground stud designs dedicated to making electrical switch gear safe during shut down. John was most famous for his penny trick.  Everywhere he went he would dazzle children, and adults, with his sleight of hand, pulling pennies from his unsuspecting participant’s ear.  John’s essence was that of a very generous, devoted family man, always joking and leaving smiles in the room behind him.

In addition to his wife of 64 years, John is survived by his children Doreen Holmes and her husband Dana of Gardiner, ME, Marc DeLeo and his wife Leslie of Southington, Andrea Dudrow and her husband Robert of Venice, FL, and Susan Sikora and her husband Joseph of Southington, his grandchildren, Sonia, Aaron, Ryan, Cristi, Anthony, Tanya, Brian, Jessica and Andrew, 16 great-grandchildren, his sister-in-law and brother-in law Jeanne & Norman Preissel, several nieces and nephews and his faithful dog, Max. John was predeceased by his brother, Barney DeLeo and sister, Laura Lyles.

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The family wishes to express their eternal gratitude to John’s caregivers for their compassion, love and devotion during his final journey.

Family and friends can celebrate John’s memory at the Plainville Funeral Home, 81 Broad Street in Plainville, on Saturday February 8, 2020 from 3 to 6 pm with a service in celebration of John’s life beginning at 5:30 pm.   Burial with military honors will be held privately at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project P.O. Box 758516 Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516 or Season’s Hospice and Palliative Care of Connecticut 1579 Straits Turnpike Middlebury, CT06762.  For additional information, to leave a note of sympathy, or to share a memory please visit John’s tribute page at www.plainvillefuneralhome.com.