OSWEGO, NY – John J. Colloca, 90, of Oswego, passed away peacefully on Friday December 9, 2016, at home surrounded by his loving family.
He was born in Oswego, to the late Sebastiano and Domenica (Sammario) Colloca.
He has been a lifelong resident of Oswego.
John was a United States veteran having served in the Air Force during the Korean War.
After fulfilling his military service, he returned to farming and grew lettuce and onions.
While in the farming business, he was elected the president of Vegetable Growers’ Association in which he worked diligently on behalf of his fellow growers to implement laws which would better serve the growers in Central NY.
John was dedicated to this cause and he and several other growers made a trip to the Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC, where they were able to express their concerns.
He served as president until 1969 when he decided to change careers.
The Oswego Farmers’ Market was also founded by John and he served as coordinator, managing the market until his retirement from business.
In 1969, John and his wife purchased the Tot ‘N Teen Children’s Clothing store in downtown Oswego.
As an owner and operator of a small business he became an active member of the retail community.
John was honored on several occasions.
In 1981, he was awarded for his outstanding community service and dedication to the downtown organization known as the DOERS.
He was also a recipient of the Committee of the Year Award from the Oswego Chamber of Commerce in recognition of outstanding performance in attaining the goals set for a specific internal chamber function in which John was chairman.
He also received an award from the Girl Scouts of America National Equipment Service in recognition and appreciation of his service as a Girl Scout equipment agency from 1970 until his retirement having help cloth the community for 25 years.
John was also a member of the NYS Council of Retail Merchants and was appointed director of the Northern region serving in this capacity for 5 years.
It was also John who shared Christmas music from the second story window of his business.
Christmas carols were played during the Christmas season so that shoppers on West First Street were able to enjoy the music as they bustled about the downtown shops.
In January 1985, John was honored for outstanding leadership of the most successful farmers’ market in Central NY.
In August 2001, he was again honored as the founder of the farmers’ market commemorating its 30 years of existence.
John was a lifelong communicant of St. Joseph’s Church.
In his youth, he was a participant of the St. Joseph’s basketball team.
He also served as an altar boy.
Later, he was a member of the Holy Name Society and John was a past trustee and a member of the Finance Committee at St. Joseph’s Church for several years resigning his positions in 2015.
John remained an avid gardener and always enjoyed the joys of cooking.
He also loved to travel.
John was predeceased by his 6 siblings: James Colloca, Carmello Colloca, Mary Cutro, Joseph Colloca, Dominic Colloca and Jane Colloca; and his nephew, Richard Cutro.
John was a loving husband, father, brother and grandfather.
His top priority was always home and family.
John is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Mary Helen Colloca of Oswego; their 3 children: Joseph (Shari) Colloca of San Diego, Calif., Mary Anne (Ed) Galvin of Oswego and Gina (Robert) Pietropaoli of Pittsford, NY; his sister, Josephine Colloca of Oswego; 6 grandchildren: Cristina and Michael Colloca, Alexis Galvin, Christopher, Rina and Maria Pietropaoli; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Joseph’s Church, Oswego, where a mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated.
Burial will be in St. Paul’s Cemetery, Oswego.
Calling hours will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. Fourth St. Oswego.
Contributions may be made to the Friends of Oswego County Hospice, PO Box 102, Oswego, NY 13126 or St. Joseph’s Church 176 W. Second St., Oswego, NY 13126.