John Peter Vona, 96, of South Amboy, NJ died peacefully on Tuesday March 28, 2023 in the home he built himself in 1954. John was a lifelong South Amboy resident. He left high school in the summer of his junior year to join the Navy where he served in the Pacific Theater of World War II. After returning home from the war, he became a master carpenter and cabinetmaker. He ultimately joined Bell Laboratories in Holmdel where he advanced to managing their wastewater treatment plant where he worked for 40 years.
John’s creative talents were expressed through his cabinetmaking where every room of his home is adorned with one of his many pieces including hutches, dressers, grandfather clocks and bed frames. When his father at the age of 96 finally retired from gardening, John took over his father’s garden where he produced many bushels of fruits and vegetables over the years. John however found his true passion and expressive talent in teaching himself to paint oils-on-canvas where he created numerous paintings starting in the 1970s through the early 2000s. During that period, John painted seascapes of Raritan Bay, Holmdel farm, landscapes, and many lighthouses. We recall him studiously following Bob Ross’ “Joy of Painting” program in the 1980s taking meticulous notes on color, shadow and composition. Today John’s artwork hangs prominently in both the South Amboy courtroom and the Public Library. He was honored and decorated at the South Amboy Library in 2008 for the donation of his artwork and his contribution to South Amboy’s historical preservation.
Son of Eirmino and Francesca Sciallo Vona in South Amboy, John was one of fourteen brothers and sisters whose parents emigrated from Italy at the turn of the last century. John was predeceased by his loving and devoted wife, Marie Carolyn Gordon who died in 2016, and also his daughter Karen Vona Menken who died in 2014. He is survived his daughter Mary Theresa Vona of Mystic, CT; his son John David Vona and his wife Sandra Lynn Vona, of Mount Shasta, CA; his brothers and sister, Father Michael Vona, Frances Kosmoski both of NJ and Joseph Vona of FL as well as grandchildren nieces and nephews.
Interment in Christ Church Cemetery, South Amboy was private under the direction of The Gundrum Service “Home For Funerals” 237 Bordentown Avenue, South Amboy. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the South Amboy Historical Society, 141 North Broadway, South Amboy, NJ 08879.
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