My husband's uncle, John Nardozzi, passed away 5 February 2010. I didn't know Uncle Johnny very well, we'd see each other at various family events and chat awhile. So let me tell what I knew about him.
If Johnny and I had never met I could have learned most of the above from his obituary. When I learned of his passing I was saddened to realize that I knew so little about him.
On Tuesday evening, at his wake, I learned just how much he had meant to so many people. All the family that could come were there of course but there was also a steady stream of of people that all counted themselves as his friends. There were students that had rented rooms from him. John loved a good meal and ate out often. Waitresses, restaurant owners and regular dining companions came and they all had stories to tell. Wonderful stories. I knew John like SU sports but I didn't know just how much. He followed all of the sports, had season tickets and traveled to all of the away games that he could. He was also involved with an athletic alumni club. There were many people from the University, past athletes, other fans and again, they all had stories to share.
Most wakes of my experience are sad, gloomy affairs. This one was different. As the stories were told there were smiles and laughter and yet none of it seemed out of place. John was known for his sense of humor and I think he would have been pleased at the way his family and friends reminisced and celebrated his life.
We gathered again this morning to say our final goodbyes. The service and eulogy were given by a relative and that was comforting. We reflected on his life and focused on his sense of humor. We didn't linger long at the cemetery due to the cold and snow but we spent a couple of hours together as a family over a good, Italian meal.
Goodbye Uncle Johnny, you'll be sorely missed.