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John Thomas MagazzuAugust 24, 1929 ~ June 17, 2017 (age 87)
Santi John Thomas Magazzu, 87, of Florence, passed away June 17, 2017 after an extended and courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
“Sonny” as he was called by many in his younger years, was a native of Staten Island, N.Y. and was raised in the Bronx. He was a graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx and Pratt Institute of Design in Brooklyn. He earned his Masters degree in Packaging Design from California-Berkley.
John played semi-pro football with the Brooklyn Rams and served in the U.S. Army for over two years stationed in Korea with the 25th Division, King Company.
John first saw Phyllis Cioti at a skating rink in the early 1950’s and told a friend, “I’m going to marry that woman.” They were happily married for 46 years until her death in 1999.
They lived in Lafayette and Orinda, CA., and McAllen, TX, before moving to Florence. John worked at Philco Corporation, Container Corporation of America, and Weyerhaeuser Company.
He is responsible for several design patents in the field of corregated design during his time at CCA, some of which are still used today.
He moved here in 1970 with his wife, Phyllis, and three children to become general manager of the Weyerhaeuser plant in Florence. During that time he served on the board of directors of the Florence-Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and did volunteer work with Junior Achievement and Northwest Alabama Reading Aids among others.
After retiring from Weyerhaeuser Company he worked as an acrchitect and builder and as a salesman/designer for Boise Cascade and MidSouth Packaging.
John was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1998 and doctors told him to expect five good years. He was blessed with many more than that. The family appreciates all the organizations and the people who enriched his life and aided in his longevity.
John was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Florence. He was a passionate member of the subway alumni at Notre Dame. In later years he was an active member of the Combat Infantryman’s Association, the Korean War Veterans Association, and the American Legion. His passions were building remote control airplanes, backgammon, card games with buddies, and yard work. He also enjoyed spending time at the Florence Senior Center (The Club).
John was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Phyllis Magazzu, parents, Gaetano “Thomas” and Rose Magazzu, and sister, Rosalie Klaus.
He is survived by sons, Thomas V. Magazzu and wife Sadonna, of Killen; and John P. Magazzu and wife, Jane Ann of Muscle Shoals; daughter Ginamarie Showalter, husband Lee, and grandson, Dane of Zachary, LA; granddaughter Katelyn Sage Ellison of Marietta, GA; and many special cousins, nieces, and inlaws.
Visitation will be from noon - 2pm on Wednesday, June 21 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Florence. The Funeral Mass will take place at 2 p.m. with Father Roy Runkle. Interment will follow at Greenview Memorial Park Mausoleum.
Pallbearers include: Terry Paganelli, J.C. Manning, Flynt Danley, Lee Showalter, Dane Showalter, Austin Jeffreys, and John P. Magazzu.
Honorary pallbearers include Dr. Anthony Nicholas (UAB), Dr. Lyman Mitchell Jr., CRNP, Pam Hill, Dr. Kenneth Collins (VA), and the Joints in Motion class at “The Club”.
Special thanks to his many loving caregivers and nurses.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials for Northwest Alabama Reading Aids, The American Legion, or the Florence Senior Center.