Born 5 June 1937, entered eternal life 7 September 2021
Author: Christine Sartori, John’s wife
“Tell them I love them all”
John was the only child of Gina and Beppi and he was born and bred in Carlton. He lived in that close knit, welcoming Italian Community, completing his schooling there and developing his love for the Carlton Football Club. As a young man he worked hard in his milk bar and later he went to Carlton United Breweries and then Rowntree/Hoadley/Nestle, where he remained for 34 years. During many of his working years, he cared for his ageing parents. John was always providing and planning for the future. He had a huge work ethic and always did everything to the best of his ability.
John’s love and loyalty to his family and friends was paramount. Hospitality was important to him, and visitors to our house had not even sat down before a coffee or a glass of wine or food was in their hand. He loved opera and he loved to sing.
He served others in the community with a sense of concern, compassion and care. John was a gentle man, he never got angry or cross.
He was faithful to his God, and to his beliefs. He loved Our Lady of Good Counsel and of course All Hallows. Coming to Mass he loved the music and the homilies; and being part of this community.
These qualities are all fine examples for his family, his children and grandchildren. Family was everything and his quest was to provide for his family, to love, to respect, and to promote togetherness. He provided and cared so much for those around him and his example inspires us all on how to live our lives. John taught us to prioritise family over everything else, treat others how they would like to be treated, and to show calmness and composure, no matter the situation. John believed it was important to commit fully to what you believe in and what you want to achieve, and relish everything this life gives you.
During the time that John was in palliative care we could only have two family members in the room at a time, and we were grateful for that. It was a sacred time, difficult but a privilege and an honour to share John’s last days. Thank you to all the health professionals who have cared for John, especially in these last months.
Luca, John’s grandson, wrote “I wish I could be there with my family today but I can’t. I love Nonno very much and I wish that I’d been able to spend more time with him. The thing I really want everyone to know is that I’ll miss him. Nonno made me laugh and was always so kind. I wish I could give Nonno a hug. I will always love him.”
This is not how we wanted to farewell John, in a near empty church, but John’s memory and legacy will live on through his children, and his grandchildren, the Spano, Wilkinson and Sartori children, Noah, Luca, Rory, Harvey, Samantha, Angus and Jack John.
Fathers Brendan, Trac and others say many times at funerals – ‘life has changed – not ended”. John’s physical presence amongst us has changed, but he lives on in the love of God; he lives on in our hearts; and his spirit, his example, his virtue and importantly his love will live on in me, our children and in our grandchildren.