John Vaccaro, 93, died peacefully at home in Princeton, New Jersey surrounded by his loving family on April 4 of pancreatic and prostate cancer. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey on May 19, 1927.
John was a lifelong resident of the area with strong ties to the land through his career in sod and poultry farming. John and his brothers owned and operated Clarksville Sod Farms and Indian Camp Poultry Farms for many years. He served on the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture advocating for farmers and helping to establish the now thriving farmland conservation program. His faith and church were important parts of his life, being an active member of the Princeton United Methodist Church for 65 years where he had the pleasure of finding many forever friends. John took great pleasure in travel, having visited most states and many countries, his motto being “There is no better education than travel”. He had the opportunity to visit Russia as a member of Eisenhower’s Ambassador Program representing United States farmers.
John was a strong family man. Being the youngest of ten children, he always put the well-being and happiness of his family first building strong ties throughout the generations. John married the love of his life, Robbie Elnora Holbrook Vaccaro, at their alma mater, Milligan College in Johnson City, Tennessee in 1951. They enjoyed sixty-five years of marriage until Robbie’s passing in 2016. Together they raised four children, Susan, Wayne, Richard and Michelle and were blessed with nine grandchildren, one great grandchild and two more great grandchildren expected this summer.
John will be dearly missed by his surviving family and friends including his four children: Susan Vaccaro Parker (Richard), Wayne Vaccaro (Kim), Richard Vaccaro (Robin) and Michelle Vaccaro Everman (Dave), his grandchildren: David Parker (Jessica), Lauren Malenke (Aaron), Chandler Vaccaro, John David Vaccaro, Jillian Vaccaro, Faith Vaccaro Fossati (Joey), Alex Everman and Jessica Everman, and his great grandchild, Carmella Malenke. John is also survived by his last remaining of ten siblings, Frances Grochala and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his granddaughter, Cassie Vaccaro; his siblings Guy Vaccaro, James Vaccaro, Anthony Vaccaro, Joseph Vaccaro, Carmella Vaccaro, Ann Vaccaro, Mary Vaccaro, Matilda Vaccaro and his parents, Samuel and Josephine Vaccaro. John surrounded himself with good friends too many to mention and you know who you are. There was nothing he liked better than a good chat with a friend.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date when social restrictions are lifted and all can come together to celebrate the life of this kind, generous man many were privileged to know.
The family would like to thank the Penn Medicine Home Hospice program for their compassionate care over the last nine months, Dr. Blom, and Dr.Vukasin. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Pennington School in John Vaccaro’s name where the funds will be designated for need-based financial aid. John often described his experience as a scholarship student at Pennington as life-changing, providing him opportunities and experiences that otherwise would not have been available to him. The Pennington School, 112 West Delaware Avenue, Pennington, NJ 08534.