John Garufi

Obituary of John Paul Garufi

John was an only child, born in Queens, NY to Francesca and Rosario (“Sam”), US citizens of Italian heritage.  Proud of his Catholic education, John attended St. Teresa School in Woodside, NY and traveled across town to St. Francis Prep High School and St. Francis College in Brooklyn.  John was a football lineman for the 1959 St. Francis Prep New York City Championship team, a major accomplishment coming from the streets of New York.

A charming gentleman and a man of few, but meaningful words, John married the love of his life, Florence Lavin, who is Irish, whom he met on a blind date.  She was 17 and the big attraction was his canary yellow 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Look that one up!  An instant classic. The two followed John’s 52-year career in the federal government, from New York to Illinois and finally Washington, DC, where John retired as the employee recognition manager for the Internal Revenue Service.  John and Florence were married for 55 years. 

John enjoyed rooting for the New York Mets, Jets, and Rangers.  He coached his children in multiple recreational sports, including football, and eventually coached football at several northern VA area high schools.  His interests included horse racing at Roosevelt Raceway and Belmont Park, playing poker with family and friends, his cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains, classic movies such as Laurel and Hardy, and the natural world.  

John’s faith in God was the cornerstone of his life.  He cherished “ordinary time” - essentially everyday life - prioritizing his family and those close to him above all.  He was happy to stay within his zip code, but spent extended time with his daughter and grandchildren in California.  John is survived by his wife, Florence Garufi; children, Laura (Tony) O’Brien, John (Malie) and Matthew (Brittany); and grandchildren, Johanna, Conor, Peter, and Erin O’Brien and Liv Garufi.

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Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Thursday, May 9, 2024
St. Michael's Catholic Church
7401 St Michaels Ln
Annandale, Virginia, United States
(703) 256-7822
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