John Joseph Vollaro

By John R. Vollaro   September 1994

John Joseph Vollaro was born June 14, 1899 in Brooklyn New York He was the third child of Andrea & Luisa Vollaro who emigrated to the United States from the Naples area of Italy in 1892. Like many children in the early 1900's, John was expected to begin working full time when he was 13 years old. He managed to find time to read and earn a high school diploma through correspondence courses while working full time. He took many other correspondence courses through the years and compiled a small library of classic literature. His interests were many and diverse. As a young man in his 30's, he earned a pilots license and learned to play the violin.

On April 19, 1936, he married Mary Louise De Flories. They lived in Brooklyn and raised their 2 children, Joseph Frederick and John Richard.

John began a career in a ship building company as a draftsman. He planned to work hard, advance his education, and climb the corporate ladder as many did in that era. This dream would never come to pass however. John sympathized with the ideals of fair treatment and fair pay for workers that were the basis of the early labor union movement in the U.S. He had the courage to become a spokesman for fledgling movement in his company knowing it might cost him his job. It was not long before he was told to transfer to another part of the company and to stop writing in support of the union. He chose to resign instead. In those days "Black Lists" were often used and he never again found employment in the industry. In spite of these setbacks, John made his way back to a secure existence for his family through a combination of hard work, frugality, and some prudent investments.

John died on March 4, 1962 at the age of 62 from a stroke. He is remembered fondly by his family for many things including his quest for knowledge, self discipline, personal integrity, and a flamboyant rendition of the William Tell Overture on the violin.


John J Vollaro

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