JOHN BERNASCONI BARRE - Attorney John "Jack" Bernasconi, 82, of Wildersburg Common, died peacefully on Feb. 3, 2013, from complications of Parkinson's disease and pneumonia. He was born Dec. 7, 1930, in Quincy, Mass., to Dorothy and Rene Bernasconi and moved to Barre when he was seven. John came from five generations of granite workers who immigrated to Barre from Northern Italy in 1900. He graduated from Spaulding High School ('49) where he played football and basketball, was a member of the band, orchestra, and attended Boys State. After high school, he hitchhiked across the country to attend Colorado College on a football scholarship and graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and belonged to the D.A.V. (Disabled American Veterans). Following the military, he attended and graduated from the University of Connecticut Law School. From there, he returned to Barre and married Carole Griffin (1959) where they made their home for 46 years and raised three children. He was a member of a local musicians union for several years playing slide trombone with many well known artists and top bands passing through Vermont. John was elected State's Attorney for three terms in the 1960's and later went into private practice until retirement. He became well known for his litigation skills and his work in business and family law. John loved skiing with family and friends and took ski vacations to Switzerland and Austria. He had his three young children going down the slopes by the time they could walk, during the lace-up boots days with clip on bindings. John also loved to play golf and was a member of the Country Club of Barre for many years. He was a member of the Lions Club (serving as President), the Elks Club, the Mutuo for over 50 years and the Sugar Hill Investment Trust and a member of the Vermont Real Estate Commission. John and his late wife, Carole, loved to cook and entertain. "Chef Boy Bernie" was a master on the grill and loved to bake French bread. John loved a good argument, was a voracious reader, had a sharp wit and always had a joke or a comeback line. He was also a cartoonist and drew many humorist family life events. He enjoyed a large circle of friends and had an active social life. In 2002, John was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and had to give up many activities over the course of the next 10 years, but he became an inspiration as he persevered through his disease. Survivors include a son, Jay and wife, Jennifer (Beck) Bernasconi of Barre; a daughter, Jayne Bernasconi and husband, Paul Shapiro of Baltimore, Md.; a sister, Edna Bernasconi of Barre; a son-in-law, Robert Aughey of Stowe; and five grandchildren, Stacey and Talia Shapiro, Jason Bernasconi, and RJ and Ryan Aughey. John was predeceased by his wife, Carole, in 2005; brother, Rene Bernasconi (2009); and daughter, Jan Bernasconi in 2012. John's life will be celebrated on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, at 11 a.m. at St. Monica's Church in Barre. Family and friends are invited to pay their respects at the Hooker and Whitcomb Funeral Home, 7 Academy St., in Barre, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to: Home Share Now, 115 N. Main St., Barre, VT 05641 (www.homesharenow.org)
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on Feb. 6, 2013