John A. Armao

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John A. Armao, New Smyrna Beach, FL completed his rich life of more than a century on January 15, 2014. He was 102-years-young. John was married for 68 years to his wife, Concet-tina Conforti Armao, known in the family as Dolly, who predeceased him in 2010. His loving and caring family includes his three daughters, Catherine Armao Yaffa, Mary Armao McCarthy, and Margaret Covell, and their husbands, Lee Yaffa, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Covell; his grandchildren, Christine Fowler and her husband, Chad, Michelle McCarthy and her husband, Joe O'Toole, Michael McCarthy, and Brenda Covell; as well as his sister, Helen Armao; and his cousin, Ann Martin. His life was also enriched by his great-grandson, Noah Fowler. John enjoyed many nieces and nephews and their children. John grew up in New York City and was an alumnus of Columbia University's Class of 1933. He served as Secretary of his class, graduating as a pharmacist and chemist. He had a long career with the NYS Board of Pharmacy, serving as Assistant to the Secretary of the Board. During his years with the Pharmacy Board, almost every pharmacist in New York knew John. John was a pharmacist at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn when World War II began. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 as a pharmacist, and served as technical sergeant in the 79th General Hospital in Northern Ireland, England, and France. During the war, he was one of the first to dispense penicillin. This new wonder drug was a powder, kept cold in a kerosene-powered refrigerator in his Quonset hut pharmacy, and reconstituted with sterile water for administration. John felt privileged to take a veterans' Patriot Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. in 2012, where he was able to visit our nation's war memorials, with a special stop at the National World War II Memorial. During an interview there, when asked for suggestions for the current generation, he answered that students should use the improved, broader education that is now provided to them to benefit themselves and others for a better world. Always ocean lovers, John and his wife, Tena, enjoyed many family summer vacations on Cape Cod. After their retirement, they divided their time between Albany, NY and New Smyrna Beach, FL. John always noticed a flower and enjoyed a sunset. Every evening in Florida, he would go out to watch the setting sun.
John was active in many activities until a short illness in Florida a week before his passing. Always interested in life and learning, he was an avid reader of the New York Times, the local newspaper, and historical biographies both in hard copy and electronically on his iPad and Nook. He never missed "Jeopardy," the 11:00 news or "60 Minutes." It was important to him to live in his own home in Albany and New Smyrna Beach, and he did so with family support. John had friends of all ages whose company he enjoyed, often over a meal seasoned liberally from his stockpile of jokes. He particularly enjoyed the company of his faithful luncheon companions, Mike and Georgiana McDermott; Dr. William Jones; Mary Corrado; Marie and Jimmy Hogan; the SED lunch group; Jean and Pat Blythe; Kathy Lindsay, and the Florida ROMEOs. Other special friends include Father Ken Doyle, Angela and Josephine Dyke, Marie Franke, and Janet Brooks. When asked about the secret to his longevity, John always said, "Never worry; have a good spouse and loving children, and winter in Florida." He liked to sing and knew the words to most Frank Sinatra songs. A favorite song was "Young at Heart," which he often sang to friends. John lived its message of staying active, relaxed and engaged in life. Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of John's Life at the Italian American Community Center, 257 Washington Avenue Extension, Albany, NY on Thursday, January 30, 2014 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. Funeral services will be on Friday, January 31, 2014 at The Parish of Mater Christi on 40 Hopewell Street, Albany, NY at 10:30 am. Burial will be at the Saratoga National Cemetery in Saratoga Springs, NY. In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to Mater Christi Church: Patriot Flight, Inc., c/o Frank DeSorbo, 17 Glendale Ave, Delmar, NY 12054; or a veterans' organization of your choice. Online condolences may be offered at

Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Jan. 28, 2014
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