AGE: 85 • Manalapan
John Giunco, 85, of Manalapan died Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township. He was born in Spring Lake. He attended St. Rose Grammar School, Belmar, Admiral Farragut Academy, Pine Beach, and graduated from Rutgers University in 1950, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pomology. John married the former Annette Dardato on October 15, 1950. Upon graduation from Rutgers John purchased the Tunis Smith Dairy Farm in Freehold and Manalapan Townships. John converted the farm to orchards, planting apple and peach trees. In July of 1951, John was drafted into the Army, became a non-commissioned officer, and served for 18 months in Asia, and 9 months "on line" in Korea. John served in the 8th Calvary division and commanded a Mortar group. While on service in Korea, John was recognized for calculating and preparing a Mortar Firing Table. The Mortar Table revolutionized the accuracy of heavy weapons firing for the Korean Peninsula. The table doubled the firing area of the weapons. After retiring from service John began the business operation of "Twin Lakes Orchards". In 1955, John's brother Richard joined him in the farm business. In 1964 Wemrock Orchards was purchased and John and Annette began the retail business and bakery, which is operated today by John's nephew and nieces. Twin Lakes and Wemrock Orchards became the fourth largest apple producer in New Jersey by volume and was a member of "Jersey Fruit Co-Operative" and served on the Board of Directors for 30 years. John and Richard worked with Rutgers University to develop an apple irrigation system that provided for improved fruit quality and production. John also was the first fruit farmer in New Jersey to implement a progressive "Individual Pesticide Program" designed to minimize the use of pesticides in fruit production. John began scuba diving, with his son John Jr. in 1970. He enjoyed being on the water off the Jersey Shore and made dive trips all over the world, with Annette and John Jr. John collected trophy lobster and recovered numerous underwater artifacts including 18th century brass fittings and 19th century portholes, while wreck diving. John was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4374 in Freehold and had served as Commander and Vice Commander for the post. John was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council, Freehold and the Christian Brothers Academy Century Club.
John is survived by the LOVE OF HIS LIFE, Annette and enjoyed 63 years of marriage along with his son, John and wife Janet of Colts Neck; daughter, Joan and her husband Jay of Wilton, CT and his daughter, Maria of Freehold. His six devoted grandchildren, Peter, John VI, Jill, Christine, Connor and Caroline, also survive him.
Visiting will be held at the Higgins Memorial Home, 20 Center Street, Freehold on Sunday from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated at St. Robert Bellarmine R.C. Church, 61 Georgia Road, Freehold on Monday at 10:00 a.m. followed by interment at St. Gabriel's Cemetery, Marlboro Township.
Higgins Memorial Home
20 Center Street Freehold, NJ 07728
Published in Asbury Park Press on Nov. 9, 2013