John Paul Scagnelli
AGE: 93 • Morris Plains
John Paul Scagnelli of Morris Plains passed away on Monday, July 22, 2013. He was 93. He is survived by his wife, Bea, their sons, John and Robert, and their daughter, Gail. He is also survived by his grandsons, Jeffrey and Christopher. John received a B.S. from New York University
and an M.S. from Columbia University. He also received a B.S.M.E. from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. He provided many years of distinguished service in helping others in the social services field. He worked for the Children's Aid Society in New York City, served as a Director with the Boy's Club of Queens, as a Research Director with the Boy's Clubs of America, and as a Director with the Boy's Clubs of Newark. Following his service with the Boy's Clubs, John served as Administrator for the Newark Museum and as Executive Director for the New Jersey Association for Retarded Citizens. John was active in youth camping activities, and served as President of the American Camping Association, New Jersey Chapter and an active supporter of Camp Jaycee. He worked tirelessly to support and advocate for the rights and needs of New Jersey's retarded and disabled citizens. He was awarded the Ann Klein Advocate Award in recognition of these efforts. John was also active in the Morris Plains community, and served on the Morris Plains Board of Education, Recreation Commission and on the Board of Adjustment. During World War II
, John served in the U.S. Merchant Marine, and as a Lieutenant (J.G.) in the U.S. Navy
. During his service in the Navy, he served on the USS Eagle (PE-56) and USS Hatfield (DD-231) in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres. In 1945, during his service on the Eagle, the ship was torpedoed off the coast of Maine by a German submarine and he was one of 13 survivors out of a crew of over 100. The sinking was originally reported by the U.S. Navy to have been caused by a boiler explosion, but, after detective work by naval historian Paul Lawton years later, the Navy acknowledged that the Eagle had been torpedoed due to enemy action and changed its official records to reflect that fact. The USS Eagle's and John's story is the subject of the book Due to Enemy Action by Stephen Puleo.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend viewings Friday, July 26, 2013 between 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Dangler Funeral Home, 600 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, New Jersey. There will be a funeral mass on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Virgil's Catholic Church, 250 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, New Jersey. Burial will follow the mass at Gate of Heaven Chapel Mausoleum, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 225 Ridgedale Avenue, East Hanover, New Jersey. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of John can be made to: The New Jersey Association of Retarded Citizens. Envelopes will be provided by the Funeral Home.