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79, died Sunday, April 28, 2019, at the UC San Diego Medical Center after a year-long battle with cancer.
John leaves his wife Shirley of 55 years; his daughters Lisa and Jeannine; sons-in-law Elliot Levin and Kent Jensen; his grandson Seth and his three siblings Rosemarie, Patrick and Thomas. He joins his late son Sean in heaven where I am sure they are eating cheesesteaks and rooting for the Eagles, Phillies and Flyers.
Born and raised in the Bronx to Irish immigrant parents, John went to Cardinal Hayes High School. John received his BA from Iona College and Masters in Social Work at NYU. While still at Iona, John began working at the Joseph P. Kennedy Home, where he met his future wife Shirley, who was working there as a counselor. They were married in July of 1963. In 1965, John worked with the Catholic Guardian Society and in 1969 he became the Director of Child Care at the St. Agatha Home for Children, Nanuet NY.
The hallmark of John's life was his remarkable 39-year career at Carson Valley School in Flourtown, PA where he helped the lives of countless at-risk children through a progressive model of care and education. "Mr. Taaffe" was always there with his unique mixture of kindness, love and support for so many kids who sorely lacked stability in their home lives. When John took over Carson in 1974, he oversaw the revital-ization of the campus, and restored the reputation among the agencies who referred children there. He also shepherded the 2008 merger with the Children's Aid Society to form the Carson Valley Children's Aid that continues to help children and families today. He was a mentor to many of his "Carson kids" long after they grew into adulthood.
John's generous soul and quirky sense of humor will live on in his daughters and grandson. He was always someone to be counted on and his light will be missed immensely by his family and friends.
Memorial Service will be held at The Commonwealth Chateau at SugarLoaf, 9220 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118, on June 22nd, from 2 to 6 P.M. Donations can be made in John's honor to John F. Kennedy Mem. Foundation, 73555 San Gorgonio Way, Palm Desert, CA 92260.

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Published in Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Daily News on May 3, 2019.
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12 entries
March 16, 2021
(for a good man)

he'd be on the phone,
wave you in to sit down, when
done -- he was all yours
Bill Halpin
June 22, 2019
I'll always remember John saying childcare is being with children! So I eventually got shy John to eat his words by being in a couple of the recreational shows playing different characters mostly and one time we ballroom danced for the board members with our residents.
John possessed quiet strength but always displayed compassion for others
He had an open door policy, now the heavens has opened its doors for a great gentlemen, visionary compassionate man. Well done John!
Ruby Hall Wells
June 18, 2019
John taffe was a good man and a role model to me when i was down or in trouble he is surely going to be miss right now my mom always asked bout hom of how he doing i am emotional that he is gone but i have good memories the hard time i had i always talk it out to him he be like nikki do well so you came get out of carson and have home visit i said okay plus graduate he was there and gave me my diploma and he congratulate me on my success being with me at carson that moment will be miss also i am really heartbroken bout it ... From nicole stanley will be missed..
May 30, 2019

Sincerest condolences. Let your happy memories comfort you and may they bring a smile to your face.

Joan Todd
Carson Valley Children's Aid
May 20, 2019
from your former neighbors on Ingham Rd, Briarcliff Manor, NY

My sister, Barbara, and I send fondest wishes and sorrowful acknowledgement of John's death and for Shirley and the Taaffe girls. We or you may have moved before we met Sean.

I had the delightful surprise of seeing John & Shirley in the American Diner in W. Philly. Took me awhile to fit the face to the place, but when I did, everything snapped into place.

I came close to working with John at Carson Valley. I was contacting agencies that were possible partners for the program I'd developed, Hearts & Crafts. John understood the heart of the project but couldn't craft the money to pay for it.

Thank you all for being wonderful, memorable neighbors so long ago. Sincerely, Jill Smith
May 10, 2019
Sincerest condolences. It was an honor to work at Carson Valley under this great man who cared so deeply for so many children! Rest peacefully sir!
Dr. Damone Jones
May 7, 2019
My deepest condolences. Thinking of you.
Richard Ware
May 6, 2019
He will always be fondly remembered by the Torres family for his kindness and genuine care for others. He will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences to Shirley and family.

May 4, 2019
John was one of a kind. An incredible and compassionate leader, teacher, mentor, human being. He brought out the best in people- making them want to go above and beyond to provide quality service to children and families who needed it the most. While it so sad to think of the world being without him- his consistent motivating words, kind spirit, warm smile, and laugh- he lives on when any of us help someone in need. Sending love and prayers to Shirley and the Taaffe family
Jennifer Kuter
May 3, 2019
Richard & I will always appreciate your kind and generous nature. I love you for believing in the person you knew I would become, Antoinette
Antoinette Anthony
May 3, 2019
I too lived in Carson Valley School in 1975 until 1978 when I turned 18. Everyone loved John and he made Carson what it was, a warm, loving home where we were all family. Rest in peace John.
May 3, 2019
I personally will miss John I worked with him for 38 years at CVCA . John was a genuine man with an open door policy no matter what the situation would be.
He always lent that shoulder to lean on and guided you in the right direction emotionally, physically ,personally and always with words of good advice. He always called me smiley even when I was not . John cared about who he worked with and for and he had a relationship with all of us. I grew up with his family he lived here at the Pines .John had many outings there. I'll never forget the one the Hot Air Balloon Race . He told me if I did not behave there was a place in one of them for me . He would say Myers you are about ready to go but if you do I'll make sure you come back . There are many memories of John here at CVCA which will never go away . Especially in my office every year he would give me a bear I will treasure them forever.

John we loved you but God loved you more . May you rest in peace and comfort my thoughts and prayers are with the Taaffe family .

Bonnie Myers
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