John Joseph Galeano, 68, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021.
Born on April 4, 1953, in City Line, N.Y., John was the son of the late Stefano and Mildred Galeano.
He attended Brooklyn public schools and graduated from Franklin K. Lane High School in 1971. He began a career at Metropolitan Life as a planner expediter in the printing division, while attending community college in the evenings.
His lifelong dream to serve the community came true in 1983 when he became a police officer with the NYPD 32nd Precinct. After a line-of-duty injury, John relocated to Tunkhannock in 1988 with his wife Denise and their two children. Surrounded by the captivating Endless Mountains, serenity of nature and wide-open spaces, John felt their countryside property was the perfect homestead. In the many years since, he often remarked how blessed he felt to call home a personal slice of heaven on earth.
John's admirable business acumen, honorable ways and genuine love of people earned him an esteemed reputation within his new community – first, as the sole proprietor of a successful video store, Video Magic, in Laceyville, and later, as the owner and operator of Falls Bridge Deli in Falls. His larger-than-life character, impressive storytelling skills and thick Brooklyn accent were loved by all.
As quick with a joke as he was with a helping hand, John believed laughter and generosity were key to living a full life. He never hesitated to spot gas and groceries for a family in need, send a tray of food to those grieving a loss, run errands for an elderly customer or hand out hot coffee to first responders. He had a keen ability to recognize those people who needed more than material goods, and for them he doled out fatherly love and encouraging advice with the same gentle patience and compassion he reserved for his own family.
A brilliant lifelong learner, John was passionate about history, politics, books and classic cinema. He loved animals, and never met a dog he wouldn't bring home to dinner. After retiring in 2018, John volunteered at his local historical society. Though originally from out-of-state, he fell in love with Wyoming County, the people and its local story.
Fiercely independent and naturally inquisitive, he encouraged his children to challenge the status quo, stand by their convictions and live life on their terms – just as he did. A father figure, friend and confidant to everyone he met, John will be deeply missed by all those who knew him.
Keeping his memory alive are his wife of 44 years, Denise Galeano (Zelno); daughter Stefanie Zalutko and husband David and their two children Hannah Jean and Kip Cole; daughter Michele Boyarsky and husband Jerry; and brother Carl Galeano and wife Cathy; as well as several beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Catholic funeral mass will be celebrated Thursday, Jan. 6, at 10 a.m. at St. John Vianney Parish at Corpus Christi Church, 704 Montdale Road, Scott Township. Burial will be private. Arrangements and care entrusted to Frank T Mazur Funeral Home, 601 Dundaff Street, Dickson City.
To leave an online condolence visit the funeral home website. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Heart Association, as well as your local animal shelter. A celebration of life will be held in the spring.