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John O. Willaman

June 21, 1955 ~ September 1, 2018 (age 63)


John O. Willaman, 63, of Watertown, passed away September 1, 2018 at Upstate Medical Center.


John was born on June 21, 1955, in Pittsburgh, PA, son of P. Owen and Dorothy Haas Willaman. After graduating from Watertown High School in 1973 he attended Ithaca College.  On October 11, 1987, he married Anne Obolewicz in Chesterfield, VA. The couple lived in the Richmond, VA area, until they moved to Watertown on September 11, 2009.


John was the manager of the Thrifty Shopper in the Stateway Plaza in Watertown as a retail manager for the Syracuse Rescue Mission Alliance, until his retirement on March 31, 2018. Previously he was a retail manager for Goodwill in Richmond, VA and was a call center manager for J.C. Penney Co. in Richmond, VA.


He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, a deacon, a member of the choir and a soloist. His life centered on music; as a musician and vocalist. He was a member of the Watertown Musica Viva ensemble. Played the French horn through High School and College. John was a giving and loving man, volunteering his time at the Watertown Urban Mission and as a coordinator for United Way when working at J.C. Penney Co and coordinating blood drives for the American Red Cross.


Surviving besides his mother, Dorothy, his wife, Anne, a son, Matthew here in Watertown and a daughter Holly A. Miller, Virginia, a brother, Dwight (Flo), Pittsburgh, PA, a granddaughter, Brianna A. Miller, several nieces, nephews, cousins, two close family friends,  brother and sister, Gary Grovesteen and Robin Grovesteen.


The funeral service will be held Monday, September 24, 2018, at 11 am at First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Rev. Fred Garry officiating. Arrangements are with D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. On line condolences may be made to  In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Music Fund, 403 Washington Street, Watertown, NY 13601.

Donations may be made to:

First Presbyterian Church Music Fund
403 Washington Street, Watertown NY 13601

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