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John Doldo Jr., 93, of Watertown, passed away January 4, 2024 in the comfort of his home surrounded by his family.
Born July 9, 1930 in Watertown, John was the third of seven children born to John Doldo Sr. and Josephine Coppola Doldo, immigrants from Reggio Calabria, Italy.
John’s childhood home was located in The Flats and he was a proud member of the “Gang of Eight”, which is survived only by Nate Carbone. John played quarterback for the Watertown High School football team and after graduating in 1948 he went on to play for the Watertown Red & Black. John entered the United States Army in 1951 and served our country for two years. He was disappointed when his friends were deployed to Korea without him while he was sent to Philadelphia, PA where he worked as a computer operator. He continued in the United States Army Reserves until 1956 when he was honorably discharged.
John met Patricia Alice Bailey, of Clayton, N.Y. on a blind date and they fell in love; John thought Patti was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. They married on September 4, 1954 in St. Anthony’s Church with Reverend Dennis Lynch officiating. Groomsmen were Vince Marzano, Donald Carbone, Billy Coleman, and Rocco Oddi and bridesmaids were Mary Oshea, Christine Capalbo, Marilyn Bailey, and Barbara Henry. John and Patti would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2024.
John’s early business endeavors included pouring concrete and selling storm windows and doors with Teddy Morgia, and he, with Rocco Oddi, operated a luncheonette and pool hall on State Street. John went into the Real Estate business in 1957 working for Louis Greico before venturing out on his own in 1965. He also became a licensed insurance broker and in 1966 he partnered with John Jones and formed Jones and Doldo General Insurance. Over the years John was instrumental in many real estate transactions and land development projects, including Urban Renewal in Watertown and Ogdensburg.
John spent many nights in his Corner Office (The Carriage House) with his business associates, John Vespa and Bob Nortz, among others. John enjoyed playing handball at the Y and golfing at Ives Hill Country Club where he was a member. At sixteen he joined the Italian American Civic Association, which his father John Doldo Sr. co-founded in 1939, and was a life member and past president. He served on several community boards including the Northern New York Community Foundation, Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, Chase Manhattan Bank Northern Region Advisory Board.
John was a self-taught man, known for being an avid reader and had an extensive library in his home. He enjoyed being politically active and throughout his life he served as a member of the city, county, and state committee for the Republican Party as well as a Judicial Delegate.
John was very proud of the strong community in Watertown, of which he was a pillar, and he hoped for the success and well-being of everyone around him. John was nominated and selected for a North Country Citation Award
John loved his family deeply and spending quality time with them was his priority. His three children fondly remember doing push-ups and sit-ups with him every morning, reading the New York Times on Sunday’s, spending Easter traveling to Worcester, MA and spending time at Camp in the Adirondacks. They also remember his wonderful singing voice and that he loved to hear them sing his favorite song, “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”. He was well-known for coming home from work, and still in his suit, playing his favorite sport - football, with all the neighborhood children in The Flats. He enjoyed walking with his grandchildren to Puff’s for ice-cream, quizzing the kids on state capitals or other facts he expected them to know, and driving the children around while singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Most importantly, he loved having his entire family beside him at Mass at St. Anthony’s.
John and Patti hosted numerous parties at their home. John’s favorite was the annual Christmas Eve Party, where he and Patti hosted their extended family and friends for a sit-down dinner featuring the traditional “Feast of the Seven Fishes”. He enjoyed listening to the neighborhood carolers from his front porch and spending Christmas morning with his family.
Besides his wife Patricia, John is survived by a son, John III (Amy), two daughters, Teresa LiGreci and Patricia A. (Julian) Kucharski, all of Watertown; eight grandchildren, Tai Badalato, Nina LiGreci, Lauren LiGreci (Chris Brown), K. Michael LiGreci, John (Trang) Doldo IV, Taylor Kucharski, Philip Doldo, and Julian Kucharski; five great-grandchildren, Nicholas Mesina, Angelina Mesina, Ava Mesina, Natalie Brown, and W. Brody Mesina; several god-children, Mark Capalbo, Anthony Doldo, Concetta Doldo, Patsy Doldo, Pamela Canale, Michael Puccia, Billy Coleman, Gina Marzano, and Gus Romeo; many nieces and nephews; two sisters-in-law, Josephine Doldo and Donna Doldo, both of Watertown. John was predeceased by his siblings, a sister, Concetta “Connie” Romeo and five brothers, Joseph, Anthony “Tiny,” Pasquale “Patsy,” Louis Richard “Ritchie,” and Dominic “Mego”.
A special thank you to Dr. Collins Kellogg, Laura Murray, and Wendy Dunn as well as Scott Comstock from Jefferson County Public Health for their kind and compassionate care of John during these final months.
A funeral mass will be held Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Church. Burial will be at Glenwood Cemetery. There will be no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St. Anthony’s Church, 850 Arsenal Street, Watertown, NY 13601; Precious Blood Monastery, 400 Pratt Street, Watertown, NY; or the Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington Street, Watertown, NY, 13601 or Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham Street, Watertown, NY, 13061.
Online condolences may be made to www.dlcalarco.com.