ALFRED-E. John Gradoni, 95, of Alfred, passed away late Sunday night (January 22, 2017) at St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell, following a brief illness. He was born March 24, 1921, in Cohoes, NY, the first child of the late Benedetto and Elvira (Mencarelli) Gradoni.
John was a 1940 graduate of Cohoes High School. He then attended SUNY College for Teachers at Albany, earning his B.S. degree (Commerce & Accounting) in 1947 and his M.S. (Guidance & Administration) in 1948. He received his Doctor of Education degree (Business Education) from New York University in 1957.
On March 13, 1954 in Bronxville, John married Constance Ann Hubert, who predeceased him on October 26, 1992. He took an early retirement to spend more time with her as she unsuccessfully battled breast cancer. He was her devoted primary caregiver until she passed.
John was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army. For five years he was an assistant professor of marketing at Alfred State College. He also held positions at the General Motors Institute in Flint, MI, Ball State University in Muncie, IN and the New York State Education Department in Albany, NY. He returned to Alfred in 1968 to become Dean of the School of Business at Alfred State College, a position he held until his retirement in 1983.
John was a gifted public speaker, who could bring an audience to its feet, bring it to laughter or bring it to tears. He especially loved teaching students in the classroom, an experience that made him light up. Few things gave him greater satisfaction than to be remembered by former students, and to be told how much he had meant to them.
John led an active life, often walking to work at Alfred State and swimming laps in the college pool on his lunch break. He enjoyed fishing, and was an avid cross country skier into his 80s. He was an excellent cook. He was a familiar figure in the Village of Alfred for many years as he walked with his beloved dog Naomi. For a time he sang baritone in the Maple City Barbershop Chorus. He also spent time volunteering at Jones Memorial Hospital, and at the Allegany County Office for the Aging. He was an active member of the Alfred United Methodist Church. He will be missed by all who knew him.
In addition to his wife, John was predeceased by sister Ellen Gradoni, and by brother Donald Gradoni. He is survived by his son Peter Gradoni, of Alfred, his daughter Susan and her husband Stephen Sgambato, of Mapleville, Rhode Island, sisters Jeanette Crola and Benita Collins, both of Latham, brother John Gradoni, of Albany and several nieces and nephews.
To send a remembrance to the family, please visit www.brownandpowersfuneralhomes.com. The family is being assisted by David W. Ames, Director at the Bender – Brown & Powers Funeral Home of Hornell.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 11 at 2:00 PM, at the Alfred United Methodist Church, 1389 Moland Road, Alfred.
In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial contributions to the Alfred United Methodist Church, 1389 Moland Road, Alfred Station, NY 14803.