ALFRED-Well known Alfred resident and former Mayor, John F. Gorton, Jr., 95, passed away Monday afternoon (Feb. 16, 2015) at McAuley Manor in North Hornell, after a brief illness.
Born in Olean on Sept. 16, 1919, he was the son of the late John F. and Alta Lane Gorton. On Valentine’s Day in 1942, he was married at St. Mary’s Church in Olean to the former Frances Vars, who predeceased him on Sept. 3, 2009 after 67 years of marriage. Besides his parents and wife, he was also predeceased by his sister, Julia Flynn.
A graduate of Olean High School, John also attended the former Olean Business School. He proudly served his country with the U.S. Navy from 1942 to his honorable discharge in 1945.
He has resided in Alfred for more than 65 years and began his career as manager of the Alfred Tech Lanes for 20 years before he began his employment with Alfred State College teaching bowling as a physical education teacher.
John was very active in the Alfred community serving as Mayor for 14 years and as acting Mayor for many years. He also served on the Alfred Zoning Board for many years, the Alfred Village Board for 14 years, served as a Fire Chief and Captain of the ambulance for the A.E. Crandall Hook and Ladder Company and for many years he was involved with the Community Chest Drive. A communicant of Ss. Brendan and Jude Parish, he was also a member of the Alfred Lions Club for 40 years and a long time member of the Wellsville Country Club.
In 1999 he was inducted into the Alfred State College Athletic Hall of Fame. He coached the Alfred State College bowling team from 1971 to 1981. His positive and caring attitude had always been his trademark. He was a superior teacher and was knowledgeable in all aspects of the game. Because of his easy going personality, John was well liked by students and colleagues. He was man that truly portrays the meaning of the word gentleman.
Besides bowling, he also enjoyed fishing and golf. John will be remembered most of all for being a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, teacher and friend.
His loving family includes his three children, Kathleen Hoffmaster (Bob Jarvis) of Panama City, Fla., Mary Liz Schwartz (Donald Kelley) of Hornell and Michael (Laurie) Gorton of Rochester; his six grandchildren, Aaron (Kari) Schwartz, Daniel (Lisa) Schwartz, Sean (Dawn) Hoffmaster, Lisa Hoffmaster, Rachel Gorton and Brett Gorton; his six great-grandchildren; also his many nieces and nephews, who were a very important part of his life.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. in Hornell is honored to serve the family of John F. Gorton, Jr.
Calling hours are 4-6 p.m. today (Sunday) at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell. A Mass will be celebrated in his memory at St. Jude’s Chapel in Alfred at the convenience of his family. Interment will be in Alfred Rural Cemetery.
The United States Flag and the Navy flag will proudly fly at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. in recognition of John’s military service during World War II.
The courtesy of no flowers would be appreciated and those wishing may contribute in his memory to the A.E. Crandall Hook and Ladder Co., P.O. Box 582, Alfred, N.Y. 14802. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home.
Online condolences or remembrances of John are welcomed at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.