Obituary: John Cassiano Negri
Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. John Cassiano Negri, husband of Jennie Stella Negri, passed away on Sept. 4, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. Maj. Negri was a veteran of World War II, serving over five years as an officer and later as a Reserve Veteran until 1970.
Born in Williamsburg Colo., on Sept. 14, 1920, to the late Aldo and Josephine Negri, John was just 10 days shy of his 95th birthday when he passed. In April 1940, he enlisted in the AirForce and was stationed at Lowry AirForce Base in Colorado. He was soon assigned to the aviation ordinance group and eventually was commissioned. After two bouts of malaria, and countless trips throughout the South Pacific, John was assigned to the island of Tacloban in the Philippines. This was his final assignment with a Radar Platoon, before the Japanese surrender and the end of the World War II in August 1945. On Dec. 5, 1945, John boarded a ship back to the states where he would be honorably discharged on Dec. 27, 1945. John served the AirForce Reserve until 1970 where he was officially retired as an Air Force major.
John’s father, Aldo, had worked in the coal mines since his youth, eventually arriving in Louisville, Colo. The Negri family was once again re-acquainted in the mining towns of Lafayette, Erie and Louisville, Colo. Louisville ended up the location of choice where the family, along with Uncle Nick Marone, built their first home. It is with his Uncle Nick and his father, Aldo, that he learned his building knowledge and expertise. His Uncle Nick gave John his first musical instrument; a clarinet, which he loved and played for over 40 years. It is still in the family today. Until John couldn’t play his clarinet or hold a hammer, he was constantly working, playing and building with his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren on his most cherished achievement; his Grand Lake home.
The Grand Lake Cabin was one of two homes hand built by John and Jennie throughout their lives together. For a man with his upbringing, his education was remarkable. From Colorado University to Denver University, and eventually Regis University, he graduated with a degree in chemistry. His career started with the AirForce, college and his first big job at Martin Marietta working on the Gemini missions to space. After leaving the space industry he landed at the U.S. Geological Survey where he was a chemist for the remainder of his professional career, retiring at the age of 65. In June of 1949, John’s family began with the chance meeting of his bride, Jennie Berlinger, in Grand Lake; John and Jennie were wed on Sept. 2, 1950, and have been attached like adhesive ever since. Husband, wife, partners, but true friends were the assets that have kept them together for more than 65 years of marriage.
In 1952, their first son John Cassiano, Jr. was born. Every two years following, they welcomed another son, James Aldo Negri (1954), Joseph Allen Negri (1956), and Jude Negri (1958). This was the bedrock to what is now four Children, six Grand Children and four Great Grandchildren. Jennie’s Spaghetti Dinners on Sunday will continue to be a family tradition that will never be the same. Anyone who has known John will know that his wife, his children, his grand kids and his great grand kids were his passion in life. Everything John accomplished he did for the sake of his family. Husband, Father, Grandparent, Great Grand Parent, and Friend. POPS will be with us forever. That is his legacy.
Funeral Mass and burial will be with Military Honors at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 7555 Grant Place, Arvada, CO 80002, phone 303-420-1280, on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, at 10 a.m. Burial Ceremonies will conclude at Mount Olivet Cemetery after Mass. Memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, Woundedwarriorproject.org.
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