Pulling up to a cozy home in a bucolic setting on a peaceful, country road, you can get a glimpse into the life of John & Joan Salvato. The peace and calm of the setting mirror the peace and calm of John himself, a man who is determined to enjoy the precious gift of the time he has left with the people and things he treasures most.
Marriage with a Capital “M”
John and his beautiful wife, Joan, consider it a privilege to entertain visitors and are passionate when describing their 36-year love story. The story began with a blind date back when they both worked at Perkin Elmer. Joan shares that John tells people that she never stops talking; and she jokes that this is because he never starts talking.
Joan gushes about the unconditional love that John has shown to his family and friends over the years. From his passion for cars – to his love of Rangers hockey – to his admirable work ethic, John taught his two sons everything he knew. He cared for Joan over the years through her own illnesses and always put his family first. The love between John and Joan is evident in the way they finish each other’s sentences and the ease in which they communicate. The fabric of their lives is woven with childhood memories of their sons, car shows, Rangers’ games and a myriad of gatherings with many beloved family and friends. John will tell you that the NY Rangers and his ’67 and ’78 Chevy Impalas are the loves of his life; but it is clear that Joan ranks highly too.
John has endured many unexpected obstacles, including losing his father at a young age and later losing his beloved son Drew. As a result, he is a man who cares deeply for the people he loves and cherishes his time with them. His eyes light up when talking about the pride he feels for his sons, Jonathan and the late Drew, and the amazing grandchildren that he has been blessed with – Angel, Drew, Hunter and Lilyana. He humbly expresses, “I tried to teach them everything I could.” He beams with pride when talking about the unlimited potential and intelligence of Angel, the passion for cars that Hunter shares with him, the excitement that Drew shows every time he comes to visit his Poppa and what his adorable new granddaughter Lilyana will be like. John is not a man who focuses on sadness. He sincerely appreciates every moment that he spends with the people he loves. He is a family-oriented man who speaks with love about the family members who have gone before him and cherishes the time that he has with his children, grandchildren, siblings, cousins and friends who visit regularly.
John is at peace with his decision to call Regional Hospice and Home Care and cease curative treatment for his illness. He shares that his pain has gone away since stopping treatment and he is now able to live his life doing the things he loves. Whether it is tinkering with his beloved Chevy Impalas, sitting on his porch with Joan, or playing Legos with his grandchildren, John is able to embrace the simple joys of life. He raves about his hospice team which includes Carol, his nurse; Colleen, his social worker; and Dave, his volunteer. John and Joan call Dave their, “angel on earth without wings” and say that they feel like they’ve, “known each other for twenty years.” Dave and John have bonded over John’s classic cars, taking them out for a spin, with hopes to get to one of the car shows at the Sycamore. Dave’s companionship and compassion have been a gift to the couple and John expresses sincerely, “I will never forget Dave.”
The greeting cards that line the mantel, the Legos in the family room, the remarkable cars restored by John that sit in the garage, and the family photos that line every surface in their home reinforce that the home of John and Joan Salvato is one that is filled with warmth and love. John is a quiet man with a gentle soul who is spending his precious time left in a place that he loves, with people he loves, doing the things that he loves.
Written by Regional Hospice and Home Care Volunteer, Debbie Bodie
UPDATE: We are sad to report that John Salvato lost his courageous battle with cancer. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.