John V. Ferdico, age 98, of Gloversville, died peacefully on September 13, at the Wells Nursing Home in Johnstown, NY about five hours before his 99th birthday. Born on September 14, 1917, in Rotterdam Junction, NY, he was the son of the late Joseph and Rose Ferdico. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Elsie Ritter Ferdico, who died in 2006.
John was blessed with an operatic singing voice which served him well when he performed with the Concordia Singing Society and as a soloist in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church choir. His sonorous baritone voice graced dozens of wedding ceremonies, operettas, and musical variety shows. He was known to break out into song at any time and at any provocation.
An active participant in the Gloversville community, John was a regular communicant at Sacred Heart Church, served as a baseball coach for many of his two sons’ Little League teams, was a member and past president of the Gloversville Lions Club, and was a longtime participant and secretary of the Adirondack Bowling League.
Although music was his first love, John had a gift for languages and taught himself to speak German and French in addition to his parents’ native language, Italian. He was a lifelong New York Yankees fan and took his two boys (who remain avid Yankees fans to this day) to see the team play in New York and other cities. Late in life, he took up bridge and, in a short time, achieved an impressive level of mastery and enjoyed many nights of competition with his favorite partner, the late Dr. Joe Giardino. John and Elsie loved to dance and were members for years of a local square dancing group that included full costumes and professional callers. They also loved to travel and took several trips to Germany, Italy, and other European countries.
John served his country during World War Il and saw active duty in Germany, Belgium, and various locations in the United States. He was the bugler for the Infantry, Company B. It is rumored that he was the original inspiration for the hit song “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B,” first sung in 1941 by the Andrews Sisters and revived in 1973 by Bette Midler.
John spent his last two and a half years at the Wells Nursing Home surrounded by the facility’s loving and supremely dedicated staff of professional caregivers. He maintained regular contact during his final years with immediate family and remaining friends and developed such a warm relationship with the Wells Home staff that he considered them extended family.
He is survived by his sons, John (wife Barbara) of Bowdoinham, Maine and Ron of Gloversville; and his grandson, Michael, to whom he gave his beloved mint condition 1998 Buick LeSabre as a college graduation gift.
Visiting hours are on Thursday, September 29, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home, 51 Fremont Street, Gloversville, NY 12078. A memorial service will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home followed by interment at Prospect Hill Cemetery.
To express condolences online please visit www.brbsfuneral.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to, Wells Nursing Home Inc, 201 W. Madison Avenue, Johnstown, NY 12095-2806.