ForeverMissed
Tributes
Posted by Joseph DiLiberto on April 9, 2021
My sincere sympathy to Captain John’s family and many dear friends.
I am sure he always wil be remembered with a smile and perhaps and perhaps a few tears .
I looked forward to seeing him this winter in Islamorada. But I was a little bit
late and l will have to wait until we meet again on Fiddlers Green .

I have arranged for for a Mass for his soul to be celebrated at San Pedro
Catholic Church in Tavernier Florida on April 17 ,2021 at 5:00 PM .
Please join me there if you can . Thank you and God Bless you.

Captain Joe DiLiberto ,  Viking Fleet Montauk N.Y. ,  Retired Firefighter F.D.N.Y.
Posted by Gwen Dennis on March 26, 2021
I’m not sure I’ld ever met anyone like John. He started out doing me a favor, and in the years following, became a trusted friend. He was always telling me “he had my back “. I trusted him. He was , well he was John. The last time I saw him we were getting our vaccines together. He wanted to be sure I got mine, and told them I was his girlfriend. He always, ALWAYS had a story, had a way to make you smile. He was a father, a grandfather, a friend, a fisherman, a fireman.....he was honorable, with integrity, and he was outspoken. He made an impact where ever he went. I am blessed to have him in my life. He was just that kind of man. He is someone I will hear in my head.
Posted by Kasha Gauthier on March 15, 2021
There's a certain twinkle in the eye of a true fisherman. My dad was a fisherman too, so the first time I met John, I could tell from the first firm handshake who I was dealing with. It was clear that John loved his children and wanted the best for them. He'd seen a lot already in life by the time I met him, but like a good fisherman, he took it all in stride, enjoying the journey and appreciating whatever gifts the world offered up to him.
Posted by Charlie Walton on March 10, 2021
It’s been 20 years since I fished with John and Laurie off Montauk, and there hasn’t been a year since then that I haven’t thought of him and wondered whether we would get another chance, perhaps in FL this time. I heard from him out of the blue last year, shortly after my father died, and even though 20 years had passed we laughed at old stories and he consoled me in my grief while we made plans for a reunion post-COVID. That’s the kind of man John was— quick with a joke and quicker with a hug and an open door. I miss you John, I’ll catch up with you in 30 or so years and we’ll catch that next fish after all.
Posted by Karen Manson on March 10, 2021
John was so much more than a renter. He made such an impression in our lives. My husband and I came back from our Keys house soon after John died. Sadly, this trip was so different. John was not there on the back porch to greet us. There will be no more conversations about fishing and politics between John and my husband Tim (yes, they both shared the same political views, so you can imagine discussions over this past year!). John felt like part of our family. Our grandchildren would catch fish off of the dock and John would be there to take pictures. My daughter, through her tears, when told about John, said "we don't even have a picture of him with us". We may not have a picture but he will forever be in our hearts!
Posted by Vinnie Miller on March 5, 2021
I first met John when he would visit his sister Dolly on 204th Street. I knew right away that we would be friends. He was easy going, had a great sense of humor and loved to fish. 

Some of the fondest and funniest times with John were on our many fishing adventures. The first one that comes to mind was the time when the tide and moon were just right. John was excited to get to Montauk for some striped bass fishing. Well we had a great trip. Somehow we got word that Carol went into labor. We made it back to John’s house in record time to find a sheet on the garage door with the message “While you guys were out fishing your wife, John gave birth to your daughter.”
Followed by the time we decided to do some Cod fishing off Cox’s Ledge. We got to Montauk and got a room. The plan was to get a good night sleep get up early and get a good spot on the boat. “Let’s go out for a beer” says John. “John!” said I. “Come on we’ll have just one.” (Like I never heard that from John before.) Well, we had the one and then some. Needless to say we closed the bar. It was too late to get any sleep. We decided to get some shut eye in the boats cabin. When I woke up I told John I wasn’t feeling too well and maybe we could go out tomorrow. John agreed. We gathered our stuff and were ready to disembark when someone said “Where are you guys going?” When we informed the individual of our change of plans and we were informed that we were 30 miles out on the ocean. We spent the first half of the day arguing about who was going to throw-up first and who’s turn it was to get the bait out of the big clam bucket. I decided to end the arguing by going to the clam bucket and putting a handful of clams in my mouth. When I got back to the rail there was John slumped over the rail, rod in hand, waiting for a bite. I tapped John on the shoulder and when he turned I showed him an over flowing mouth of clams. Well, John lets out with that great laugh and says “Time to feed the fish.” We spent the rest of the day laughing, fishing and up-chucking. It was a great day with a dear friend who I will never forget. Journey well my friend.



Posted by Debra Eames on February 24, 2021
My first memory of Mr. Thompson was the day he moved onto Sagebrush Lane. I did not know who he was but I saw this guy wearing a hat with a pom-pom on top, with a big mustache walking down the street with Mr. Trainor. I was young and must have been watching some weird television because in my mind, he look like a kidnapper. I was so worried that he was going to the Trainor’s house since they had so many kids. Later I found out that he was my neighbor, not a kidnapper and I was very relieved to learn that fact. He turned out to be the cool neighbor, but also a neighbor who was always there when you needed him.
I was home alone one afternoon and looked out my back sliding doors to see a man attempting to climb over my fence from the woods behind us. I ran across the street and Mr. Thompson grabbed a rifle or shotgun and ran over to my house. The guy had run away when I saw him but it was nice to know that my neighbor was immediately there to protect me.
When I was 16 years old and a new driver, a boy ran in front of my car and I hit him. Mr. Thompson was driving with another fire fighter and realized the severity of the boy’s injuries. They picked him up and took him to the hospital and probably saved his life. Later that night he came to my house to check on me and told me right then and there to get back out in the car and drive. I told him that I was too nervous but he insisted and got me outside and we drove around the block. He really cared about how I was feeling and that meant a great deal. Aside from that, I have many memories of fun times with him and his family from boating and fishing to pool parties and BBQ’s. Sagebrush Lane was a great block to grow up on and I will always have fond memories to look back on. Laurie and Tim, may you find comfort knowing that your dad meant so much to so many people. I am so sorry for your loss and you are in my thoughts and prayers. May your dad rest in eternal peace.
Posted by Hugh Wynne on February 22, 2021
Uncle John was a father figure to me growing up. He bought me my 1st baseball glove and was just always there for me. Obviously he was a great fisherman which everyone knew, but I really didn't like fishing. I always told him it was boring LOL, but when you went fishing with Uncle John you always caught fish no matter what. I'm sure most don't know that I pretty much followed in Uncle John's footstep as I got older. He went into the Coast Guard, worked for UPS then became an ass kicking part of NY's Bravest (a job he loved). I also joined the Coast Guard (served 5 years) and then I worked for UPS while waiting for my chance to take the FDNY physical when the list was washed due to an unforeseen circumstance, so I never got my chance. 
Uncle John was the person who started me watching hockey at 5 years old for the team that is still my favorite, the NY Rangers. To summarize, Uncle John was a great fisherman, Fireman and Friend, but most of all a great Uncle!!!
Rest in Peace Uncle John... you will always be greatly missed & in my heart forever.  Love your Nephew, Hughie
Posted by Chris Wynne on February 20, 2021
Where do I start? Uncle John was a father figure to my dad. He introduced us to firefighting which my brother and I did in Rockland. He introduced my dad to hockey which turned out to be pretty big in this family. From taking rides up to Merrimack to watch Timmy to meeting us in Ft. Myers to watch the final minutes of my hockey career spent in the penalty box. You gave us something that brought us together no matter how far apart we were.

It’s amazing how you always found joy and light in tough situations. I remember you cracking a few jokes in Grandma Dolly’s eulogy that had the whole room and the priest laughing. You were as good as they come and you will be missed.

Love always,
Chris
Posted by Ryan Commisso on February 20, 2021
All the things I did with Pop Pop

1. Fish in the lake and his boat
2. Me and Barrett wrestled with Pop Pop
3. We cooked pancakes with Pop Pop
4. We drove the boat with Pop Pop
5. Sometimes when he would come to our house we would surprise attack him with water guns and he would go inside and get one and we would have an EPIC water fight

Ryan (age 8)
Posted by Barrett Commisso on February 20, 2021
The first thing I think about Pop Pop is when he first taught me to fish. I first learned at Sheldrake which is a lake that was near my house. What happened when we caught a fish was we would usually take a picture with it then throw it back in the water. When he came to visit, me and my brother Ryan would get into the biggest fights to get to greet him first. He was really into wrestling with us in the backyard. He also loved to have water fights and we would get him soaked. When we came to visit him we were in a pool of water with a sea lion in an interactive zoo. We had a water fight with the sea lion and he got even more wet then we could ever get him. Whenever he saw a fire truck he would say “Go get him boys.” He will forever be missed.

Barrett (Age 11 ½ yrs)
Posted by Richard Langerfeld on February 20, 2021
I met John when I was working at Star Island in Montauk and he was Capt on a private boat. We didn't get along.
A couple of yrs later we met at a Dr office having skin cancer procedures. While in the waiting room we got to know each other. We both were born in NYC, went to rival high schools, and served in the Coast Guard.
John got out I went in. John was stationed in the Marshall Islands and Philippines. I served on the Coast Guard cargo ship that resupply those Islands.
So I am proud to have known your father and to be a fellow " Puddle Pirate "
Posted by Susan Boyle on February 19, 2021
John had rented my home in the keys for over 10 years before I decided to sell in 2019. We always enjoyed each others company and remained friends and stayed in touch after he moved. In December John took me and a mutual friend on a lovely boat ride, which all 3 of us enjoyed. I had the pleasure of having breakfast with him at Lorelei 5 days before he left us. I'm grateful for having known his kindness and sense of humor!
Posted by Laura Nolan on February 18, 2021
I met Laurie freshman year of high school and we became instant friends. I remember the first time I met her father at her house...he lit up the room with his enthusiasm and friendliness. His passion for hockey, fishing & his boat also stands out  In my mind...as the first time I slept over, we were all up bright & early that morning to attend Tim’s hockey game...no one minded the early hour...excitement was in the air.
Other times I was invited to water ski and hang out on his boat with Laurie & Tim...always such a wonderful and fun time.
His sense of humor, generosity & love of life overall during those times also stands out in my mind. I am grateful for these fond memories. May he Rest In Eternal Peace. Sending love, thoughts & prayers to the entire family.
Posted by John Vitale on February 18, 2021
I have many memories of my dear friend Captain John..First time I met John I was in the Peconic with friends trying to raise at least 1 bluefish.. the only other boat out that dusky evening were these two guys who kept doing this one drift and getting double and triple headers of bluefish every single time..I was starting on the wrong side of the drift every time and getting zilch and I was just green as can be... John starts yelling at me and I think okay this is going to not be nice and I got up close and he told me if you want to learn how to fish meet me down at the Port of Egypt in Southold... He was with Dominick Costello RIP... I looked him up, made a date and took my dad out on Father's day with him and Dominick.. John became one of my best friends and Dominic became my dad's best buddy out on the North Fork.... so now I get the bug for fishing, have my great new friends and I buy a 42 ocean yacht.. John starts telling me about how great it will be to go offshore and catch tuna and mahi and I am as excited as a kid on Christmas!... So our maiden voyage I loaded up the boat with all kinds of food like lobsters ,shrimp ,wime..etc...so we left greenport our maiden voyage and we had a trip that was almost once in a lifetime ..we caught so many tuna and so many mahi that my pickup truck was completely full between the ice and the fish it was perfect weather and it was just unbelievable.. of course John only had a bologna sandwich, would not touch any of that rich food... When we got to the dock and now I'm discussing with John because he seems to me like a world-class off shore fisherman and I asked him how did he know where to catch those fish and how many times has he done that to be so good at it... He just laughed as John laughs so perfectly and said that was the first time he had ever been offshore and he was completely winging it.. he asked friends for some good numbers to fish on and how to fish offshore... And we crushed it it was the maiden voyage for myself John and the only one is maybe Chris Channing that had a little experience..We laughed about that story forever.. We had many many trips after that and many of them are quite memorable,and I will always miss my dear friend for the rest of my life..
Posted by Juliana Viana on February 18, 2021
I feel so blessed to have met and known “Pop Pop” John. I came to the US in 2012 as an au pair and take care of Barrett and Ryan (Laurie’s children). I was lucky to be part of my new “American family” in which Pop Pop came in the package, as the amazing grandfather who had an inspiring life story and so much to share and inspire! Even with his passing I know that his light will keep shining into those who came to know him, like a sunset over the ocean he so much loved.
Posted by John Banno on February 18, 2021
Wow John was so full of life that is hard to believe he is gone. Before Covid we were scheduled to meet him at the Keys in January when we were visiting friends in the same town. I know John since Laurie married my stepson Rob and always enjoyed his company. We went to Mexico a few years ago and I really got to know him for that week What a man what a life
Posted by James Purcell on February 17, 2021
To my Cousins Laurie and Timmy and the entire Thompson family. There is always a cool Uncle in someone's family and I have to say Uncle Johnny you were the one. You touched so many lives in such a positive manner but you made sure there was humor in the message you conveyed. Your never looked back! That I will never forget! You will be sorely missed. The memories in which you have created throughout life and an occasional fishing lesson will be carried on forever ! Love your nephew Jimmy!
Posted by Joe Lenz on February 17, 2021
Mr.T was like a second father to a lot of us but it’s different when you grow up in such a tight group and you fell as though you fell as you lost your own parent. Laurie & Timmy I have no words to make this any easier I will always remember his giant smile and laugh. And the amount of fish he could bring into a boat. There was the uncanny ability to see right through all the lies... lol
Eternal life in the wave Mr.T
Love Always, Joey Lenz
Posted by Kira Purcell on February 17, 2021
“In the end, things will be okay, and if things are not okay, it’s not the end.” ~unknown

As times get difficult, as the grief and sadness does not show any signs of leaving anytime soon, this quote keeps me going. Take from the quote what you will, and take what resonates. I hope this gives everyone a little bit more peace
Posted by Tom Cairney on February 16, 2021


In 1986 I began sharing my 60 mile commute to the Bronx with a guy I actually didn’t know too well. (We would however go on to become best friends) We had a conversation about fishing. He said he had a good friend who would take us out on his boat. The guy was a New York Fireman from the Bronx who was crazy about fishing. It didn’t take long to find out he was talking about my very good friend John. Small world.  Well, John and Tommy Vaughn and I set a date and went fishing for Blues. Great day until we lost power and began to drift way out past Montauk. The swells were getting really big and we were in a 20 foot boat. This was getting serious. Land was almost out of site when John realized that the “dead man’s switch” was on the deck. He popped it back in and we were on our way back in no time. It was scary (for me not for John) but we caught a huge cooler full of Blues. John just laughed it off. Just one of the great days I spent out there with John. He was the best.
Posted by Barbara Walsh Connolly on February 16, 2021
John was a great guy when we lived in NY.  May he Rest In Peace. 
Posted by Deborah Bergeron on February 16, 2021
I first met John when I was a teenager living with my family on Snowberry Lane. John was a friend of my fathers. Together they were NY strong. John the fireman and my dad a policeman. They also shared a great love for fishing and being out on the water. After my dad passed John remained a dear family friend to all of us. Eventually I got married and had Aimee and Rob. John’s family grew with Laurie and Tim. The girls and the boys were born in the same years and grew to share many interests together. The girls played CYO soccer and went on to gymnastics, horseback riding and dancing, while going to school together. The boys played soccer and St. John of God roller hockey before long careers in ice hockey. Together we traveled almost every weekend to going to games , tournaments and competitions all over the country. We were able to find time for family ski trips with dear friends to Smuggs,Stratton and as far as Sugarloaf in Maine. We had so many fun and memorable experiences. We communicated via CB radios(lol) while traveling. John always had his Irish music playing and would sign off with a line or two of On The Road Again. John was very proud of his Irish lineage and gave us many history lessons on Ireland☘️St. Pats Day was always his absolute favorite. When we had a weekend off it was pizza night from Mama Mias. Summertime was a blast with swimming in the pool, fishing excursions and John making bluefish on the grill. The bond we shared over those years will live on forever. The kids are grown and married each of them celebrating their weddings together. Now they are raising their children and creating a new generation of memories together always in touch with each other. Here’s to you John, may you Rest In Peace. Laurie and Tim always in my heart❤️❤️❤️Deb
Posted by Dick Grasso on February 16, 2021
Tim&Laurie
Lori and I were deeply saddened to learn of your Dad’s passing.
Your father was the consummate gentleman, a great public servant, but above all, a deeply devoted father, grandfather, and very special friend to all who were privileged to know him. We were blessed with his friendship and cherish our memories of the Friday’s after Thanksgiving football game with you two, your Dad and the DeSocio’s(88). We laughed at how much Timmy looked like me as a child!
Lori and I spent a wonderful day with you Dad and Capt. Matt(who was taught the skill by your father)here in Key Largo six years ago. When I spoke with your Dad last Jan. we planned another day together once the CV19 lockdown ended-until then my dear friend.
Tim&Laurie cherish and celebrate all the wonderful years your shared with your incredible Dad. He’s smiling down from Heaven always on your shoulder and in your hearts and those of your children.
Heaven is a better place for your Dad’s presence.
Rest In Peace John.
We’ll never forget you!
Lori&Dick
Posted by Sandra Funk on February 15, 2021
Rest In Peace John! You were such a nice soul siesta checking in with me. You will be missed my friend
Posted by Diane Gotsulias on February 15, 2021
So sorry to hear of Johnny 's passing. I am the same age and it hits home when someone my age dies too young. I am a friend of Dolly Thompson Wynne and knew Johnny. So sorry for your loss.

Leave a Tribute