Deacon Vassallo
Deacon Vassallo
Deacon John Francis Vassallo, Jr., formerly of Corpus Christi Parish, Willingboro, died Jan. 8 at age 78 in Virginia.

Funeral services will be held Jan. 15 in St. Francis de Sales Church, Purcellville, VA. Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial with Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington presiding.

Born in 1942 in Newark, Deacon Vassallo grew up in New York and New Jersey. He graduated from McQuaid Jesuit High School, Rochester, N.Y.; Fordham University in The Bronx, N.Y.in 1964, and Fordham Law School in New York City in 1967.

In 1969, he served as a captain with the U.S. Army Civil Affairs in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Honor Medal First Class.

In 1977, Deacon Vassallo was one of the founding members of Kearns Vassallo & Kearns in Willingboro and he remained with the law firm until he was appointed director of the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control in 1982. He returned to private practice, concentrating on alcoholic beverage law, after his eight-year term as director ended.

Deacon Vassallo was ordained a permanent deacon for the Trenton Diocese May 17, 1980, by Bishop John C. Reiss in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, and served in Corpus Christi Parish until 2015 when he and his wife, Barbara, relocated to Northern Virginia. He assumed diaconate duties in St. Thomas Becket Parish, Reston, and then in the fall was transferred to St. Francis de Sales Parish. He was active in Rotary, the Orchid Foundation and as a member of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus.

In addition to his wife, to whom he was married 53 years, Deacon Vassallo is survived by two daughters Barbara Marie (John Patrick) McNally of Leesburg, VA, and Anne Marie (Daniel, III) McKinnon of Vienna, VA, and four grandchildren.

St. Francis de Sales Church is located at 37730 St. Francis Court, Purcellville, VA 20132. Masks and proper social distancing will be required. The Mass will also be livestreamed and may be viewed by clicking here.

A private interment service will be held Jan. 19 at Fairfax Memorial Park Cemetery, Fairfax, VA. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated in Corpus Christi Church in Willingboro, at a date and time still to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to The Knights of Columbus “Culture of Life Fund” by clicking here.