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Person of the Week
John Scilipote Honored for 44-Year Career with Town of East Haven
John Scilipote recently retired as a maintenance aid from the Town of East Haven and was honored with a plaque installed in honor of his 44 years of service. (Photo courtesy of Anne Vollero)
For more than four decades, John Scilipote worked for the Town of East Haven as a maintenance aid. He recently retired after 44 years in his position and John was honored with a celebration at Town Hall and the installation of a plaque.
“The celebration was good and they put a plaque in the kitchen for me,” says John, who was joined in the interview by his sister, Anne Vollero.
“I ran a lot of errands and went all over town,” he says of his job duties. “I made so many friends. I’m a people person.”
One of John’s passions is music, with his favorite band being the Beatles. At his celebration, John also received a Beatles poster and a plaque with lyrics from a Beatles song. John’s recognition extended to Facebook where Mayor Joe Carfora thanked John for his 44 years of work.
“I know for sure Town Hall employees and residents will miss you,” Carfora posted on Facebook. “Although I’ve only been in office for the past two years, I know you have been here for much longer dedicating your time and always assisting employees with whatever it is they needed help with. You have become a staple here in our community.”
Throughout his tenure with the Town of East Haven, John saw many changes. He remembers that there were very few computers when he started.
Retiring under Carfora marked John’s sixth administration with the town. When he began working in the late 1970s, the mayor was Anthony Proto. John also worked under Robert M. Norman, Henry J. Luzzi, Joseph Maturo Jr., and April Capone.
“Everyone was always very good to him and all of the administrations treated him nice,” Vollero says.
While John has always enjoyed his job, it wasn’t always easy. His biggest challenge came in 2002 when he was hit by a car while walking to work. John’s recovery took a year, but the administration held his position for him and also installed a crosswalk at the scene of the accident.
At the beginning of 2021, both John and his sister contracted COVID, resulting in both of them being hospitalized. After being discharged, they spent two months recovering at John’s nephew’s house in North Branford being helped by nephew Vincent Vollero and his wife Barbara.
“They took such good care of us,” says Vollero. “They have a special relationship with John.”
While at his nephew’s, John enjoyed watching movies and music documentaries together. One of John’s favorite TV series is Emergency! from the 1970s. When John’s old VHS copies began to show wear, his nephew surprised him with a DVD set of the series.
In addition, John likes to go bike riding with Vincent and Barbara. They visit different places such as Hammonasset, Rocky Neck, and Chatfield Hollow to ride bikes.
One of John’s favorite family memories is a trip to Italy they took in 2008. There were 18 people on the trip complete with a tour guide. The group of family and friends took bus tours and visited Rome, Venice, Naples, Capri, and Florence.
“It was nice,” says John. “The food was great.”
While it may not be Italy, John’s favorite restaurant in town is Aniello’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant. He can’t pick a favorite food there because “everything is good.”
John has lived in East Haven since the early 1960s after being brought up on Quinnipiac Avenue in New Haven. He has lived in town ever since. When their parents passed away, John moved in with his sister and her son, Vincent. They have lived in an apartment near the center of town for 40 years.
“John doesn’t drive, so it was very convenient because he could walk to work and around town,” says Vollero. “John walks all over and enjoys visiting Stop & Shop where he always sees people he knows and the green to see what’s going on.”
John says he has enjoyed watching the improvements on the Town Green take shape. He likes the new walkways, benches, and archway, which he says is “beautiful.”
His favorite part about living near the Green is being able to attend the concerts.
“I like seeing the bands on the Green,” says John. “I just saw Mike DelGuidice and his band. He was good. The whole band was good.”
John attended the East Haven Fall Festival and was happy that the “weather was good and the music was good.” When John isn’t attending concerts on the green, he spends a lot of time listening to music at home. He not only loves music by The Beatles, but collects memorabilia as well.
John has a collection of all kinds of music on CDs and records. He also likes listening to the radio and playing the guitar. He also spends a lot of his time assisting a friend who owns a guitar business. John likes watching movies, listening to his scanners, and watching videos about trains on YouTube. He has visited the Shore Line Trolley Museum several times.
Though he no longer participates, John has fond memories of competing in Unified Softball and basketball through the Special Olympics.
No matter what John is doing, his favorite thing to do is talk to people. His sister is impressed that he can remember people he met in their childhood and says that he sees someone they know everywhere they go.
“With Special Olympics, I made a lot of new friends, saw old friends, and saw in between friends and I’m still friends with them,” says John “I meet a lot of people and just remember them.”
Jenn McCulloch is the Correspondent for Zip06. Email Jenn at .