John Gioiso Jr. remembers well the many good times he and his two sisters enjoyed with their parents, John Gioiso Sr. and Palmina “Pam” Gioioso, and the good times their parents had in the City of Revere, which was their home for more than six decades.
“My parents were very family based and enjoyed being with their family,” recalled John Jr. on the anniversaries of their passing one year ago. “My dad was a big jazz lover and my parents liked to go the Malden Moose social club. He was a Fourth-Degree Knights of Columbus guy. They enjoyed going out and socializing at local restaurants and having their friends over the house. That’s how they spent their down time. My parents were always together.”
Mr. Gioioso died on May 11, 2020, two days shy of his 92nd birthday on May 13. Mrs. Gioioso died six days later on May 17, 2020 at the age of 89. Both died as a result of complications from the coronavirus.
The couple had moved from East Boston to Revere in 1967 when John Jr. was 10 years. Mr. Gioioso was a men’s clothing salesman while Mrs. Gioioso worked part-time at Bradlees, a department store in Chelsea, and previously at Filene’s Basement as a gift wrapper.
John Jr., a Revere High Class of 1976 graduate, has two sisters, Donna, 60, and Laura, 56. Mr. and Mrs. Gioiso had four grandchildren.
John Gioioso was known throughout Revere, a larger-than-life personality who loved his city and treasured conversations with friends, including former Mayor Dan Rizzo. He often visited with the Revere Journal office staff who appreciated his upbeat personality and what a generous, vibrant man he was. He was active and still driving his automobile into his 90s.
Mrs. Gioioso was the perfect partner to the gregarious Mr. Gioioso. They were fans of old movies on Turner Broadcasting. They shared 66 wonderful years of marriage and raised three beautiful children who appreciated their parents’ so much and the foundation of honesty, kindness and goodness they had instilled them.
The Tragedy of the Pandemic
John Jr. recalled vividly the sad experience of learning that his parents had contracted the coronavirus. “It all happened within one week. My mother had it about a week and a half before my dad. My father went into the hospital on Friday and my mother went into the hospital on Saturday. They were patients on the same floor together. Within a week and a half, they both had passed. It was very fast. I think God wanted them together. My dad went first and paved the way for Ma. I miss them tremendously.”
His father had seemed strong when John Jr. called him the night before his passing. “I said, ‘I love you, go watch your movie and I’ll call you tomorrow. But the virus took over. We were still learning about the coronavirus in May of last year. They know a lot more now.”
One of the hardest things John Jr. had to do is tell his father’s friends that they couldn’t visit his father because of the coronavirus.
It was also emotionally difficult trying to console his mother after she lost her husband, remembered John Jr.
“People don’t understand the emotion part of it where only ten people could go to the funeral and you couldn’t stand next to one another at the cemetery. And you had to go your own way after the observance. The whole situation was odd. But they died during the height of the pandemic when everything was shut down.”
The Gioioso children have scrapbooks and old photographs and some videos of their parents during their happy times together.
But one year after this devastating virus took away their parents, the children wish they could tell their parents how much they were loved by all.