Obituaries » John Champa

John Champa

November 17, 1925 - January 8, 2020

Burial Date January 14, 2020

Obituary Viewed 208 times

CHAMPA: John Champa, 94 of Oakdale, died peacefully, Jan. 8, 2020, at home surrounded by his loving family. He was born Nov. 17, 1925 in Jordan Village the son of the late Antonio and Lucia (Mariani) Champa. Shortly after, the family moved to Niantic where he attended local schools. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the US Navy, serving on the battleship, Arkansas during WW II. His assignments on board the Arkansas participated in the invasions of Normandy and Cherbourg in southern France, Iwo Jima and Okinawa Island’s in the South Pacific. He was, awarded the American Theater Medal, Victory Medal, European Theatre Medal with two Battle Stars, and Asiatic Pacific Medal with two Battle Stars, the Philippine Liberation Medal. After being, honorably discharged from the US Navy, he enlisted in the US Army, 82nd Airborne Division. He made 7 parachute jumps and 7 glider flights, receiving his Parachute and Glider Wings. After being honorably discharged from the Army, he married his high school sweetheart, Elvira T. Cortina. John worked for the NY & NH and Hartford Rail Road, in the bridge and building dept., and as a house painter. In 1958, he worked as a security officer for Pfizer Inc., until his retirement in 1987. During this period of his life, he worked as a cartoonist and sold his first cartoon for $25, and did work for the P.R.A. Magazine. His biggest thrill was the gyrocopter, which he built from a kit in 1967. He flew it for twenty years, before donating it in 1987 to the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT where it stands on display. Besides his beloved wife Elvira of 70 years of devotion, two sons survive him. John of Oakdale, and Jamie of NYC. Two grandchildren, Cody and Ryan Champa of Wisconsin. He was predeceased by five siblings, Tony Champa, Josephine Beuchler, Angelina Gorton, Maria Turner and Joseph Casano. His family will receive relatives and friends on Tuesday from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Impellitteri-Malia Funeral Home, 84 Montauk Ave., New London. The funeral will assemble on Wednesday at 11 am, and proceed to a Mass of Christian Burial at 12 pm in St. Joseph Church, New London. Interment with military honors in, St. Mary Cemetery, New London.


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