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  John Sbarbaro

I’d like to tell you about my son, John Sbarbaro; one of four children and known as the middle child. John was my son but to others he was – a “husband”, brother, uncle, nephew, godfather, cousin, friend and coach. He brought love and joy to us all. John’s love of family and life in general enriched his life and all those he shared his with. His special charm, wit, easiness, intelligence, caring, fun loving and smile touched many lives – we will never be the same but we are all richer for knowing him and having him in our lives.

Anyone who knew John knew of his great love of sports – so much of his life revolved around his various favorites. There were many times at home he would have the radio on one game and the TV on another. A Jet fan who not only watched them faithfully every Sunday but also loved to play (#80 lives on) and more recently a coach. “Coach” led his Knute Rockne team to several championships – and he loved every minute of every game – every player – rain or shine – win or lose. Also, a die hart Met fan he spent many spring training seasons with his buddies dressed in crazy outfits of Hawaiian shirts and hats (the more outlandish the better) in Florida, rooting on his favorite team but also entertaining the other fans. Golf, was his passion. After the first time he played there was no stopping him – as John did with so much of his life – he let little stand in his way and gave it over 100% – he would go anywhere, any time to play. Many people don’t know that John also had another sport he played annually – volleyball. We have an annual family picnic where we play “Brooklyn” against the rest of the family. Of course it didn’t matter that only John & Judy still lived in Brooklyn; John was our leader and many times the entire field as well but it was family time. Although we lost many years we always had a great time. We laughed as much as we hit the ball.

I remember one day when John was about 20 years old and needed a costume for a Halloween party. He disappeared into the basement and the next thing I knew he came up wearing my Wedding dress – veil and all. There he was with sneakers, a moustache and my wedding dress, which had shoe laces tying the lace in the back to hold the dress on. We all laughed so hard and John won a prize. Of course, I lost my wedding dress for my daughters some day but it was worth it. This was John (and as I understand just one of his many crazy costumes that he would be later know for).

John was the comedian of the family, the silly one, the one that you could always count on to make you laugh or show you the brighter side of things. John was the strong one – many times I relied on him to stand by me as we handled difficult times in our family; he was the one who took charge of things when the going got tough. John was the social one, he loved having fun and being with people, his presence would light up a room. He had a way about him ………

John was working at the World Trade Center when the bombing happened in ’93. I know he never forgot that day – he just tried to put it aside. I remember him telling me how long it took to get down the stairs in the darkness – I thought he would never go back – as we all do now – I wished he never had…

John truly loved life, he lived it to the fullest and he is one of the few people I know that could look back on his life and have few (if any) regrets. John did it his way. I am so very proud and honored to have John as my son. I wish you all could have known him – you would have loved him too…………

Please share John’s memories and visit his website at http://www.jsbarbaro2001.com/

Rosemarie Sbarbaro, John’s Mother
  • I worked with John for three years on the MBS desk. John’s nickname was “coach”. He coached young kids football and loved it. He made an impact on their lives as well as all of us who worked with him. He was a great man, funny, witty, smart and caring. He will be missed. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.

    Jon Werz, Former Employee
  • Although, never having the opportunity to meet John in person, I had the pleasure of speaking to him on the phone regularly. John worked with my brother, Wally Travers, at Cantor. The first time I spoke to John, he sounded so much like my brother that we had a standing joke. In fact, I used to speak to him more than my brother. John was a wonderful person and was more than gracious to me whenever I called. In reading the beautiful tribute from his Mom, only confirms what I had already imagined he would be like. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones. John, you are always in my prayers. I miss all of you!!

    Terry Travers, Friend
  • To my dear “husband”, soulmate, love of my life, best friend – I will love you forever!

    Judy Monteserrato, Coach's "wife"
  • I worked with John for many yeary. He was always very nice to me. whenever there was a problem with one of his trades. He would always go out of his way to help me fix the problem. He also always made sure that I understood how to go about to resolve the problem. He would always invite me out for a drink after work. I remember one night when we were at Tall Ships I had a few to many to drink. He asked me “how I was getting home”? I told him “that I was taking the train.” He didn’t like that answer. He called me a cab and made sure I got into that cab. The next morning John called me and asked me “if I got home alright”? We all knew John as Coach. I asked him one day; “why does everyone call you Coach?” He began to tell me. Then invite me to watch his team play. I never got the chance to do that. He also asked me “if I wanted to play for him?” Since I not very athletic I turned him down. Coach you were a good person to work with and a good friend. I’m glad I got the chance to work with you. You were a trure professional.

    Vinny, friend/co-worker

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NOTE: All submissions will be reviewed by our administrator prior to being posted. Please limit your tribute to 100 words and be sure to check your spelling as tributes are posted as submitted. Also, please avoid pasting Microsoft Word documents, which can cause character problems.