John Lauretti Memorial Family Fund
John Lauretti was a quintessential representative of America’s Greatest Generation – dedicated to its ideals of duty, honor, country, and family. A survivor of Iwo Jima, one of WorldWar II’s most intense and fierce battles, John returned from the war, and, like many other veterans of his time, pulled himself up by his bootstraps, and went to work. He landed a job at Hull Dye in Derby, and it was there that he met his future wife, Margaret Savignano. Together they built a life in Derby, raised a family, and eventually moved to Shelton in the early 1960’s.
When John tragically died in 2000, the family received an outpouring of support and generous donations from friends and family throughout region. Those funds sat in an escrow account, while the family considered how best to use them to honor his memory. Late last year, at the suggestion of Shelton Attorney John Welch, the Laurettis met with former VCF Board Chairman Jim Ryan and then VCF President Jamie Cohen, to discuss options, which led to the creation of the John Lauretti Memorial Family Fund with VCF.
“VCF was a nice fit for us,” said son Mark Lauretti. “We had a great level of comfort knowing many of the Board Members and their ties to the Valley,” said Mark. “Who knows the needs of this area better than those who live and work here? They are genuine – their hearts are deeply committed to Valley residents and causes. We knew that our Dad’s Fund would be in good hands with them.”
The John Lauretti Memorial Family Fund is a Donor Advised Fund, which will focus on such issues as scholarships, including assistance for students considering military service. In addition, they would like to assist veterans returning from the military with post-traumatic stress disorder. “Our Dad never really talked about the war,” said daughter Allegra Fitzgerald, “so we can only imagine what he must have gone through. This Fund will be able to help young people going into the military, as well as those coming back and processing their own difficult experiences.”
The family is still working out the details, but has agreed that the Fund will serve to honor John Lauretti – how he lived his life, and how committed he was to those he loved.
“Our dad was like the sun coming up every day,” said Mark Lauretti. “He was steady, predictable, and dependable - someone you could always count on.” Allegra agreed. “He was the bread winner in our family, working 10-hour days, while our Mom stayed home with us,” she said. “But he was totally involved in every aspect of our family life. No one worked on Sundays, and our extended family spent a tremendous amount of time together. Family meant everything to Dad. This Fund is an everlasting tribute to him, what he meant to us, and all that he stood for.”