Harrison businessman recalled as 'amazing individual'
John “Jack” Marino's legacy was much more than the successful business he ran, his friends and family said.
“He was an amazing individual,” said Brad Marino, of his father, the former owner of Howard Johnson's restaurant in Harrison, who died on Sunday at 82.
“His family was the focal point of his life. He was always there when anyone needed advice,” Brad Marino, the youngest of Mr. Marino's four sons remembered. “He was a role model for the entire family.”
Mr. Marino, who's father and uncle built the Heights Plaza in Harrison in 1955, was a well known face throughout the Allegheny Valley. He owned the now-closed Howard Johnson restaurant and was a member of Tarentum Elks, Tarentum Lions, and Cerra Club in New Kensington. Mr. Marino was a long-time member of Brackenridge Heights Country Club.
“He helped a lot on the dining aspect of the club, since he owned his restaurant,” Brad Marino said.
But Mr. Marino's longest lasting involvement might be at St. Joseph High School, where he was a board member for more than 20 years.
“Mr. Marino was on our board since its inception,” said Assistant Principal Kimberly Minick. “He was a visionary who was a key part in getting our new (gymnasium) building built.
“He was a dear friend to everyone here and he will be sorely missed by the entire St. Joseph community.”
Minick said Mr. Marino established a scholarship fund at the school, something Brad Marino said his family hopes to continue.
“Mr. Marino helped so many families attend St. Joseph through many, many years,” Minick said.
Brad Marino said his father gave to the fund anonymously, and even he didn't know his father was donating until after he died.
A Korean War-era Air Force veteran, Mr. Marino was a 1948 graduate of Tarentum High School and in 1952 graduated from Duquesne University.
Brad Marino said his father enjoyed golfing but his real passion was the Steelers, something life-long friend and cousin Dr. John Bamonte shared with him.
“We had Steelers season tickets,” Bamonte said. “We really enjoyed going down to the games together, it was a lot of fun. Once we got older, we started giving the tickets to our kids.”
Bamonte said he'll always remember Mr. Marino as a down-to-earth man who was loved by anyone he met.
“Jack seemed to care about everyone,” he said. “He wasn't trying to put on some big show, he was just nice to everyone.”
Bamonte's wife, Eleanor, said she'll always think fondly on the many times she would go to lunch with Mr. Marino and her husband.
“Jack was just a wonderful man,” she said. “We all had a lot of fun together.”
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers to bring LB Harrison out of retirement
- Steelers defense must replace 3 injured starters after victory
- Liriano, McCutchen help Pirates to 1-0 win over Braves
- Pirates notebook: Volquez open to re-signing with team
- Steelers film session: Old-fashioned power football produces victory
- Identities of theft suspects sought by Penn Township and state police
- Taxes at forefront of 1st Pa. governor debate between Corbett, Wolf
- Red Wings beat Penguins, 2-1, in preseason opener
- Penguins boast several good blueliners with point-producing skills
- Israel military shoots down Syrian aircraft
- Pitt’s potent rushing attack could slow down the passing game