John Reardon Obituary, Death – John T. Reardon, Jr., a beloved member of the Bristol community, passed away on July 10, 2023, at the age of 81. Surrounded by his family after a lengthy illness, John entered the Field of Dreams, finally receiving his call to the Major Leagues. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, generosity, and a passion for baseball. John was born in Hartford, Connecticut, to John T. Reardon, Sr. and Mildred (Barry) Reardon. He had a sister named Maureen Hennessy who preceded him in death.
From a young age, John had a deep love for baseball. He excelled in the sport and was known for his talent as a pitcher. Living on the border of Yankees and Red Sox nation, he stood out from the crowd by proudly wearing his bright green Oakland A’s jacket. After graduating from Bristol High School in 1959, John continued his passion for sports at Springfield College, where he earned a degree in physical education and history.
However, it was not just his athletic abilities that made John stand out; it was also his dedication to education. Following in his father’s footsteps, John joined the Bristol school system, where he taught history and served as an administrator in both Edgewood and Mountain View elementary schools. He was an innovative educator who used long-distance phone lines in the 1960s to bring national news figures into his classroom through a “tele-lecture” program. This allowed his students to have conversations with politicians, activists, and sports stars over speakerphone, providing them with unique learning experiences.
John’s commitment to education extended beyond the classroom. Even after retiring from the Bristol schools, he pursued a second career as an author, writing books like “All Star Dads” and “Diamonds will Sparkle.” He became a national lecturer, inspiring parents and supporting young fathers. Throughout his life, John always gave his all, whether it was helping a child in school or standing up for justice.
Sports remained a significant part of John’s life. He continued to play fastpitch softball for decades, often wearing multiple uniforms in a single season. One of the highlights of his playing career was the night he broke Cy Young’s record by surpassing Young’s 511 lifetime wins as a pitcher. When he wasn’t on the field, John embraced his love for travel and exploration. He and his wife, Josie, visited fifty countries, forming lasting friendships with people from diverse backgrounds.
Bristol was John’s home, and he served the community with unwavering energy and positivity. His dedication to making a difference touched countless lives through his career and volunteer work. John’s faith and family were the foundation of his spirit. He was one of the original parishioners of St. Gregory the Great and served as a Eucharistic minister.
Above all, John cherished his family. He and Josie, his wife of 57 years, had three children: Susan, Julie, and John. Their grandchildren, Alex, Ella, Sean, Ian, Cora, and Lea, brought him immense joy. John’s children have fond memories of spontaneous adventures and escapades with their father, where they would embark on journeys with no set destination, resulting in exploration, discoveries, and shared happiness.
To honor John’s memory, the family requests that donations be made to the Bristol Historical Society or the Alzheimer’s Association. They express their gratitude to all those who supported John during his final months, including his caregivers, Bristol Hospice, and his dear friend Kevin Fuller.
Calling hours will be held on July 14, 2023, from 4 PM to 7 PM at O’Brien Funeral Home in Bristol. The funeral will take place on July 15, 2023, starting at 9 AM at the funeral home, followed by a procession to St. Gregory Church for a 10 AM Mass of Christian Burial. John will be laid to rest at St. Joseph Cemetery in Bristol.
In memory of John T. Reardon, Jr., the family invites those who wish to pay tribute to him to plant a memorial tree through their Tree Store. By planting a tree, friends and loved ones can create a lasting symbol of remembrance and celebrate John’s connection to nature.
John’s presence will be deeply missed by all who knew him. His twinkle, booming voice, and generous heart will forever be remembered as his spirit lives on in the hearts of his loved ones and the Bristol community.