WYCKOFF, N.J. -- John Fierro of Wyckoff died Sunday, Feb. 5, at Villa Marie Claire Hospice in Saddle River, after a brave 18-month battle with brain cancer.
He was born in Englewood on June 29, 1963, and moved to Ridgewood where he graduated from Ridgewood High School in 1982. He attended Elmira College, and received his master's degree in education from Montclair State University.
As an educator for nearly 27 years, John positivity affected the lives of countless students, teachers, and parents, from his start as a teacher at Orchard School in Ridgewood, to the Reading Specialist at Lincoln School in Wyckoff, to the Principal at Edith A. Bogert in Upper Saddle River and finally, as Principal of Dorchester Elementary School in Woodcliff Lake, where he spent the last 13 years until his retirement in 2016.
He is survived by his wife and best friend, Gina; his three children, Ashley, Lily, and Benjamin; his mother, Rosemary Fierro; his siblings, Laura [Amadeo], Daniel [James] and Anne; his mothers-in-law, Margie Luciano and Eveline Marcello; his father-in-law, Joseph Luciano; his sisters-in-law Lori (Luciano) Van Doran and Melissa (Luciano) Melton [Brad]; his nieces and nephews — Julia, Alexander, Jack, Olivia, Ryan and Molly, countless friends, and many colleagues.
He was predeceased by his father Daniel.
His determination in the face of his illness was never lost to his family and friends. He will be remembered for his grace, gentleness and humor, and above all, for being a consummate gentleman.
May his memory be a blessing to those who loved and admired John — who will fondly remember him in moments of intellectual debate; at holidays and dinner parties with elaborate and deliciously home-cooked meals — and exquisitely set tables; in the laughter and joy of pizza nights at friends' homes; in the many Halloween costumes he so willingly donned for his family at parties and while trick-or-treating; amidst the stunning beauty of Loveladies sunsets at Long Beach Island, and in the simple pleasures of boating on calm waters in Manahawkin Bay.
His spirit cannot be extinguished, but live on in his three beautiful children, who will carry their Papa's love and light with them wherever they go.
Visitation will be held 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at Feeney Funeral Home, 232 Franklin Ave., Ridgewood. Funeral mass is Saturday 10 a.m. at St. Elizabeth RC Church, 700 Wyckoff Ave. in Wyckoff.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a college tuition fund set up for the Fierro children at youcaring.com .