John DiGiovacchino, age 41, died Thursday, July 23, 2015 in Otselic, NY in a tragic motorcycle accident.
John is survived by his wife, Christine (Karst), his parents, his two brothers, Mark (Grace Bafna) and Joseph (Giselle), his niece Avery, as well as loving in-laws, a host of long-time friends and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins in both the United States and Canada.
John was a Commander in U.S. Navy. He grew up in Clarksboro, NJ, the first son of Anthony and Katherine DiGiovacchino. As a child, he developed a love of aviation, graduating from Kingsway Regional High School in 1992 before going on to earn a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State and receiving his military commission in August 1996. John was designated a Naval Aviator in March 1999, and then reported to NS Norfolk, Virginia for training in the E-2C Hawkeye. Following completion of his training, John reported to the Black Eagles of VAW-113 where he participated in several deployments onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in support of Operations Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom.
In October 2003, John was accepted for the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS)/Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Cooperative Program and reported to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where he earned a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. In August 2005, John reported to USNTPS in Patuxent River, Maryland as a member of test pilot Class 129.
Following his test tour, John served as a Department Head for the Golden Hawks of VAW-112 in Pt. Mugu, California and later reported to the E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office, PMA-231, in Patuxent River, Maryland.
John has accumulated over 2,639 flight hours and more than 270 arrested landings in 22 aircraft types. He has been awarded the Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Naval Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and numerous unit commendations.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 AM Saturday August 1, 2015 in St. Clare of Assisi Parish, St. John’s Church, 7th and Beacon Aves., Paulsboro. Relatives and friends may visit with the family Friday evening from 6:30 to 9 PM in the McBride – Foley Funeral Home, 228 W. Broad St., Paulsboro and Saturday Morning from 9 to 11 AM in St. John’s Church, Paulsboro. Interment will be held at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. A Memorial Service will be held at 1 PM Wednesday August 5, 2015 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, 47378 Tate Rd., Patuxent River, MD. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in his memory to PAWS for Veterans at pawsforveterans.com or VAW-VRC Memorial Scholarship Fund, VAW-VRCmemorialfund.org. Memories can be shared at www.mcbridefoleyfh.com.