In loving memory of

John Seccafico
October 2, 1948 - March 4, 2019

John Seccafico went home into the loving arms of Jesus Christ His Lord and Savior on March 4, 2019. John was born in Jersey City, NJ on October 2, 1948 to James and Lucille (nee Mastronardi) Seccafico. When he was 20 months old he contracted polio which forever altered the course of his life. He was an accomplished man despite his disability.

He earned a Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from Seton Hall University. He earned a Master of Social Work degree from Rutgers University. He attended college during the time that physically accessible education was not the norm. He and his wheelchair often had to be carried up several flights of stairs so he could access his classes. He completed all these degrees despite the inability to lift a textbook.

He was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He has had a private mental health practice for 40 years. He dedicated his work to providing affordable mental health care at a time when costs for such care were skyrocketing. He cared deeply about the clients he served and saw their success as his own. He worked 60 hours a week for most of his life. He worked until the day before he fell ill. He accomplished with gritty determination what so many people fail to do and was a man of remarkable character.

John was also the Clinical Supervisor at Ocean's Harbor House in Toms River, NJ for 19 years. He devoted himself to the work of this program and to the children it serves. He deeply appreciated the opportunity to further the mission of this organization and his family knows he would encourage people to find ways to be involved there. He would want all the staff of Harbor House to know what an honor it was to mentor them and encourage them to be all that they can be for the benefit of the children they serve.

John loved music of all genres, loved playing chess, was a long-suffering Jets fan, and rooted on Seton Hall Men's and UConn women's basketball. He enjoyed sitting in the sun in front of his house watching the world go past. He loved a good meal and wore his Italian heritage proudly on his sleeve. More than anything he loved his Lord. He read his Bible endlessly, was committed to promoting the Gospel, and enjoyed the fellowship of the many Bible Studies and churches to which he belonged over the years.

John had many long friendships which he cherished deeply. He could make a friend in an instant and keep them forever. His longest friendships were with Frank Torrisi and Susan Moscato, whom he met in high school. They were important to him in ways it is impossible to describe. He met his friend Frank Pepe during his college years and he appreciated the tender care of his friendship. He met Daniel Zietchick when they were students together at Rutgers. Dan could always make John laugh and remained a constant presence to his end. He had many, many friends throughout the years and he appreciated their place in his life.

John married Alice, the love of his life, on June 10, 1989, exactly ten years to the day that he came to know Jesus. He was late to his own wedding but he showed up on time to everything else that mattered. He loved Alice with a love that transcended all earthly encumbrances. He worked hard to provide a life for them that was rich in love, faith and hope.
John became a step-father when he married Alice and threw himself into being the best step-dad he could be to Rob and Sarah. He taught them silly songs, chess and sent them corny jokes every day. He was proud of who they became as adults and loved them beyond measure. He so loved his new role as grandfather to Claire and loved the time they had together.
John is survived by his wife, the Rev. Alice Seccafico of Toms River, and his children Robert James Connelly and his wife Alice of Toms River, and Sarah Harper and her husband Allen of Manchester, Tennessee. His granddaughter Claire Harper will carry his legacy forward. He is also survived by his brother James Seccafico of Freehold, NJ and his sister Margaret of Toms River, NJ. He is survived by several nieces and nephews whom he loved. He was predeceased by his parents, James and Lucille Seccafico and his sister Rose Ann Huber.

Viewing will be held Wednesday, March 6, 2019 from 7 to 9 pm and again on Thursday, March 7, 2019 from 2 to 4 pm and from 6 to 9 pm at Horizon Funeral and Cremation Services, 1329 Route 37 West, Toms River, NJ. His funeral will be held Friday, March 8, 2019 at 10 am at Living Word Baptist Church, 320 Compass Ave, Beachwood, NJ. Please go directly to the church Friday morning. Burial will follow at the cemetery at First Baptist Church of Laurelton, 1824 Route 88 East, Brick, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the family to help defray funeral expenses are deeply appreciated.

Tributes

Mary Anne Ridoux wrote on Mar 7, 2019:

"John was one of the most incredible people I have ever known. As my son once said "John is a Saint"! We know that he is in Heaven but we will miss him down here! In Love and Sympathy, Mary Anne Ridoux"

Veronica Clark wrote on Mar 7, 2019:

"Although I never met John I heard so much about him from my best friend Ernestine. I want to offer my condolences to the family and friends of such a wonderful person. Also to say " Thank You " for helping my friend and guiding her to a place to help others. You will be truly missed. "

Ernestine wrote on Mar 6, 2019:

"Today my heart is so heavy. The last thing I expected was to learn that heaven gained another beautiful angel. I will truly miss John. When I walked into his office in 2011 I knew I was in good hands. He was more than a therapist, he was a friend with a big heart who really cared. Although only member of my family met him, they all knew about him. I looked forward to my appointments and never had any reservations about telling him everything. John was also one of my biggest supporters when I continued my education for my Masters. Knowing that he is gone is very hard to accept on a selfish end but in my heart, I know he is at peace with our Father and he has shed his chair. I also enjoyed seeing Mrs. Seccafico in the office, talking to her about her grand daughter and seeing the pictures she had. I would like to send my deepest condolences to the family along with my prayers of comfort. I will miss my therapist/friend but he holds a special place in my heart and I know he will still be helping to guide me through life."

Marie (Torrisi) O'Brien wrote on Mar 6, 2019:

"We send our deepest condolences to all of John's family. The world has lost a remarkable human being. He will never be forgotten. In sympathy, Barry and Marie (Torrisi) O'Brien"

Joan Korygoski wrote on Mar 6, 2019:

"I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Mr. Seccafico was not only an outstanding counselor, but also an amazing human being. I was first recommended to him in the year 2000, and I never looked back. I have been a client of Mr. Seccafico's for many years and have received the best counseling and care that someone could possibly provide. He has sacrificed so much for his patients, and has been a wealth of knowledge in the field of disabilities. He had a genuine concern for his patients, and helped in any way possible. We were so sad to hear of his passing. Our deepest sympathy and all our prayers are with his family. Mr. Seccafico, words cannot express how much you will be missed. "

W. Paliz wrote on Mar 6, 2019:

"I?m so sorry for your loss. The bible is so true when it mentions ?the sting of death?. Death is truly painful for family and friends. The God of the bible Jehovah says he's going to ?swallow up death forever and bring back to life on earth all those who have died in his memory? (Isaiah 25:8). This scripture has given me comfort and I pray you receive comfort from it also. "