John Batiste Grimardi
John Batiste Grimardi, a long-time resident of Newtown, died on August 18. John was the son of Joseph Rocco Grimardi of Bradenton, Fla. He is survived by his beloved partner, Patricia Zalmer, of Newtown; his mother, Mary Grimardi, of Riverview, Fla.; his sister, Susan Patricia, and brother-in-law, Neil Lustig, of Madison; his sister, Maria Ellen Grimardi, of Woodland Hills, Calif.; his aunt, Marianne Muskus, of Newtown; his stepmother, Loretta (Carla) Grimardi, of Bradenton, Fla; and his stepbrother, Louis Gasparini, of Brewster, N.Y. He is also survived by his nieces, Kimberly and Katlyn Lustig, of Madison; and Patricia’s daughters, Jennifer Somo, of Miami, Fla., and Kristin Somo, of Middletown.
In 1970, John and his family moved to Newtown and it was evident from this early age that Newtown would become a very special place for him. John attended Middle Gate Elementary School, Newtown Middle School, and Newtown High School. He actively participated in his community, lifeguarding and teaching swimming at Newtown’s Dickinson Memorial Park for eight years. He played baseball, basketball, and his favorite sport — football, starting with Pop Warner and continuing through high school. John was a member of the 1981 Newtown High School football team, who won the Western Connecticut State Championship. In 1984, by his senior year, he co-captained the team, receiving numerous honors, including the Harold DeGroat award for Outstanding Athlete, Briggs Division Running Back, Waterbury Republican Player of the Week, and Danbury News Times First Team All Area. John’s proudest achievement was receiving Newtown’s Outstanding Athlete, as a junior and senior, which recognized not only athletic ability, but exemplified excellent service to the school, his reliability, and cooperation with his coaches and teammates.
John graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Southern Connecticut State University before going on to the University of New Haven where he earned a Master of Science in industrial hygiene and occupational health and safety management. John excelled during his 30-plus year career working for major pharmaceutical companies, including Bristol Myers Squibb, Purdue Pharma Technology, MannKind Corporation, and InvaGen Pharmaceuticals, Inc, where he successfully developed, implemented, and managed environmental and occupational health and safety programs. He owned AllSafe Environmental Health and Safety Consulting, LLC, and was a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Society of Safety Engineers, and Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals.
John not only loved the family home he purchased when his father moved to Florida, he loved boating on Lake Lillinonah, golfing at Newtown Country Club, and playing in the Slo-Pitch Softball league. He gave back to his community by coaching town youth softball, high school football, substitute teaching, and working with special education students. John loved his church, St Rose, where he started as an altar boy, then moved on to help during services and becoming a Third Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus.
John was a huge Miami Dolphins fan. He enjoyed cooking for friends and family. John loved music, nature, and animals, especially his pets, who were dear to his heart. Should friends desire, donations may be made to any animal rescue or no-kill shelter.
A Funeral Mass for John will be celebrated on Friday, September 25, at 10:30 am, at St Rose Church. Following the Mass, a memorial gathering will be held at noon outside (due to the pandemic) at Dickinson Park Pavilion for friends who wish to attend. John had a kind heart and a beautiful soul. He will be dearly missed and never forgotten.