Remembering John E. Sacco, 1929-2020

Family and friends are remembering John E. Sacco, and sharing this with his community:

John E. “Buddy” Sacco passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on September 7th, 2020 at the age of 91.

John was born at the family home in “Garlic Gulch” on January 19, 1929 with the help of his loving Aunts. He was the second-born son of John B. Sacco and Elizabeth Rickenbacker Sacco, preceded by his brother Carl.

He attended Mt. Virgin Grade School and graduated from Franklin High School in 1947. An independent soul, he attempted to sign up as a cabin boy in the Merchant Marine during WW2, but was stopped by his mother before he could get aboard. He served during the Korean War at the Atomic Bomb plant at Hanford, Washington as an anti-aircraft gunner on the Quad 50 machine gun. He lived in a tent for two years in the desert and would never sleep outdoors or in a tent again for the rest of his life.

He met the love of his life, Elsie Novito, and they were married on April 24, 1954, a marriage that lasted for over 66 years. He held several jobs, but finally settled in at Seattle City Light, at first a cable splicer and then in the streetlight division, retiring in 1990 after 30 years.

A quiet genius, he could make anything and do just about everything he put his mind to. He remodeled the house he and Elsie lived in for nearly their whole married life, working on it after his work day ended and then on weekends. He had many hobbies, from building his own darkroom for color photography, to being an expert airplane-model maker. He could look at a picture of a plane and build it from scratch and fly it, but flying model aircraft only whetted his appetite for flight and he learned how to pilot sailplanes and then small engine airplanes. He was a past member of the Puget Sound Soaring Association.

He also belonged to other clubs: A past member of “The Cascade Mountain Men” and present member of “The Sons of Italy” and the “West Seattle Italian Club.”

He leaves his loving wife Elsie, son Joseph “Joey,” daughters Diana and Mary. Grandchildren Danielle Sacco Wartena (Eric). Erica Concannon Martin (Brett). Anthony Concannon, Katie Concannon Brenner (Nathan), Nicole Concannon, and Sean Concannon. He also leaves 5 great-grandchildren, with one more on the way.

A private family Mass was held at Holy Rosary Parish, West Seattle.

Donations may be made to St. Jude Hospital.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

6 Replies to "Remembering John E. Sacco, 1929-2020"

  • shane September 17, 2020 (9:41 am)

    Thank you for sharing this. It sounds like he was quite an amazing person! My sympathy and condolences to his family and friends. 

  • Also John September 17, 2020 (11:45 am)

    Sounds like an amazing man.  Thanks for sharing.  You’ve educated me on ‘Garlic Gulch’.   I’ve never heard of that neighborhood here in Seattle.

  • Richard M September 17, 2020 (4:49 pm)

    RIP John. I took care of his mother in the 90’s when she was at Modern Care on Admiral and him and his wife were always so kind and appreciative

  • Sandy and Glenn Huff September 17, 2020 (9:03 pm)

    A beautiful obit to a fine man. Thank you and condolences on your loss.

  • Elaine September 18, 2020 (9:19 am)

    Beautiful! He was a part of our lives. Rest in Peace.

  • Randal Andersen September 18, 2020 (2:37 pm)

    Wow I wish I had a chance to meet him, for all that knew him I’m sorry for your loss of a great person. The world is a more empty place without him. RIP Mr. Sacco

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