A man of honor, John Marino lived life with passion and gusto: he was warm, encouraging and personable. When he spoke, he used his hands and often waved them around excitedly to express his point of view. His engaging smile and winning personality were contagious and he made friends easily wherever he went. John stayed in touch with colleagues and acquaintances over the years and his extended family and many are honored to call him friend. Happily married twice, he found love and romance that few achieve. Father and step-father to eight children, he provided a loving home and gave his children advantages to give them a strong foundation in life. He was proud to be a family man and was content to be next to his wife and surrounded by those he loved. His character propelled him to strive to do the right thing in all circumstances. Known for his honesty, those close to him knew not to ask his opinion if they were not prepared to hear the truth.

Born on Staten Island, New York, a young John dreamed of becoming an astronaut. He attended an all boys Catholic high school, Monsignor Farrell and excelled academically as a recipient as a Merit Scholarship Finalist. He followed his dream of going into space by attending the US Naval Academy where he majored in Aerospace Engineering with a Minor in English. An upperclassman gave him the nickname of “Rollo”. John credited those years at USNA of shaping him into a disciplined man and officer who learned who he truly was and acquired leadership skills from which he utilized throughout his life and career.

In 1969 he met the lovely Dianne Lockwood who became his wife. Together they accepted his first assignment at NAS Imperial Beach in San Diego - LAMPS flying H-2s. He was deployed to the Tonkin Gulf during the Vietnam War in 1972 and realized how much his life had changed when he spent his 24th birthday recovering dead bodies from the surf off South Vietnam to deliver them to the US Kitty Hawk for identification. He spent time in LANG and TRUXTUN, rotated to HSL-31, became a Flight Instructor and Quality Assurance pilot. He recalled some harrowing tales as a Maintenance Test Pilot. He served his country for six years and resigned his commission in 1976.

John and Dianne were blessed with three daughters (Erin, Ashley and Emily) and two sons (Tad and Justin). They lost Justin in 1996 just prior to his second year of college at UC Santa Barbara in a car accident. As a real estate broker he served as the youngest President of the South Bay Board of Realtors. In 1983 he changed careers to financial services and took a position with Merrill Lynch where he excelled as New Associate of the Year. In 1990 he moved to Paine Webber and later became Branch Manager of Brea in Orange County in 1992, then Complex Manager in Fresno and Bakersfield in 1998. He lost his wife Dianne to cancer three days before Christmas in 2003. They shared thirty-three beautiful years together. He retired as Senior VP from UBS in 2004.

In August 2005 he met a wonderful woman, Lauree and married her in 2007 and enjoyed a romance rarely enjoyed. He gained three new children, all grown (Chad, Nic, and Kim). At the time of his death, he is survived by seven children and thirteen grandchildren. In 2010, John and Lauree moved from California to Surprise, Arizona where they purchased and flipped over 60 homes as real estate investors and business partners. Lauree is also a Registered Nurse who was honored to remain by his side through his recent health battle. They enjoyed twelve sweet years hand in hand and felt grateful to God for their many Blessings!

John is survived by his wife, Lauree Jackson Marino; his Daughter, Erin Lewandowski and her three children, Alexandra, Anna, & Vance; his son John III (Tad) and his wife Ivy and five children, Alexis Sabedra, Julianna Sabedra-St. Clair, Victoria Sabedra, Giovanni, & Pia; his daughter, Ashley Pedersen, her husband Mark and their three children, Merritt, Reagan, & Chase; his daughter Emily Marino, his son Chad Pittman and his wife Amber; his son Nic Ryan and his wife Elisha; and his youngest daughter, Kimberly Pittman and her two children, Jackson and Benjamin. He is preceded in death by his mother Eileen Murphy Marino, his father John Marino, Sr; his brother Richard Marino, and his first wife, Dianne Lockwood Marino and his son, Justin Merritt Marino.

He will be laid to rest at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland forever loved and always remembered.

Updated: April 04, 2018
Curator: Ed Moore