John Cannizzo, a husband, a father, an artist, a farmer and a brother, was taken from us far too early following a cardiac event on February 4, 2021. His wife, Pam Ito, and their two children are naturally devastated without his strong, optimistic presence and sweet chuckle.
John’s career was in horticulture, as is Pam’s. The results of their shared passion can be found in green spaces throughout New York City, and in the fruits of their volunteer work on gardens in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, as well as at the Earth School and Tompkins Square Middle School.
As a loving father to daughters Julia (19) and Claire (15), John often proposed profound questions to them about their life on this planet, and encouraged his daughters’ reflections about their place in this universe.
John was a quiet man and I am learning amazing new things about him. John was committed to helping, at a grassroots level, people who were less fortunate, but it is because of his modest character that he was in some ways an enigma to me. Pam and he met in 1992 while serving in the Peace Corps in Kenya; John was a "water technician" and built rainwater collection systems in Rongai, Kenya. In spite of being a man of few words, in addition to English he spoke Italian, Spanish and Swahili. He attended the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, graduated in illustration design, and worked for Vantage Press as a book illustrator. He painted and did woodcut printmaking and I can testify to his artistic talent.
Any donations –- however small or large -- will help with college funds and day-to-day expenses. Equally important, your monetary help may ease the family’s financial burdens enough to allow Pam and Julia and Claire to continue thinking creatively and joyfully about the larger world, as John would wish for them.
Any questions about donations, credit card fees or further ways to help the family can be sent to me, Barbara Lakin, the fundraising organizer, via thiis site or at [email redacted].
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