John Harry Bilello, age 75, of Miramar Beach, FL, passed away on Saturday, August 31, 2019. He was born on October 7, 1943 in Brooklyn, NY to Josephine and Harry Bilello. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas Grammar School, Brooklyn Technical High School, Staten Island Community College and Pace University in New York City, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He also earned advanced degree certifications in business.
John loved to share stories about his youth, working at Ernie's Ice Cream Parlor, and particularly his activities with the Knights of Columbus Squires. In his teenage years he took on large responsibilities managing dances for the Squires with early rock and roll entertainers such as Dion and the Belmonts, The Diamonds, Bobby Day, etc.
John's first professional employment was with the IRS in New York City. He then joined Security Pacific in the tax department, followed by a succession of bank tax positions in New York, California and Texas. In Texas, he retired as the head of the Chase Bank Tax Department and President of the Leasing Company.
John was very proud of his Italian heritage and of the accomplishments achieved throughout his immediate and extended family. From humble beginnings of grandparents who emigrated from Sicily in the late 19th and early 20th century living in New York's Little Italy, a combined 10 siblings brought their respective families out of poverty, raising John and his 19 cousins. Each of these cousins and their respective families have lives and achievements that are part of the American dream.
For those who knew him, he was a character, quick witted and quick to dispense advice on all matters of life. He fought a hard battle with cancer, never complaining and in his final months of life never failing to reach out to others who were struggling with similar medical challenges.
He loved his wife of 34 years, Kathy; his daughter, Kerrie Hagest (husband, Bob); his son, John Bilello (wife, Patrice); grandchildren: Sarah Hagest, Austin Bilello and Abby Bilello; brother Lou Bilello (wife Toni); brothers and sister in law; nieces and nephews and their families.
A Memorial Mass will take place on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 11am at Resurrection Catholic Church, 259 Miramar Beach Drive, Miramar Beach, FL 32550. A Celebration of Life will follow at the Parish Hall from 12-2pm.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift may be made to Sacred Heart Foundation, 7700 US Hwy 98W, Suite 300, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 or Resurrection Catholic Church (Resurrection Cares Ministry) 259 Miramar Beach Dr, Miramar Beach, FL 32550.
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral section.