John G. Valente

GWINN, MI. – John G. Valente, 97, formerly of 210 W. Iron St., Gwinn, died Friday evening, December 13, 2013 at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living.

John was born April 3, 1916 in New Swanzy to Battista and Maria (Villa) Valente and attended Gwinn schools, receiving an honorary diploma in 2009 at the age of 94. He was a U.S. Army Veteran of WWII, serving in the European Theater of operations from 1941-45 and earning a Purple Heart Medal. Following his service to his country, John owned and operated a self-service laundry business in Rockford, IL, living there for 51 years. He returned to Gwinn in July of 2005.

Mr. Valente was a devout member of St. Anthony Catholic Church and sang in the church choir, and was a charter member of the Gwinn VFW Post #5670. He was noted for his singing and belonged to the Forsyth Singers and Merry Mixers. He always enjoyed visiting and having coffee with his friends at Gary’s Barber Shop.

Surviving are 2 nieces: Diane (Lyle) Nelson and Sharleen Bianchi; and 2 nephews: John (Sandra) and Dennis Zanetti.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Jane C. (Violetta) Valente on Dec. 4, 2002; 2 brothers: Geno and Felix ‘Dinky’ Valente; 3 sisters: Rena Giovanini, Theresa Remillard and Carmen Zanetti; a niece, Julie Erickson; and 2 nephews: James Giovanini and G. Stuart Valente.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, December 18th at St. Anthony Catholic Church with Rev. Allen Mott officiating. Burial will be in the Gwinn Cemetery.

The family will greet relatives and friends from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm on Wednesday in the Baraga Room at St. Anthony Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to one of the following in John’s memory: Valente Family Music and Art Scholarship established at Gwinn High School; Gwinn Senior Center; Gwinn VFW Post #5670; or the Forsyth Singers.

The family gives a special thank you to the wonderful staff at Brookridge for their compassionate care for John over the past 2 years.

Condolences may be expressed online at