January 10, 2011
Published in Times Leader on January 11, 2011
65, of Hazleton, unexpectedly passed away Monday morning, January 10,
2011, at the Lehigh Valley Medical Center, after being transported from
the Hazleton Medical Center.
Barletta was born in Hazleton, April 23, 1945, a son of the late Frank
P. Barletta and Betty (DePierro) Barletta, and resided in the city his
Prior to his retirement he was both employee and owner of several area
He was active in regional sports, including playing minor league baseball
with the Los Angeles Dodger organization.
Barletta began his career with A Barletta and Sons and acted as an asphalt
paving foreman for over 20 years. He also was co-owner of Triangle Trucking
Inc., served as a partner in J & A Paving, and founder and partner
of Seal King Inc.
A 1963 graduate of the former Hazleton High School, Barletta was a three-sport
athlete in football, basketball and baseball. It would be as a baseball
player that he would gain the most notoriety. He was selected to play
on the Pennsylvania State American Legion All Star Team in both 1962 and
1963, participating in All Star contests at Reading Municipal Stadium
and Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia.
John was named the American Legion Most Valuable Player for the 1962 season.
His performances attracted attention from several major league scouts
and, following graduation, he signed a bonus contract with the Dodger
organization. He was assigned to their rookie league affiliate at Pocatello,
Idaho, where he spent the 1965 season playing for future Hall Of Fame
manager Tommy Lasorda.
Returning to Hazleton the following year, he began an 18-year involvement
with several of the top fast-pitch softball teams in the region, most
notably the championship YMPA teams. He was recognized for his accomplishments
by being selected into the Pennsylvania ASA Hall Of Fame as well as an
inductee in the Hazleton YMCA Sports Hall of Fame.
John was a life-long member of Holy Rosary Church, Hazleton, the Elks
Lodge BPOE No. 200, of Hazleton, and the 14th Ward Fire Company of Hazleton.
He was an avid follower of local, college and professional sports and
enjoyed frequenting Atlantic City with friends and family.
John will be remembered as a loving husband, father, and Pop Pop, who
devoted his life to his family, especially his grandchildren.
John was married to the former Carmene Clement, with whom he celebrated
their 45th wedding anniversary this past November.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his four children, attorney
Frank Barletta and his wife, Nicole, and granddaughters, Madeline and
Isabelle, Hanover Township; Beth Barletta Smith and her husband, Chris,
and granddaughter Olivia, Hazleton; Carmen Barletta and his wife, Jennifer,
and grandchildren, Makayla, Cameron and Hailey, Drums, and Allison Barletta
and her companion, Jason Antolick, Hazleton.
Additionally, he is survived by brothers, Anthony (Tootser) and his wife,
Pat, and Joseph and his wife, Patsy; and sister Mary Ann Cusatis and her
husband, Dick, all of Hazleton. He is also survived by several nephews;
nieces; aunts and cousins.
Family and friends can offer their condolences at the Fierro Funeral Home,
Hazleton, Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. His funeral will be held at 10:30
a.m. Thursday from the funeral home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial
at 11 a.m. at Holy Rosary Church, Hazleton. Interment will follow at the
convenience of the family.