John L. Gizzarelli, Jr., age 83

of Quincy

John L. Gizzarelli, Jr., age 83

John L. Gizzarelli, Jr., age 83, of Quincy, died peacefully, Thursday, February 18, 2021 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital—Milton.

John was born in Quincy, to the late John L. and Mary E. (DiNicolantonio) Gizzarelli. Raised and educated in Quincy, he was a graduate of Quincy High School, Class of 1956, and Boston University, Class of 1961. While in the Navy, he and his bride, Ellen, lived in Spain and Morocco. They became parents during their time in Japan and then settled in Odenton, Md. for eighteen years. He and his wife relocated to Sharon for over twenty years before finally returning to his roots and moving back to Quincy in 2000.

John was proud to have served in the U.S. Navy in the early 1960s. Following his honorable discharge from the military, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law School, Class of 1973. During his career, he was an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and a federal prosecutor and general counsel of the Institute for Law and Social Research. He worked as a lawyer at Inslaw, Inc. in Washington, D.C. for many years. When he returned to Massachusetts, he established his own practice in Norwell and then in Quincy.

In his teens and twenties, John enjoyed photography and was fascinated by the process of film development. In his forties, he began to spend more time cooking as a way to relax and was known for his homemade pasta and pizza – a passion he passed down to his daughter. One of his greatest joys was to host a pizza night for his extended family in December to honor his late father’s birthday. He was a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox, a love he shared with his father and his sons. While living in Maryland, when his children were little, John would often take his sons to see the Red Sox play either at Memorial Stadium or at Fenway Park.

Beloved husband for fifty-nine years of Ellen (Grossman) Gizzarelli. The two attended Boston University and met on a blind date, although they knew of one another having taken a class together.

Devoted father of Andrew J. Gizzarelli and his wife Melissa, David A. Gizzarelli and his wife Yoko, and Cara E. Downs and her husband Matthew, all California residents.

Loving grandfather of Kazuki Gizzarelli and step-grandfather of Henry W. Downs.

Dear brother of Georgina Valente of Hanover, Elisabeth Day of Hyannis, Ernest Gizzarelli and his wife Margaret O’Brien of Quincy, and Mary Ann Andronico and her husband David of Quincy. Throughout their lives, the siblings remain fiercely protective of one another and share a close bond. John loved them all so much.

John is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In light of current events, memorial services will take place at a later date.

For those who wish, donations in John’s memory may be made to the Red Sox Foundation, 4 Jersey Street, Boston, MA 02215 or


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  • I am so sorry to hear of the passing of John. He certainly was an accomplished person and lived a full life. May he rest and peace, and may family memories of happier times comfort you all during this difficult time.
    Sending thoughts of love,