John Lapato, 67, of Shrewsbury


John LapatoJune 24, 1955 – March 20, 2023

Shrewsbury – John Lapato was born on June 24, 1955 in Brooklyn, NY. He was the third child of John and Florence Lapato.

He grew up in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. He attended elementary school at SS. Cyril & Methodius School in Greenpoint and St. Anne’s School in Flushing, Queens. He graduated from Holy Cross High School in 1972. He then attended Cooper Union in Manhattan, where he graduated in1976 with a degree in engineering.

After graduation, John left New York and moved to East Hartford, CT where he worked as an engineer at Pratt & Whitney.

During this time he organized and participated in as many sporting events as possible with lots of friends. He enjoyed the friendships he made and the joy of competition. He had a love for all sports, especially handball, and established most of the personal relationships that enlivened and punctuated his life-journey. In 1982 he moved from Connecticut to Framingham, MA in order to work for Raytheon.

During this time, he married Diane Locanto in November, 1990. Together they enjoyed a happy and active married life of over 25 years until Diane’s death in 2016. He was devoted to her and loved her deeply. In 2017 John met Melissa Sniffin and they formed a loving and lasting bond that took them on endless adventures.

John was a man of faith and passion for those he loved, for the world around him and all that life had to offer. Any challenge that faced him he would try to conquer with precision.

In 2018 John retired from Raytheon. He began this time regaining proficiency and excellence in his athletic passions: handball, kayaking, bicycling and skiing. Together with his partner, Melissa Sniffin, they traveled in the New England area, to ski resorts in Utah, and to swimming/snorkeling areas in the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean.

On March 20, 2023 John was killed in a skiing accident at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, MA. He was 67 years old.

John is survived by his loving partner, Melissa Sniffin of Hudson, MA; his sister, Joan O’Neil of Windsor, CT; his brother, Robert Lapato of Baltimore, MD; and by a legion of grand-nieces and nephews, cousins and friends who always looked forward to the next time they would be having fun with John.

All are welcome to gather with John’s family and friends Tuesday March 28th from 5pm to 7pm at Roney Funeral Home 152 Worcester St. N. Grafton, MA 01536. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday March 29th at 11:00am at St. Mary’s Church 17 Waterville St. N. Grafton, MA 01536. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers please honor John with a donation to Neady Cats at or St. Jude Childrens Hospital at

A Book of Memories to share a message with his family is available online at

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