U.S. Merchant Marine
1943 - 1944 | WW II
1944 - 1947 | WW II
Born Nov 26, 1926 on Staten Island, John Fairlie grew up on North Street in Port Richmond. He was one of 11 children, 6 boys and 5 girls. Swimming in the Kill Van Kull and at Faber Pool were two of his childhood pastimes. Like many boys of his time Jack worked many jobs to help his family during the depression from shining shoes on the Avenue to setting pins at Madalone’s Bowling Center to working at Proctor & Gamble. This strong work ethic stayed with him his whole life.
John received his High School diploma from Curtis HS. At 16 he joined the Merchant Marines where he was a hot shell man. He served aboard the Liberty Ships, the Andrew Carnegie and the George Gershwin and this last ship brought much needed supplies to Normandy Beach in June 1944. At 18, John joined the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1947.
John has a great speaking and singing voice. After the Army he attended Radio Announcing School in Manhattan, voiced a few commercials and did a stint as an announcer at The Staten Island Drive-In. John became involved in local theater on Staten Island performing in both musicals and dramas. He produced and directed a movie in the late ‘60’s that was filmed on Staten Island. He became director of the Blessed Sacrament Teen Players in the early ‘70’s where he was also a lector at Sunday Mass. John performed
at many cabaret venues in Manhattan and managed a troupe of entertainers who he booked at various clubs on Staten Island and Manhattan. All this while holding down two jobs and providing for his family. He was actively involved in the American Legion and is a past commander of the Walker Blaefield Yater Post.
John married in 1946 and has 5 children: Brian, Maureen, Bonnie, Kerry, and John Fairlie. His first wife, Mary Ward Fairlie, died in 1984. John is grandfather to Krisiti, Heather, Liam, Mary Kate and Maggie and the late Dr. Megan Fairlie. John also has 8 great-grandchildren.
John is a loving father, grandfather and uncle who remembers birthdays and holidays. John lives in Manhattan with his wife Monona Rossol and still sings in the choir at St. Anthony’s Church.
Sponsored by Maureen Fairlie