If you've seen Santa and the spirit of Christmas across Central New York, chances are it was thanks to John Cittadino. Unfortunately, John passed away after a brief illness.

John M. Cittadino, also known as Coach C and later as Santa John, of Clinton, passed away at the Wynn Hospital on January 14th after a brief illness. Before passing, John penned his own obituary which is posted online in full with Eannace Funeral Home.

This obituary is in my own words as related to my wife, and then polished by my wordsmithing niece, Morgan Lloyd. Thank you for going down Memory Lane with me. Here are just a few meaningful highlights from my life."

John lived a very long full life in the Central New York region. From being a coach, guidance counselor, and of course Central New York's Santa Claus, John lived a very full life. From seeing him at Bass Pro Shops, to his work with the Red Suit Society as Santa to the Anita’s Stevens Swan Humane Society taking pet photos, Cornell Companions of Oneida County, an animal-assisted therapy group where he visited schools and handed out presents to children with our furry friends, and to the Stuff-the-Bus Campaign, John took his Santa role very seriously.

Again, if you have a moment, read his full obituary online here. The one part that stuck with this author the most, was the part he wrote for his wife:

Lastly, and quite frankly most importantly, to Barb, my partner and the Mrs. Claus to my Mr. - my life would not be a fraction of what it was if I didn’t have to wake you up that fateful day in our college counselor education class many years ago. I would not have reached the caliber of School Counselor, Coach, Santa, or person I was if you had not been by my side cheering me on along the way. You supported my every dream and endeavor, no matter how farfetched it may have sounded at the time. When I put on my red suit, you put on yours and stood (sometimes crouched) alongside me allowing me to embrace Santa in ways I never imagined. I love you and words do not begin to fully express my gratitude that you kept me by your side in this life and the honor it was being your person."

Rest in peace John, and thanks for all the memories Santa. I'm happy I was able to know you through our mutual connection of your sister-in-law. I'm also blessed and happy we have a handful of Santa photos with my children and you.

17 Upstate New York Restaurants On Your 2024 Bucket List

You hear all the time about all the amazing restaurants we have in the Central New York, Mohawk Valley, and Upstate New York regions of New York State. Which ones should you try in 2024?

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

14 Of The Best Lentil Soups In The Mohawk Valley And Central New York

The Loupe put together a list of the top soups for every state in America. What Is New York's Most Popular Soup? Out of all the choices, New York is a big fan of Lentil.

Well, if you're looking for the best of the best when it comes to lentil soup, we decided to turn to Yelp and show you who has the top reviews for lentil soup:

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

Top 10 New York Cities That Are Most Likely To Sleepwalk

The experts at MattressNextDay took a deep dive into Google search data to discover out which cities in New York are most likely to experience sleepwalking. 

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler


More From 98.1 The Hawk