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John A. Penzotti Jr., playwright, stylist, writer; John A. Penzotti Sr., led space telescope project; Feb. 11, 1964 -- May 7, 2012 June 27, 1926 -- May 9, 2012

Buffalo native and playwright John A. Penzotti Jr. and his father, John A. Penzotti Sr., died just two days apart the 48-year-old son unexpectedly last Monday at his Buffalo home, and his 85-year-old father Wednesday in his Trumbull, Conn., home.

The younger Penzotti was well-known locally as a writer, contributing to the local arts scene. His play, "Five Blue Haired Ladies Sitting on a Green Park Bench," debuted off Broadway in New York City in the late 1990s. It began its first Great Britain tour in 2001 in Lincoln, England.

John Jr. studied graphic arts at Buffalo State College. Before he began to pursue his writing career full time, he was a stylist and writer for Soap Opera Update magazine in New York City.

He also was the executive assistant to the vice president of Evening and Designer Wear at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.

He was born in Buffalo, where he lived with his family, until they relocated to Connecticut. He previously lived in Miami, New Rochelle and New York City before returning to Buffalo.

John Jr. loved gardening, the theater and fashion. "He was a very creative person in everything he did," said a sister, Carla Wenrich. "He was a very kind person who really touched every person who he came in contact with. He was a very kind and sensitive person, but a rock for many people."

In addition to being creative, he was a spiritual person and had a strong faith. "That came through in everything he did," his sister said.

He also volunteered for the Actors Fund in New York City and for the Easter Seals.

His father, John A. Penzotti Sr., was born in Rossiter, Pa., and raised in Niagara Falls. He also lived in Amherst and later resided in Stratford and Bridgeport, Conn.

John Sr. graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees from Niagara University and continued further studies at the University at Buffalo. He went on to become a senior executive at Perkin Elmer in Norwalk, Conn., where he led the project for NASA's Hubbell Space Telescope.

He also worked at Bell Aerosystems, Sierra Research and United Technologies in the business/finance area.

He served in the U.S. Army in post-World War II peace-keeping operations in the Pacific.

The elder Mr. Penzotti enjoyed hunting every Thanksgiving with his brothers and relatives at the family property in upstate New York. He also was an avid golfer and former member of Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn., and Brookfield Country Club in Clarence.

In retirement, his love of golf brought him to Tashua Knolls Golf Course in Trumbull, Conn., where he worked as a starter and a ranger for roughly 12 years.

He was married to the former Gloria Scialfo for 19 years. She died in 1979. His second wife, the former Kathryn Capozzi, died in 2010.

Survivors include three daughters, Paula Penzotti-Rubano, Carla Wenrich and Gina; three stepchildren, Erin Macaluso, and David and Daniel Capozzi; and a brother, Rick.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for father and son at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. Benedict Catholic Church, Main Street and Eggert Road, Eggertsville.

[K/ROBINSON]