“I don’t have to get better to help others.”*
John Montanye Locola was born in Englewood, NJ, on June 25, 1974. He joined his two sisters, Pamela and Kimberly, and his parents, Jacqueline and Robert Locola. The Locola family moved to Ridgewood, NJ, when John was one year old. He attended Ridgewood Public Schools where he made many wonderful lifelong friends, but he struggled academically. John graduated with a Ridgewood High School diploma after attending Milford Academy to make up for credits that he was unable to complete at Ridgewood High. He played many sports but excelled as an all-league, all-county football player, and led his team to the New Jersey State Championship.
Upon graduation, John made some attempts at the college scene, but his addictions became more important than his studies. He worked as a landscaper, plumber assistant, painter, and carpenter. He was mechanically inclined and loved working with computers.
After many attempts of working for others, he decided to start his own business named “Ridgewood Maintenance Company.” Although he did get many jobs, he lacked the skills needed to run a successful business.
John will be remembered by family and friends for his caring, helpful, loving and generous ways. His sense of humor is something we all miss. He could make you laugh like no one else, even though it was usually at your own expense! John loved the Lord and his faith grew through the ups and downs of addiction – mostly the downs, which included brushes with the law and incarcerations. He always looked for ways to help others who struggled with their faith and with their addictions. We received many calls from jail asking us to send one of his inmates a “Recovery Bible” or “Jesus Calling” or other Christian book. We would also get requests to call someone’s mother or wife who couldn’t receive collect calls and ask us to relay messages. Knowing that his passion for helping others is being met in his death through “The John M. Locola Empowerment Center” gives his family great peace and comfort.
John Montanye Locola went home to be with his Lord and Savior on November 2, 2013.
*A quote found among many things John wrote in his journals.