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John Thomas Luning

SALISBURY  — John Thomas Luning died on Feb. 3, 2019, of pancreatic cancer, a disease he mercifully suffered for a very short time.   Family and friends are mourning the passing of a kind, gracious, witty, quirky and decent man.  He had just reached 79 years on Jan. 19.  As he was every night, his cat, Kitty, was at the foot of the bed as John passed.

John was a student of history, taking great pride in his Cornwall roots and beloved Housatonic Valley Regional High School.  He was a graduate of Fairfield University, received a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a sixth-year certificate from Western Connecticut State University. 

He would proudly say, “for over 35 years he taught fourth through eighth grade at Sharon Center School,” where former students frequently told him of the positive impact he had on their lives. 

He also impacted students and teachers alike by his work negotiating school contracts and later his work for the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut. He served in the Air Force Reserve. 

John’s winter home was Vero Beach, Fla., where he enjoyed several Florida winters.

His father, Frank Luning, mother, Luverne (Thomas) Luning,  brother Frank Jr. and son Keith predeceased him.  

He leaves behind his wife of nearly 35 years, JoAnn Luning of Salisbury.   He is also survived by the mother of his children, and former wife, Ingrid Luning of Sherman, Conn.   Left mourning his loss are his son, Jonathon Luning, and his wife Pam Frost and grandson Leo; and daughter Jennifer Luning and her partner, Ian Hochstetter.  His grandchildren Linda Luning, Keith Michael Luning and Tiffany Luning, the children of son Keith also remain. 

He helped raise, and had a huge impact on the lives of his three step-children and their families.  Todd Saxe, and his wife Karen and children Emma and Evan Saxe; Nathan Saxe and Amy Crysel with daughter Greta; Cynthia Saxe and children, Brittany, Jordan and Aaron.

John recognized the importance of contributing to organizations that do good and make a positive  impact on society.  They ranged from environmental organizations, to animal rescue and preservation, relief organizations locally and abroad and several charitable Catholic organizations.  His long time interest and passion focused on our government.  Those wishing to honor John’s life could do so best by working to restore cooperation, integrity, honesty and fairness to society by voting for persons who support those ideals, and strive to help the poor and marginalized in America and elsewhere.

The Catholic Church had an early and lasting impact on John’s life.  As a child and young adult he attended and served at St Bridget’s Church in Cornwall Bridge, where a spring burial will take place.

JoAnn especially, wishes to thank Dr. Christina Gomez and the kind staff of Smilow Cancer Center in Torrington, Donna DiMartino and Cristin Rich of the Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association and her many, many friends and acquaintances who have offered their love and support during this incredibly difficult time.   

The Kenny Funeral Home in Sharon has charge of arrangements.