Cover photo for Msgt. John R. Ferrara, Usaf (Ret.)'s Obituary
Msgt. John R. Ferrara, Usaf (Ret.) Profile Photo

Msgt. John R. Ferrara, Usaf (Ret.)

August 10, 1938 — October 9, 2018

John R. Ferrara, 80, passed away on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

John served in The United States Air Force Band most of his military career. He was gifted to play multiple instruments such as the trombone and drums, but his main love was the piano. John had a passion for Jazz at a very young age. He learned most of his jazz techniques by listening to greats such as Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum. He polished is playing skills during his early military career by sitting in with various jazz musicians at popular jazz nightspots throughout Europe. He eventually formed his own jazz trios and quartets everywhere the military assigned him. John’s talent for playing jazz piano soon became legendary throughout the local music industry. He was also a composer and composed jazz renditions of popular 40’s era swing and big band arrangements, as well as contemporary music scores.

While assigned to Hickam AFB in Hawaii, John had the pleasure of playing for Admiral McCain, Senator John McCain’s father. He also played for several celebrities such as Bob Hope, Lee Merriweather and Jim Nabors to name a few.

After leaving the military, he had a very successful Jazz career. He played all across the country in high end hotels and nightclubs. He also proudly served on several Alaskan cruise ships where his style of old school jazz was extremely appreciated. His talent for music was his gift to all who had the privilege to hear him play.

John is survived by his wife, Rose of 58 years, his two sons, Robert, (retired USAF) and John (retired USAF), nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

He also had a daughter that preceded his death, Patricia. She passed away in 2016.

McCullough Funeral Home and Crematory has the privilege of being entrusted with Mr. Ferrara’s arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Msgt. John R. Ferrara, Usaf (Ret.), please visit our flower store.


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