In Memory of




Obituary for John A. Vanasse

WORCESTER – With his loving family by his side, John A. “JV” Vanasse, almost 39, left us on Friday, May 18, 2018 in the UMass Memorial Medical Center after a life-long and courageous battle against his body and the odds.
Born on May 19, 1979 he happily lived his whole life in Worcester where his family, extended family and friends were a constant support to him and to whom he offered his love, friendship and unwavering love.
He leaves behind his loving and supportive girlfriend and partner in crime, Katie (Grondin) King; their two sons, Carter Jackson and Theodore Robert Vanasse; Katie’s daughter Ayla; his parents, Robert and Patricia Vanasse; his sister, Marissa (Vanasse) McKeon and her husband Patrick; his nieces Elisabeth Mary and Grace Patricia McKeon, all of Worcester; his paternal grandmother, Helen Vanasse of Methuen; his paternal aunts and uncles - Kathy and Ed Shaughnessy of Weare, NH, Susan and Bill Anthony of Bradford, MA, Maureen and Bill MacAndrew of Methuen, MA, and John and Lynne Vanasse of Derry, NH.; his maternal aunts – Barbara Figurski of Worcester and Donna (Figurski) and Alan Hahnel of New Gloucester, ME; Katie’s parents, Laurel O’Day Grondin, and Ted Grondin and her brother Jack Grondin, all of Oxford; as well as many loving and supportive cousins.
John was pre-deceased by his maternal grandparents, John C. and Betty Figurski of Worcester and his paternal grandfather and Godfather, Alexander H. Vanasse of Methuen.

John was a magna cum likability graduate of Holy Name Central Catholic High School where he was an active participant in Mr. Booth’s drama department, appearing in many plays and musicals; and Mr. Burke’s music department, appearing in all of the schools Fall, Christmas and Spring Concerts. He attended Salem State University, majoring in theater. A member of Christ the King Parish in Worcester, John was an active member of the Catholic Youth Council, serving as President his Senior year and appearing in their
Spring Musical every year.

John had many jobs over the years, but his favorite and most rewarding, was as a Teacher’s Aid in the Special Education department at North High School for many years, retiring due to health issues several years ago. Since his retirement his most important job and the one he truly loved was being a stay-at-home dad to his three lovable charges, Carter, Theo and Ayla, whom he loved, cherished and cared for with all his heart and soul.
He had many interests in life, chief among them being his love and knowledge of music and cinema. Friends, family and co-workers could count on John to keep them up to date on the latest trends in music, cinema and many interesting and useless areas of social importance. He was a regular at music clubs and coffee houses throughout the city.
For several years he co-hosted, with Doc Sidall, a weekly radio program on WORC featuring the local music scene.

John was a triple organ tranplant recipient having received a life-saving liver transplant in 1992, and two kidney transplants over the last 11 years. The family is forever grateful for the medical people who have cared for him over his lifetime. Dr. John Harding of Worcester; Dr. W. Hardy Hendren of Children’s Hospital, Boston; Dr. Joseph Vacanti of Mass General Hospital; Dr. Paul Harmatz, formerly of Mass General Hospital, Boston.
Over the past many years, the care John received from the Organ Transplant Team at UMass Memorial in Worcester was greatly appreciated by John and our entire family. They gave us so many more years than we could have hoped for. Lastly, we want to thank the entire team of the 6ICU at UMass. They were wonderful to John and all of us over the last weeks. Their medical expertise, their senses of humor and their compassionate care to all of us was wonderful and so deeply appreciated.

The visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 from 3 to 7 PM at the VANASSE FAMILY HOME, 15 Kenilworth Road, Worcester, MA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 11:00 AM in Christ the King Parish, 1052 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA. Burial in Notre Dame Cemetery will be private and at a later date. The family requests that mourners go directly to the church on Thursday morning.

The family requests that no flowers be offered. We ask that you offer a donation to either CureSMA at or New England All-Breed Rescue ( in John’s memory.

A Book of Memories to share a photo, memory or story about John is available online at: