John Giovanni Bellassai passed away on October 4, 2019 at Park Meadows Senior Living Center in Overland Park, KS where he had resided for the last 5 years. John was 8 days shy of turning 95 when he passed away.
John was the third-born child of Angelo and Giovanna Bellassai in Casablanca, Morocco, and lived there with his two sisters, Carmen and Adele, and a large extended family. John started a successful cabinet making business with his brother in-law. The happiest moment of his young life came when he met and married his wife, Antoinette in Casablanca. They raised their five children there. He also enjoyed taking his family to the beach, fishing, and hunting quail, chukar partridge, and wild boar.
In 1968, John, his wife Antoinette, and five children, Angelo, Mike, Jacques, Serge, and Patricia, ages 17 to 3 years old at the time, immigrated to Kansas City, Missouri. The decision to move his family took a lot of courage and faith on their part. John had many relatives living in the Kansas City area, descendants of Italian immigrants from the early 1900’s.
They settled into their new life in America in the Waldo area. John worked at Towncraft Wood Products in Raytown for twenty years as a cabinet maker. John was a hard worker, wonderful husband, and devoted father. He and Antoinette enjoyed their many years together as involved parents, traveling to many places, cooking for large family and friend gatherings, and dancing. John also continued his passion for fishing and hunting with his children.
John’s skills as a cabinet maker were evident not only at work, but also in the many pieces of furniture and doll houses he crafted for his children and grand-children. These beautiful heirloom pieces of furniture will be cherished for many generations as special legacies John left his family. John’s woodworking skills have been handed down to some of his grandchildren.
After John retired, he started to cook more. His famous Pepe soup (potato, parmesan, and noodles), and Pepe eggs (scrambled with chopped green onions), were always enjoyed by his children and grandchildren, especially when served at the beach.
After his wife Antoinette passed, John continued living in the house he purchased in Waldo, and he could be found at the Ward Parkway mall during his daily walk. He also enjoyed watching the Chiefs on TV, as well a soccer games and tennis matches. He then moved in with his children for a few years and then to Park Meadows. He continued going to the beach where he enjoyed spending time with his family and surf fishing for anything that would bite in the waves. John was known as a fine fisherman in the Ormond Beach, FL area.
John had a big heart, and he always cared for his family. He outlived his wife Antoinette, his son Mike, and his daughter Trish Williams. He was blessed with many grandchildren and great grandchildren who called him Pepe. He is survived by:
His son Angelo and his wife Susan of Olathe, KS
their daughter Andrea and her husband Nick Beauchamp of Olathe, KS, and their children Noah and Lexi,
their son John and his wife Erin of Tulsa, OK, and their children Elliot and Althea,
their son Matthew and his wife Emily of Leawood, KS and their children Lilyann, Brynn, and Beau
their son Ryan of Denver, CO
His son Jacques and his wife Joyce of Cary, NC
their daughter Gina and her husband Luke Mills of Matthews, NC, and their children Evelyn and Heidi
their daughter Carolyn and her husband Andrew Facemire of Apex, NC, and their children Lena and Airlie
His son Serge and his wife Patti of Kansas City. MO
their daughters Katie and Kelly of Kansas City, MO
their daughter Nikki and her husband Adam Bartzatt of Lincoln, NE
their sons Joel and Logan of Kansas City, MO
His daughter in law Sharon Bellassai
His former son in law Paul Williams
Many nephews and nieces in Florida, New York, France, Italy, and Monaco
John, Papa, Pepe you are loved, and you will be missed! Nous t’aimons, ti vogliamo bene, we love you!
A grave side service will be held Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 10:30AM at Mt. Moriah Cemetery, 10507 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO. A time of fellowship, food, and a celebration of John’s life will follow at 12:30PM at St Elizabeth Church, 2 E 75th Street, Kansas City, MO.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or to the Ascend Hospice.
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral section.
American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123
4550 West 109th Street, Overland Park KS 66207