John T. Page Sr., 81, YMCA executive

John T. Page Sr.
John T. Page Sr.
Posted: July 14, 2014

John T. Page Sr., 81, of Willow Grove, formerly of Malvern, a retired YMCA executive, died Friday, June 27, of esophageal cancer at his daughter's home in Abington.

Mr. Page worked for many years at the YMCA - as youth director and executive director of the Upper Main Line YMCA and finally as a regional director for the organization in the East.

His family said he was instrumental in developing the Upper Main Line Y into a major community center with branches in Berwyn and Great Valley.

Mr. Page's entire career was spent with the Y, starting in Long Island, N.Y., in the 1960s. He loved the work and told family that he regarded the years spent working with youth in Long Island, particularly with a troubled group of teenagers called the "Friday Nighters," to be the most rewarding aspect of his career.

After retiring in 1987, he traveled to 51 countries. He had hoped to continue traveling with his friend and companion, Gretchen Bowker, when he became ill.

His family said that Mr. Page was great fun to be around. He would host a big celebration-of-life party for his friends every year. "I've had a hell of a life," he liked to tell family members.

"Everybody enjoyed my dad's company," said his daughter, Debi Page Ferrarello. "His oncologist is so sad."

Born in Camden, he grew up in Merchantville and went to public school there. He graduated from Hofstra University with a bachelor's degree in economics. He performed his military service as a Navy Air Force control tower operator at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba from 1951 to 1955.

In 1958, he married Lynn Green. They divorced after 20 years. She survives.

Besides his daughter, former wife, and companion, he is survived by two sons, John Jr. and Barry; nine grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. A sister and brother died earlier.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 19, at the First Presbyterian Church of Ambler, 4 S. Ridge Ave., Ambler, followed by a pool party and life celebration at the home of Carmen and Debi Page Ferrarello.

"When I go, you have to have a party," his daughter said Mr. Page specified; the family is following his wishes.

Burial is private.

Donations may be made to the YMCA World Service via www.ymca.net/world-service/.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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