Joao “John” Machado Gomes, 79, of East Falmouth, died peacefully at home on January 12, 2019. He passed in the comfort of his own bedroom surrounded by his beloved family.
John is survived by his best friend and wife, Maria Alvarena, and their four children: John Gomes II, Delio Gomes, Paula Hayden and Mary Jo Geggatt; his grandchildren: John Gomes III, Justin Gomes, Jordan Gomes, Connor Hayden, Keely Geggatt, Lukas Hayden, Jason Geggatt Jr.; and his great grandchild, Kaleb Gomes.
John was born on March 3, 1939 to Jose and Rosa Gomes in the village of Lajes on Terceira Island, Azores (Portugal). He was the youngest of 10 children. He grew up working on the family farm at a young age where he learned the value of hard work and family commitment. He married the love of his life, Maria Alvarena, on September 22, 1962 and shortly thereafter began growing their beautiful family with the birth of their first child in 1965. After leaving the family farm, John began working as a cook at the dining facility on the US Air Force Base at Lajes Field. It was a job he was proud of and enjoyed. It was there that he learned the very basics of the English language and American culture. He was held in very high regard by his colleagues and friends due to his tremendous work ethic and the caring nature of his personality and warm smile. He always took the time to remind his family of the importance of hard work, integrity, and pride in your family name; never forgetting where you came from.
Wanting a more promising future and better opportunity for his children and future grandchildren, John made the decision to move his young family to the United States in 1974. He began his first job performing light maintenance work on cars and pumping gas at Jesse Torres Auto Shop in East Falmouth. After a few years, he began working as a machine operator at Augat, Inc. in Mashpee and would remain an employee for over 20 years. He then returned to food service as a cook at Atria Woodbriar Assisted Living in Falmouth, and worked there until his retirement in 2004. Preparing delicious food for others to enjoy was something he truly enjoyed doing. Whether it was on the job or at home with his grandchildren, he loved to cook and be in the kitchen.
He took care to ensure a central part of his and his family’s life was the Catholic faith and he took great pride in being a parishioner at St. Anthony’s Church in East Falmouth for over 40 years. He was an active member and volunteer of the Azorean Holy Ghost Society of East Falmouth, where he could be found cooking the food he loves with lifelong friends and celebrating Portuguese culture with the community.
His favorite pastime was spending time in the yard tending his gardens and lawn. People driving by in cars would stop just to tell him how gorgeous his yard looked and compliment his perfectly-trimmed hedges, well-manicured lawn, and bountiful grape vines. His garden was always filled with beautiful hydrangeas, colorful flowers and vegetables; a pastime that reminded him of his days in the old country doing the same and providing for his family. More than anything else though, his greatest joy of all was being with his family that he loved and cherished so very much.
Visiting hours will be held from 4-7, on Wednesday, January 16th at Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Falmouth. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10am on Thursday, January 17th at St. Patrick Church, 511 Main Street, Falmouth. Burial will follow at St. Anthony’s Cemetery in East Falmouth.