Though he moved to Henderson, Nevada, James Vota Jr. still had his Lawrence High School lettermen’s sweater. The longtime Inwood resident moved there when he was 11. Vota died at home on Aug. 2. He was 82.
A 1955 Lawrence High graduate, Vota played on the offensive line, guard possibly, according to his wife of 60 years, Sally née Catropa. “I have his 63-year-old Lawrence football cardigan, — it’s a true antique moth holes and all,” said his daughter, Carolynn Matulewicz, the director of Peninsula Public Library.
Born June 26, 1936, Vota worked for 40 years as an union electrician. He belonged to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 25, and was a member of the Leonardo da Vinci Lodge 2385 Sons of Italy, in Inwood.
“Dad was so very proud of my role as both the children’s librarian and then director at the very same library where he used to drop me off to study and read while growing up, said Matulewicz, an Atlantic Beach resident. “It was always so nice to say that my parents, my husband and I and my two children were three generations of Lawrencians and that legacy has now ended as well.”
Vota had a great sense of humor and loved music. “He will always be remembered for his jokes and as the life of the party singing his famous song ‘Hands on my Shoulders,’ said Matulewicz. He sang the tune at every family party and weddings.
In addition to Sally and Carolynn (Richard), Vota is survived by James (Susan), Angela, Anthony (Laura) and Maria (Paul), and six grandchildren: Albert (Linda), Matthew (Joloure) Richard, Kari (Greg), Micayla and Paul James. He also has four great-grandchildren: Lydia, Charlotte, Gavriel and Evelyn. There is no date yet for a memorial mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, also in Inwood.