Times West Virginian
John Edward Retton, 66, of Follansbee, passed away at home on Saturday (Jan. 26, 2013).
He was born on April 8, 1946, in Fairmont, a son of the late Sam and Angelina (Congi) Retton. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister, Mabel Testa, in June 2012.
John was a retired educator and beloved coach. He grew up in Grant Town and graduated from Fairview High School in 1964 where he made the all-state team in football as quarterback and in baseball.
In 1968 he graduated from Fairmont State College, where he played baseball and was a member of the NAIA All-American team as well as the all-West Virginia Conference team.
On Aug. 27, 1966, he married his sweetheart Patricia Elena (Sistilli) Retton, and they have been happily married for 46 years.
John truly loved his profession teaching, and coaching was a passion he lived every day.
He started out at Follansbee High School in 1969 and coached baseball under head coach Perry West, and then in 1970 he moved to Brooke High School and coached freshman basketball. In 1971, he started teaching at Mingo Junior High School and coached wrestling and football at Mingo High School.
Most of his career was spent at Wintersville High School (now Indian Creek High School), where he was assistant football coach and head baseball coach for many years. He retired in 2010 after 35 years to enjoy and assist his grandchildren in their endeavors in school and sports.
Among many other accomplishments, John was the athletic director at Mingo Junior High, and he was the 1989 Ohio Valley Coach of the Year in baseball when the team went 26-0. In 1981, he founded the Follansbee Youth Basketball League, which is still in high gear today.
He was an assistant football coach at Bethany College from 1986-1990 under head coach Wally Neal. He started the Wellsburg Post 34 Baseball Program and then became the head coach of the Steubenville Post 33 team.
He was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, the Theta Chi Alpha Fraternity and Williams Country Club, and while in college at Fairmont State was a member of the T.B.I. Fraternity.
John leaves behind his adoring wife of 46 years, Patricia Elena (Sistilli) Retton; four children, John D. (Sherri) Retton of Aurora, Ohio, James D. (Kristy) Retton of Weirton, Maribeth (Michael) Arlia of Weirton and Matthew (Heather) Retton of Brimfield, Ohio; one brother, Frank “Junior” Retton of Fairmont; a sister, Linda (Gary) Corley of Grant Town; and 11 grandchildren, Emilie, John John, Sam and Sophia Retton, Grant Retton, Matthew, Connor and Santino Arlia, Keirsten and Drake Slagle and Max Retton.
John is also survived by his mother-in-law, Mary (Adams) Sistilli of Follansbee.
Visitation for John will be on Monday from 5-8 p.m. and on Tuesday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Mullenbach Funeral Home, 669 Main St. Follansbee. Vigil service will be on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church with Msgr. Paul A. Hudock and Fr. Pete Giannamore as co-celebrants.
Interment will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery in Follansbee.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Anthony Catholic Church Bell Tower Fund at 1017 Jefferson St., Follansbee, WV 26037 or the Brooke County Relay for Life, 122 S. High St., Morgantown, WV 26501.
Condolences may be sent to: www.mullenbachfh.com.