~James De John~
Art Teacher - Middle School
James Leon DeJohn, age 87, of Rocky Hill, CT died Friday, November 1, 2019 at the
Sgt. John L. Levitow Veterans Healthcare Center, Rocky Hill, after a long illness.
Dr. DeJohn was the son of the late Charles and Constance (Nazzarene) DeJohn of Rocky
Hill. Born in Hartford, Dr. DeJohn lived in Rocky Hill for most of his life. He was a
veteran of the Korean War and served honorably in the Army Adjutant General Corps
until his discharge in 1954. While in the army he was presented with the Distinguished
Service award by his commanding general and received several other commendations during
his service in Japan.
After his army service, he studied fine arts at the University of Hartford, and received
his B.S. degree from Southern Connecticut State University where he graduated summa cum
laude. Over the years he presented several one-man painting and sculpture exhibits
throughout Connecticut. He earned his Master's Degree at Central Connecticut State
University in conjunction with one of his exhibits. Dr. DeJohn received a Fifth Year
Certificate and his PhD at the University of Connecticut where he was inducted into the
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society for high academic achievement. He taught Art in the Cromwell
Public schools for 30 years before his retirement in 1992. He also taught Art for many
years at Central Connecticut State University in the Extension Division in both
undergraduate and graduate programs, with a specialty in painting.
Dr. DeJohn served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the "Connecticut Assessment
of Educational Progress in Art and Music" for the Connecticut State Department of
Education. His paintings and sculptures are represented in numerous private and
corporate collections, some of which include United Technologies, Trinity College, the
Chase Manhattan Corporate Headquarters in New York City, the former Connecticut Bank and
Trust Corporate offices and numerous private collections. Several years before his
retirement, he composed both orchestral and choral music for the Cromwell School System
music department. He was a member of the Connecticut Songwriters Association, and his
music appears on several of the "Best of CSA" music compilations. After retiring from
teaching he had composed and published two instrumental piano CDs entitled, "Sapphire"
in 1996 and "Sail Away With Me" released in 2005.
He is survived by his daughters, Roxanne DeJohn of Attleboro, Massachusetts, Leslie
Lufkin and her husband Erik of Worcester, Massachusetts, and his son Michael DeJohn
DiGiovanni of White Plains, New York. He is also survived by his grandsons Tyler Lufkin
and Jakob Lufkin of Worcester, Massachusetts who were adored by Dr. DeJohn. Along with
his children and grandchildren, he leaves numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and loving
He was predeceased by his 5 brothers and their wives; Eugene DeJohn and his wife, Alice,
Anthony DeJohn, John DeJohn and his wife, Victoria, Alfred DeJohn and his wife, Helen,
and Benjamin DeJohn and his wife, Teresa. He was also predeceased by his 3 sisters and
their husbands; Katherine DeBeradino and her husband Dominic, Mary Milliord and her
husband, John, and Florence Depka and her husband, Joseph. He was predeceased by Irene
DeJohn of Wethersfield, the loving mother of his children and very dear friend.
Burial will be private. A Celebration of James DeJohn's Life will be held On Sunday,
November 17, 2019 from 3:00-6:00PM at the Elks Lodge, 825 Cromwell Avenue Rocky Hill,
CT. 06067. A sharing of memories to begin at 4:00PM. Contributions in his memory may be
made to any homeless/abuse shelter or the SPCA. To share memories or send condolences
to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.