John Francis Tortora, Jr.

John Francis Tortora, Jr. – husband, father, friend, and cat lover died April 24, 2020, only two weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was 64.
We all knew where we stood with John, and we all knew that his love for us was just a notch below his love for cats. We were okay with that.

He was preceded in death by his father, John Francis Tortora, Sr.; mother, Marianne Casalino Tortora, and beloved ginger tabby cat, Tommy.

He is survived by his wife, Melissa (Missy) Williams Tortora of Norris, TN.; sons Johnny Elliott (Cassie) and grandson Ezra James Elliott; Michael Anthony (Tony)  Tortora (Sarah); Robert Vincent (Vinny) Tortora; and Thomas James (Tom) Tortora, – all of Chattanooga, TN; honorary daughter Layan Abdel Hadi of Abu Dhabi, UAE, and a host of friends.

John’s career included 21 years with TVA and 11 years at the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations based in Atlanta. He loved cars, shows about cars, and big construction equipment. His curiosity about many subjects made him a lifetime learner. He was a natural teacher who loved mentoring and was proud of the successes of those he worked with. He was funny, compassionate, generous, and never met a stranger.

Due to the current pandemic, only immediate family will gather for a memorial service. We hope to have a larger gathering in his honor in the near future.

John made regular contributions to McCracken Kitty Kat Rescue, 221 Leatha Lane, Cleveland, TN, 37312-6443,; and Northside Neighborhood House, PO Box 4086, 211 Minor Street, Chattanooga, TN, 37405,  In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to these non-profit organizations or a group of your choice.  Holley Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of all arrangements.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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