John P. Verel
February 18, 1948 - April 2, 2020
John P. Verel, a native of Buffalo, N.Y who moved to the New York City area in 1972 and became a pillar for 45 years of his community in Rowayton, CT., died on April 2, 2020 at Norwalk Hospital, after contracting the Covid-19 coronavirus. He was 72.
John was born on Feb. 18th, 1948, to Mary O’Hern and Alfonse Verel. He earned a BS in economics from the University of Buffalo in 1969, and an MBA in finance from SUNY Buffalo in 1972. He enlisted in the Army Reserve in the late 1960’s, and shortly afterward, he and Mary Pache, his high school sweetheart who he married in 1970, moved to Staten Island to work in New York City’s financial industry. The couple moved to Rowayton, CT. in 1974, two months after the birth of their first child. For 30 years, John commuted into Manhattan to work for firms such as AIG, E.F. Hutton Life and CNA Financial.
In 2002, he embarked on a new career, taking the role of senior database/analyst for Advisen, LTD. In 2005, he earned a second masters’ degree, in computer science, from Pace University. After leaving Advisen in 2008 and working as a consultant, he briefly returned to the firm in 2015, as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer. In 2017, he co-founded, with John Kneiling, Analytics Brigade, a firm that helps companies organize, manage and govern data and business intelligence.
An avid runner, he completed four marathons, including three in New York City, as well as three 10K Leatherman’s Loop extreme cross-country races in Pound Ridge. He was passionate about sailing and was a founding member of the Rowayton Yacht Club, which formed in 1986. He was also an accomplished pianist and singer; in 2001, he sang with the New York Grand Opera in a performance at Carnegie Hall that commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of Giuseppe Verdi. Most recently, he embraced crossword puzzles; he officially became a professional cruciverbalist in 2013 when a puzzle that he created with a partner was published in the Los Angeles Times syndicate.
John gave freely of his time to his community, both through St. Paul’s Church on the Green in Norwalk, where he sang in the choir, and in civic endeavors. He was the chairman of the Rowayton Civic Association from 1983-1987, and he served as treasurer for Norwalk’s Sixth Taxing District from 2010 to 2015. In 2017, he accepted a four-year appointment as chairman of the City of Norwalk’s Conservation Commission.
He is survived by Mary, his wife of 49 years, his children Patrick, Amy and Daniel, his in-laws Kelly Williams and Frank Varro, and his grandchildren, Eliza, Henry, Isaac and Amelia. He is also survived by three younger sisters, Gene Elizabeth Verel, Patricia Lennon, and Maria Verel.