Saranac Lake Fire Department


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SLVFD Mourns the loss of past member and current auxiliary member - John A. "Doc" Vallini
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By SLVFD News Room
May 21, 2021

John A. Vallini, 71, known as "Doc" to many, died at his residence surrounded by many caring friends on May 15, 2021.

Born on March 9, 1950 in Flatbush Brooklyn, NY, he was the son of John and Marie (Emilio) Vallini. His parents predeceased him.

John graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute with a degree in chemistry and began his graduate studies in Polymer Chemistry at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Soon after, however, he began his career in photography. After apprenticing with two different NYC photographers, he operated Vallini Productions for 17 years. His clients ranged from Hasbro Toy Company to fashion and make up ads (Maybelline and Cover Girl). His TV accounts included taking still photos for the movie "The Day After" and appearing on The Regis Philbin Show to shoot Regis' portrait live on the air.

During these years, John spent most of his free time traveling to the Catskills and Adirondacks honing his fly fishing and fly tying skills. On a fishing trip to the Adirondacks in 1990, he decided to move here shortly after and considered this area his home. He obtained his NYS DEC guides license and operated Grey Ghost Guides, specializing in fly fishing during the early years of living on Hoel Pond.

John began working at Adirondack Medical Center as an ER Tech and found an interest in volunteering. As a member of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department, he obtained his EMT/Paramedic certification and then began 10 years as the Medical Coordinator for ORDA in Lake Placid. He developed the facility's standard of patient care with an emphasis on concussion protocols. He was also a Critical Care R.N./Paramedic for 9 years with North Country Life Flight.

With his desire for knowledge, John continued his medical education and received his A.A.S. degree in Nursing from North Country Community College (N.C.C.C.) and continued his career at AMC, CVPH and Fletcher Allen Medical Center. He returned to N.C.C.C. as a Nursing Instructor. He was passionate about teaching and enjoyed working with his students in both the classroom and clinical settings.

John was a proud past member of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department during which he was part of the local response to 9/11 in New York City. He was also a member of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad and was a current member of the Board of Directors.

John loved riding his motorcycles and frequent trips around the area. His favorite rides were to Eastport, Maine every fall while visiting friends along the way. He leaves behind his "babies", Harley and BMW. He also enjoyed good music, food and wine and all three were included at any party he would host. He felt a bond with animals, both wild and domestic, especially his cats Bentley, Mugsey, Sam, Lulu and Missy.

John cherished his friends and is survived by many, old and new, near and far and many students, all who remember the good times they had with him. He was a multi-talented, compassionate, gentleman and a gentle man that will be missed by many.

Honoring his wishes, there will be no formal services. Memorial donations may be made in John's memory to Tri-Lakes Humane Society, Holiday Helpers, the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department or the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad. Arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake.


Add a Comment Add a Comment 5 Comment(s)

Andy Mcgill May 21, 2021 at 8:25 AM
Gods by old friend RIP


E J Carr May 21, 2021 at 10:10 AM
John was a good friend and I'm saddened by this news. We spoke just a few months ago after such a long time. RIP in peace buddy. That fish is just behind that rock over there. x


Barbara Kent May 21, 2021 at 10:34 AM
RIP dear friend, you will be missed by everyone that had the pleasure of knowing you. Our world just got dimmer with your loss. Thanks for all the laughs over the years.


gifford hosler May 21, 2021 at 12:01 PM
R.I.P. Doc...


Katie & Alan May 21, 2021 at 9:01 PM
We will miss our neighbor and friend, God Bless and we will see you again!



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Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department
100 Broadway
PO Box 509
Saranac Lake NY 12983


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