John E. Tatu of Riegelsville died peacefully at home on January 18th. He was 73 years old. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 49 years, Charlotte (Powers) Tatu; his son J. Christian Tatu and daughter-in-law Hannah E. Tatu of Hellertown; and his three grandchildren, Tommy Sands, John “Jack” Tatu and Madeline E. Tatu. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Rachel (Tatu) Sands.
A precision machinist by trade, John was highly skilled in virtually every mechanical art. He was the sole proprietor of J. E. Tatu & Company, Machinists from the early 1980s through his retirement in 1995. In his retirement, John devoted much of his time to restoring antique automobiles and motorcycles and building street rods. He was well known at virtually every car show in Bucks County and beyond, where his cars earned countless awards. He was also an avid woodworker.
John was a proud veteran of the United States Air Force and served during the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in 1967.
Born in the Olney section of Philadelphia, John met the love of his life when he returned from the service in 1968. He and Charlotte were married the following year and moved to Hilltown, Pennsylvania, where they lived happily for 26 years. Before retiring from business, John built his dream home in Riegelsville, where he loved to fish with his grandchildren and ride his motorcycles throughout the Bucks County countryside. In recent years, John and Charlotte loved to ride the custom-fabricated trike he proudly dubbed “Frankencycle,” which he cobbled together from a Volkswagen Beetle and sundry parts from motorcycle graveyards.
With a heart that never held malice toward another living being, John will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him. He had a hearty laugh and could make a perfect stranger a lifelong friend in minutes.
John’s memorial service will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 26, at Shelly Funeral Home, 5880 Easton Road, Plumsteadville. The family will receive friends from 5:00pm until the time of service at the Funeral Home.
In honor of John’s boundless generosity, and his love for animals, his family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Animals in Distress, 5075 Limeport Pike, Coopersburg, PA 18036. animalsindistresspa.org