John Barbuto, born in 1917 and founder of JB Hi-Fi, opened his business in 1974 with one simple aim: to provide Australia’s lowest prices on high quality Hi-Fi equipment and recorded music.
In 1983, the company was sold and by 1999 nine additional stores had opened up. Finally in 2003 it was listed on the ASX and is now a leading home entertainment retailer in Australia.
Early Life and Education
John Barbuto, 18 years old and student at Central Valley High School, tragically passed away on Memorial Day due to a motorcycle accident. His passing came as a shock to the entire community as he was one of six children in his family. According to family members, John had plans to graduate on June 6th and was active in both their anti-bullying club and Show Choir.
On Tuesday night at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Center Township, Pennsylvania, hundreds of students, neighbors and teachers came together to honor Barbuto with a vigil. Standing under an incredible rainbow as flowers were laid upon Jeep that stood in the church parking lot, hundreds stood in silent tribute as his body lay peacefully beside them.
Barbuto is a professional soccer player who played overseas in Iceland, Finland and Australia. Additionally, he has served as college coach since 2019.
John Barbuto has made a name for himself as an accomplished professional sports player by founding and leading the Gavin Foundation, an organization that assists those facing addiction. Through his efforts, he has inspired many and earned himself a place of respect within the community. A Certified Addiction Specialist and licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor, John is also affiliated with Massachusetts Recovery Homes Collaborative and Action for Boston Community Development. John’s contributions to society are unparalleled; furthermore he is survived by his loving wife Donna A. Ferrese along with their five children; it would seem impossible for John not to prioritize family first in life after all else that matters most to him: his five children!
Achievements and Honors
John Barbuto has earned numerous honors for his accomplishments and contributions. This includes founding JB Hi-Fi, which is now one of the world’s largest retailers.
He founded a theatre program at Bowdoin College with the purpose of fostering long-term social impact through theatrical production and encouraging empathetic exploration of cultural and physical world. The Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Awards honor higher education programs that use theatrical production as an artistic vehicle to foster long-term societal impact through an artistic lens, encourage empathetic exploration of both on campus and worldwide through advocacy for justice.
Additionally, he was honored for his dedication to the University of Nebraska by Gamma Sigma Delta for their distinguished service in research, teaching and Cooperative Extension programs.
In his free moments, Barbuto enjoyed reading and watching television, as well as playing board games and golfing.
Barbuto’s life was filled with love for his family. He was the proud papa of three children – Lauren, Daniel and Savannah – as well as his mother Doris Barbuto and brother John H.
John Barbuto will always remain in our hearts as a kind, compassionate soul who always made time to help those less fortunate. His family and friends mourn his passing, so to honor his memory we have established an annual scholarship at Central Valley High School to recognize outstanding seniors who epitomize character, leadership, integrity and an eagerness to learn. This award will be given to someone who best exemplifies these qualities – giving students an opportunity to honor John with this kind gesture.
John Barbuto founded JB Hi-Fi in 1974 in Keilor East, Melbourne as a music store that sold specialist hi-fi equipment. In 1983 Richard Bouris, David Rodd and Peter Caserta purchased the business and expanded it to ten locations around Melbourne and Sydney.
Friends of John Barbuto have been gathering at a memorial on Raccoon Creek Road in Potter Township every day this week to remember their friend and senior who tragically passed away Monday from a motorcycle accident. They remember him as an energetic individual with an upbeat outlook, strong moral compass and knack for fixing things. His family and friends will miss him dearly, according to Central Valley senior Alex Micco. John will wear Chuck Taylor shoes from his friend to graduation while some classmates plan to get tattoos in memory of Barbuto.