John L. Amato, a past president of the Central Florida Home Builders Association, died Jan. 6, 2010, at his home in College Park, Fla., surrounded by family. He was 88. Mr. Amato was a cadet at VPI, now known as Virginia Tech, when he joined the U.S. Army during World War II and served as a captain under Gen. George S. Patton during the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he returned to Virginia Tech, earned an architectural engineering degree and met his future wife, Sallie Caldwell, whose sister is Susie Looney of Craig County. The Amatos were married for 60 years and had four children: Alphonse, now of Haley, Idaho; John, of Apopka; Frank, of Winter Springs; and Marie Gear of Edgewater. Mr. and Mrs. Amato moved to Orlando in 1953 from New York and built a home in College Park. Besides designing and building homes in Central Florida, Mr. Amato worked as a consulting engineer at NASA. For several years he worked for the Royal Commission of Saudi Arabia. Besides his wife and children, Mr. Amato is survived by a brother, Michael, of Orlando; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A vigil service was held January 8 at St. Charles Catholic Church in Orlando, Fla., with a funeral mass scheduled for Jan. 16 at St. Charles Catholic Church in Orlando, Fla. The family suggests memorial donations be made to Hospice of the Comforter, Altamonte Springs.