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Joseph I. Savoca

Obituary for Joseph I. Savoca

August 16, 2017
Newtown, Pennsylvania

Obituary

Joseph I. Savoca, 97, of Newtown, PA, passed away peacefully on August 16, 2017 at Chandler Hall.

Joe always said that he lived the American Dream. He was born in 1920 to immigrants who entered this country in 1916. The family including two sisters, Tessie and Angelina, lived in the tenement district of the upper east side of Manhattan, an area largely populated by Italian immigrants. The period of the Great Depression was difficult for the family and all participated in helping them survive. His father had a push cart in front of the building and sold vegetables and fruit. His mother and daughters helped by making artificial flowers and needlework. Joe helped by selling paper bags and becoming a bootblack and shining shoes on the NYC subway system.
 
Joe's development as a young man was highly influenced by being a member of The Boys' Club of New York. The club, which was located in his neighborhood, provided facilities in his neighborhood which were not available in the local schools. These included gymnasium, swimming pool, art classes, library, weekly newspaper and various sports activities. Through The Boys' Club summer camp program Joe attended an overnight camp in Long Island and later he became a junior counselor for camp operations. The Boys Club had a caddy camp which started his lifelong interest in golf. He also developed his interest in painting while a member of the club.
 
Joe was always interested in education and took advantage of the NYC public school system. He graduated from Peters Stuyvesant High School and obtained a BS degree in chemistry from Brooklyn College within the CUNY system.
 
In 1940, Joe went to work after college inspecting aircraft instruments in the lead up to WW II. After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Air Force and was trained as a meteorologist to predict weather for military aircraft flights. He received a commission of 2nd Lieutenant. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and his first assignment was in Portland, Oregon. He was then transferred to the European Theatre and assigned to the 15th Air Force in Italy predicting weather conditions for aircraft on bombing missions in Northern Italy and Southern Europe. It was during this time that he had the good fortune to have an audience with Pope Pius XII. After the war, he was reassigned to return to the US to the Pacific Theatre of Operations. During his 30 day leave, he married his sweetheart, Patrina Marinello. On their honeymoon, the atomic bombs were dropped in Japan ending the war and Joe elected not to remain in the military.
 
Joe took advantage of the GI Bill of Rights and continued his education at University of Tulsa receiving a MS in Chemical Engineering. He was hired by Socony Mobil (now Exxon Mobil) and was assigned to the Research & Development Department in New Jersey. His career at Mobil lasted 34 years and he attained the position of Engineering Manager for Petrochemical Processing. This position gave him the opportunity to travel to every continent. Each time he went somewhere new, he always brought unique gifts back to his children. Joe was a senior member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
 
Patrina and Joe had four children and lived in Haddonfield and Westfield NJ and Yardley, PA. They are Joan, Margaret, Elizabeth and Joseph. They were extremely proud of their family. His daughters graduated from college and all obtained post graduate degrees in their professions. Their son, Joe, a special person, lives and works at Woods Services in Langhorne, PA. After retirement he resumed the activities that he enjoyed in his youth, namely golf and painting. He was a member of the Yardley Country Club for years and had two holes in one that he constantly brought to his fellow members attention. Patrina and he entered Chandler Hall in 2004 and she passed away in 2008 after sixty-three years of splendid marriage.
 
Joe was a prolific watercolorist. His artwork was given to the family and friends for special occasions and displayed at the Yardley Country Club and Chandler Hall. Joe has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for 60 years and an active member the churches of Saint Ignatius in Yardley, PA and Saint Andrews in Newtown, PA.

He is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Joan and Alexander Nagy of Florence, NJ, Margaret Savoca and Bruce Bradford of Winston-Salem, NC, Elizabeth Savoca and Anthony Rodrigues of Northampton, MA, his son, Joseph S. Savoca of Langhorne, PA and grandson, Stephen Nagy of Frederick, MD.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a viewing on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 10 AM followed by a Mass at 11 AM at Saint Andrew Catholic Church, 81 Swamp Road, Newtown. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Grace Cemetery, Langhorne, PA.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in memory of Joseph to The Boys' Club of New York at www.bcny.org or BCNY Administrative Offices, 287 East 10th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10009.

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Swartz-Givnish Funeral Home, Inc.

323 East Washington Avenue
Newtown, PA 18940
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