Joseph Anthony Bruscino of Sparta joined his wife Bernice in the Eternal Light on December 5. At 94 years, he had the great fortune of never having gotten old. He often fell, but he bounced right back. He never complained. He drove; he cooked; he accepted invitations at the drop of a hat. Every summer, he religiously took one dive off the diving board. He was happy and he was kind, but heaven help the person who tried to help him out!

His story began In Hoboken, as one of six children in a three bedroom railroad apartment on Washington Street. He joined the Marines during World War II and his stories amazed his family, not for their bravado, but for their honesty and humor, including the one about him accidentally shooting his friend in the foot. After the war, he went back to work at the Erie Lackawanna Railroad in Cleveland where he met his wonderful wife Bernice. They bonded over a love of cocktail hour, married and had sons Joe, Chris and Tom. They initially settled outside Cleveland, Ohio, but their life took them through Waldwick, NJ, Buffalo, NY, Nutley, NJ, and eventually Spring Hill, Florida, which he adored. The sunshine and swimming, as well as a cold beer, were all that he required.

Joe lost most of his hearing later in life, but despite the wall his disability created, Joe was always happy to be included in events. He agreed to return to New Jersey after he lost Bernice, a move he was heard to describe as ‘not too bad’. He loved babies and was a remarkable grandfather to his five grandchildren Chris, Jodi, Nick, Elle and Olivia, and four great-grandchildren. He will always be easy to remember with his shock of white hair, his eternal tan, his gorgeous blue eyes and his ever present smile.

Joe was memorialized at a Mass at St. Thomas of Aquin Church on Monday, December 11. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St Thomas of Aquin Church, 53 Kennedy Ave, Ogdensburg, NJ 07439.