Joseph M. Saraceno

Born: Tue., Mar. 11, 1924
Died: Sun., Jan. 21, 2018


5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Thu., Jan. 25, 2018
Location: Gubbiotti Funeral Home

Funeral Service

9:30 AM Fri., Jan. 26, 2018
Location: Gubbiotti Funeral Home

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Joseph M. Saraceno, 93, of Wyoming and Deerfield Beach, Florida passed away on Sunday, January 21, 2018 at his home.

Born on March 11, 1924, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Joseph was the second oldest child of the late L. Anthony and Maria Cannone Saraceno.

He was preceded in death by the love of his life, Alfonsina "Alfie" Volpe Saraceno in 1999,who passed away one month after their 50th wedding anniversary.

Joseph is survived by his four children, Mary Saraceno- Wright, Dallas Township; Anthony and his wife Denise, Bethlehem; Dorothea Atherholt and her husband Guilford, Wyoming, and Joseph S., Wyoming; seven grandchildren, Maria and her husband Christopher Morreale, Hunlock Creek; Heather Atherholt, West Wyoming; Lisa Atherholt, Exeter, Greg Atherholt and fiancé, Melissa Wright, West  Wyoming, AJ Saraceno, West Chester; Elizabeth Saraceno , Taiwan; Christina Saraceno, Bethlehem. He also had three great grandchildren, whom he adored immensely; Mackenzie and Maddox Morreale and Aviana Naylor.

Besides his family, Joseph was tremendously proud of two accomplishments in his life: his survival as a combat medic while serving the United States Army in North Africa, and Italy during World War 11 and his effect on young people as a high school teacher for almost 20 years.

Joseph was a sickly child and when he was in 1st grade doctors recommended that he move away from New York City, if at all possible.  Fortunately he had family in upstate New York and his parents reluctantly allowed him to move in with his mother's sister and her husband in Endicott, New York. About one year later Joseph's parents were able to relocate to Endicott as well and Joseph was reunited with his family.  His health problems disappeared in the countryside of upper New York state.

Joseph was an excellent student in school and very active in athletics as well. He participated in football, basketball and track and field during his high school career at Union-Endicott High School.  He spoke fondly of traveling to Syracuse, New York, while a student for a basketball clinic given by the great coach, Clair Bee.  Coach Bee was already a famous coach at the time and he went on to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

In 1943 Joseph enlisted in the United States Army. After Basic training in Rockford, Illinois, Joseph proudly served during operations in North Africa and Italy.  While serving, Joseph was involved in the battle of Casino, the liberation of Rome and additional battles in northern Italy.  While in the mountains of northern Italy, Joseph awoke one day to find his feet partially frozen and in poor condition.  he was taken to a military hospital in Florence where doctors almost amputated both feet as gangrene was beginning to set in. Thankfully, he recovered and he was able to return to the front lines, although later in life his fee caused him much pain and discomfort.  Joseph was fortunate to receive numerous medals and commendations for his military service, including the Bronze Star and the Combat Medic Badge.

After his honorable discharge from the military, Joseph attended Syracuse University and graduated with a business degree in only three years. He met his future wife and married in 1949. Joe and Alfie lived on Wyoming Avenue in West Pittston for 43 years  until moving to Wyoming, Pa. in 1992.

Joseph enjoyed a distinguished career in public education. He taught high school social studies and psychology at Wyoming Area School District and for a majority of his career he was chairman of the Social Studies Department.  Subsequent to his early retirement, which he took to spend more time with Alfiie, Joseph received tremendous satisfaction when former students would speak with him.  Although he was not known as an "easy" teacher, he received many compliments as former students related how much they benefitted in a variety of ways from having him as their teacher and mentor.

Throughout his life, Joseph was an ardent sports fan, attending numerous major league baseball games including several World Series contests and a significant number of Syracuse football and basketball games.  He also supported Wyoming Area's football and basketball teams over the years.  In addition, Joseph and Alfie were original season ticket holders of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. A life-long New York Yankee fan, Joseph took tremendous joy from predicting the big league success of Derek Jeter, whom he saw play against the Red Barons.

During his teaching career, Joseph was also a P.I.A.A. Official for High School Track and Fiend and Cross Country.  He was instrumental in the formation of the Wyoming Valley Track and Field Officials  Association and was its first President.  He was especially proud of his involvement in officiating Special Olympics Track & Field competitions, including one of the first ever held in the Wyoming Valley.

Joseph also played a key role in the formation of the Nino Montante Chapter #46 of the Disabled American Veterans for the greater Pittston area.  Joseph was the first commander of this Chapter and remained active for many years in various capacities.

In his later years, Joseph enjoyed spending time in south Florida as a "snow bird".  The warm weather seemed to be very beneficial to Joseph's health and not only made it much easier to get through each winter, but almost surely allowed him to live many more years.

Joseph will be remembered for the love he had for his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. In addition, he had a life-long thirst for knowledge on a wide variety of topics, especially in relation to world history., Unites States history, military history and anything to do with World War II, Finally, Joseph was fiercely proud of being an American, but his Italian heritage was extremely important to him as well.

Relatives and friends are invited to a memorial visitation on Thursday  from 5pm until 8pm at the Gubbiotti Funeral Home, 1030 Wyoming Ave., Exeter.

A Memorial mass will be on Friday at 10:00am at St. Monica's Parish, W. 8th St., West Wyoming, with the Rev. Peter Tomczak, pastor, as celebrant.

Interment will be in the family mausoleum at Denison Cemetery, Swoyersville

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Mary Ann Pantucci Brague
   Posted Tue January 23, 2018
So sorry to hear of your father’s passing. He was a wonderful man. You have such amazing memories of him. He was a such a great teacher, who was always available for his students. My prayers and thoughts are with your family.

Kenny Stackhouse
   Posted Tue January 23, 2018
Sorry to see such a wonderful man pass. Of all the teachers I had throughout my life, he was by far my favorite.

Tonia Farnum
   Posted Wed January 24, 2018

STRUCTURED DESIGN IN RED AND WHITE was sent by CCIU Communications Division.

John and Margaret Hoover
   Posted Wed January 24, 2018
Dear Saraceno family,
Please accept our deepest sympathies for the loss of Joe. He was a wonderful man, neighbor & friend. So many fond memories of our families in the neighborhood.

Jack & Margaret Hoover & family

Jimmy Dennis
   Posted Mon January 29, 2018
Dorothea and entire Saraceno Family,
Your Dad made school fun. I was fortunate to have him in psychology and history class way backn in 68-69.
He always made me feel accepted at a tough age in life and that was very important to many. My deepest sympathy
Jimmy Dennis

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