Monday, June 24, 2024

Joseph J. Boccia Sr., 95

Joseph J. Boccia Sr. (Wilmington Star-News)

WILMINGTON — Joseph J. Boccia Sr., Papa Joe, of Hampstead, NC passed away on May 8, 2024. He was born on 29 August 1925 in New York City to the late Honorable Joseph A. Boccia and Rose A. Boccia (nee Novello).

Joe lived the first 28 years of his life in East Harlem on 116th St. with his parents and sister Gemma who preceded him in death. During those years he served honorably in the U.S. Navy and graduated from St. John’s University with a BA in Mathematics and an MA in Education from New York University under the GI Bill. Joe continued his study of mathematics under the National Science Foundation at the University of Maine and Drew University.

Joe taught math for 37 years on Long Island and accumulated 60 credits while working a second job and attaining a flying license, after retiring to Hampstead, North Carolina, Joe taught for another 13 years at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina and Coastal Community College in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

On 27 June 1953 he married the love of his life, Patricia M. Matis, moved to Northport, Long Island and raised six children, all of whom have graduated from four-year colleges.

His five surviving children are Rich of California, Virginia of Colorado, Jim of New Hampshire, Ronnie of North Carolina, and Raymond of New York. His son Joseph Jr,
graduated from Syracuse University, entered the U.S. Marine Corp, and was killed in 1983 in a peace mission in Beirut.

Joe is survived by 15 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren all of whom are being
raised or were raised by Joe’s children and grandchildren and their spouses, DiDi Walsh and Peter Weppler. 

Joe is also survived by a sister-in-law, Rose Matis, a nephew, Thomas De Chiara and
many cousins and nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his wife, Patricia, his
son Capt. Joseph Boccia Jr. USMC (24th MAU), Three brothers-in-law Harry, Orlando and Michael, two sisters-in-law Veronica and Helene.

Mr. Boccia’s body will be cremated and his ashes will be forwarded to the Long Island
National Cemetery at Pinelawn in Farmingdale, New York to rest with his beloved wife
and son.

Those we Love don’t go away; they walk beside us every day.

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