Joseph D. Altavilla, 106, of Metuchen, died peacefully on Monday, May 6, 2019, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in the Bronx, NY, he lived there until he was 3 years old. His mother moved back to Italy with Joseph and his siblings, where he lived until he was 16. In 1929, Joseph returned to the United States via the SS Conte Biancamano, again residing in the Bronx, before moving to Metuchen, NJ.
Joseph served in the United States Army from March 1943 through November 1945 in the 484th Air Service Squadron. During World War II, Joseph fought in Africa, the Middle East, and throughout Europe, including battles and campaigns in Northern France, the Rhineland, and fighting in the second wave of the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. He was honorably discharged at the end of his service and received the Good Conduct Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal for his heroic duty and service to his country.
Joseph was a founder of the American Italian Civic League in Metuchen; charter member of the VFW, Metuchen; member of the American Legion Fugle Hummer Post 65, Metuchen; and a member of the Metuchen Sunrise Club, an outdoor sportsman’s club.
He was employed as a tank and auto mechanic for the Raritan Arsenal and Camp Kilmer. Later, he owned and operated Joe’s Lunch Wagon.
Joseph is predeceased by his loving wife of 75 years, Edith (d.2016); his brother Dominic, and his sister, Mary. Joseph enjoyed traveling with Edith, and he had many hobbies, including gardening, hunting, fishing, cooking for his family and friends, and volunteering in his community and at the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi in Metuchen.
He is survived by his son, Joseph, of Metuchen, and his significant other, Patricia Lamanna; his daughter, Elaine Connelly and her husband, Joseph, of Edison; five grandchildren, Ann Marie Altavilla (Sonny Butts), Jenniffer Connelly (Richard Sedell), Joseph J. Altavilla, Jr. (Nicole), Mary Beth Nase (Donald), and Christine Connelly; four great-grandchildren, Donald Joseph, Madeline Mia, Joseph Luke, and Vivian Isabelle; and many nieces, nephews, family, friends, and neighbors.
A visitation will take place on Friday, May 10, 2019 from 4-8 p.m. at Costello-Runyon Funeral Home, 568 Middlesex Ave. (Route 27) Metuchen, NJ.
The funeral will take place on Saturday at 8:30 a.m., at Costello-Runyon Funeral Home, followed by a 9 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Francis Cathedral, Metuchen. Entombment will follow in Woodbridge Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Francis Cathedral School, Msgr. Richard A. Behl Endowment Fund, 528 Main St., Metuchen, NJ 08840.