Joseph J. Garzio, of Hazle Township, passed away at St. Luke’s Miners Campus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Coaldale on June 4th, 2020 at the age of 81 after a heartbreaking battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
The son of the late Joseph and Florence (Charosky) Garzio, he was born in Hazleton on July 30, 1938 and grew up in McAdoo. He attended McAdoo High School where he was a star basketball player. He left school to work in the family business, Garzio’s Pizzeria, which is still remembered for having the best pizza in town. He was stationed in Hawaii during his two years in the Army and returned to McAdoo to marry his high school sweetheart, Anastasia Moisey. He was employed by the Hazleton Brickyard during the 1960s and later worked for PP&L after earning his GED in the 1970s. Eventually, he was promoted to foreman at the Berwick Nuclear Plant and was always proud of his work there. After retiring in the 1990s, he kept himself busy as a bus driver for the Hazleton School District. A true hard worker, he drove buses until the ripe old age of 78.
He belonged to the Holy Name of Jesus Parish in West Hazleton. He was a member of the McAdoo High School Alumni Association where he served on the planning committee, the McAdoo Prime Timers, and a lifetime member of the VFW. In the 1970s, he served a single term on the McAdoo Borough Council. When asked last year why he decided not to run for a second term, he said that he was tired of people calling him in the middle of the night to complain that their toilets were clogged.
He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and blueberry picker. He loved dancing to all kinds of music and was a champion in his fingers league. He took care of his house until he was hospitalized earlier this year and always took pride in his home. He loved to clam the bay behind his condo in Ocean City, MD, and Blue Crab with a cold Michelob Ultra was one of his favorite meals. His other hobbies included following sports on the TV, talking to friends and family on the phone, practicing the world’s worst Jimmy Stewart impression, and joking that his name was Giuseppe Garcia.
He was loved and respected by many friends and cared deeply for his family.
He was preceded in death by Stasia, his wife of forty-four years, his parents Joe and Florence, and his brothers Bernard and Richard. He is survived by his brother Robert and wife Flossie of Silver Brook; his children, Noreen and husband Robert J. McGarry of Perkasie; Joseph and wife Mary Ann of Wayne; and Keith and wife Amy of Berwyn; grandchildren Robert, Jessye, and Eric McGarry; Joseph and Gavin Garzio; and Natalie and Anna Garzio; his brothers-in-law Michael and Mark Moisey, and Mark’s wife Janet; and nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his companion Karen Zapotosky, with whom he enjoyed thirteen years.
He will be truly missed by his family though they will never forget the many words of wisdom he left them, such as “Blow your nose and get that nonsense out of your head,” “Wish in one hand and s*** in the other,” and his favorite prayer, “Good food, good meat, getting late, let’s eat.”
Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, there will be a private family service. A celebration of life for friends and family to be held at a future date.
Donations may be made in his memory to the Lewy Body Dementia Association at www.lbda.org
The Damiano Funeral Home Inc., McAdoo, is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be entered, and information is available at www.damianofhinc.com.
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