Joseph Eugene Perrotta Jr., 93, of Tampa FL passed away on January 30th, 2023, surrounded by his loving family.
Joseph was born April 25, 1929 to Joe and Jean Perrotta, where he grew up with his little brother Peter, in a quaint little home on Front Street in Paterson, NJ.
Upon graduating Paterson High School in 1947, he served in the US Army as a military musician playing the trumpet. After completing his service, Joe attended Brooklyn Law School where he received his law LL.D degree in 1954.
After practicing law for a time, Joe felt he could have a larger impact on youth by moving into the education field. In 1965, he earned his Doctorate of Education at Rutgers University while working as a teacher. He soon transitioned into school administration, starting out as a principal. He was later selected as Superintendent of Schools for Rockland County, New York, where he remained until his retirement. Joseph was known for his incredible work ethic, passion and expertise, and left a profound impact on his community.
Upon retirement, Joseph moved to Florida, where he studied and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1994. He still felt a strong internal calling to serve troubled youth and those in need of an honest hand up. He opened a private practice and spent time doing pro bono work. He served as consultant, mediator, and mentor to many.
As great an impact as he had on his community, Joe’s number-one passion was for his family. He felt his greatest legacy was to instill the value of love for family, to whom he remained devoted over his long life.
His love was demonstrated every day in his affection, incredibly cheeky humor, and ability to turn on a dime with the wisdom that seemed to speak straight to the soul of the listener. Joe was a gifted teacher who combined humor and wisdom to teach those he came in contact with every day. As he got older, and faced many health obstacles, he continued to use his humor and wisdom to model the art of moving through different stages of the aging process with incredible humility, and grace. He loved his family and used every opportunity through the years to become closer to them.
Joseph is survived by his five children, Jeanie, Joseph, Stephanie, Melissa and Noelene; fifteen grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; and his brother Peter's children Peter, Michele, and Jeanine.
Joe’s life put him in the path of many eclectic opportunities. He worked with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and befriended people from all walks of life. He was a humble man whose favorite place to be at the end of the day was with his family, eating his favorite dish: a simple, hearty bowl of homemade Italian escarole-n-beans and a hunk of Italian bread. He will always be remembered for sharing stories of life, and family around a common table and stressed the importance of passing that tradition on to the next generation.
Joe was a man of many talents, who loved performing, singing, dancing, and letting his mischievous, playful side shine through. He was intelligent, studious - a lover of literature, philosophy and poetry, always seeking out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. He was a seeker of truth with a zeal for knowledge, and enjoyed learning and sharing new things all the way to the end. His cheeky sense of humor was legendary; his jokes usually started as “true-life” serious stories, and he maintained an unmatched ability to keep a straight face all the way up the punch line.
Two of many famous sayings Joseph was known for always saying to his kids … “Did I tell you that I love you today?” and
“Bye for now”...
To which his children say,
"Yes, Dad - you sure did, everyday. We love you too."
Bye, for now …