Joseph A. Maressa, Sr., Esq.
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AGE: 89 • Atco
Joseph A. Maressa, Sr., Esquire, 89, surrounded by his family, passed away peacefully in Berlin on October 30, 2012, after an extended illness. He was predeceased by his wife, Josephine (Tomassone). Mr. Maressa is survived by his four devoted children, Anthony (Bette), JoLynne, Joseph Jr. (Linda) and Julian, and five grandchildren, Josephine, Joseph R., Matthew, Caitlin, and Joseph A. III, and his loving companion of over thirty years, Muriel Mansmann. Mr. Maressa was the last member of the eight children of Antonio and Josephine Maressa; Jacob, Mabel, Louis, Frances, Frank, Leah, and Stella. He also had many nieces and nephews from his very large and extended family. He was always proud of his Italian American heritage. A life-long resident of Camden County, Mr. Maressa had a highly distinguished and successful career in law, public service, health care, and charitable works that spanned nearly seventy years. Prior to the outbreak of World War II Mr. Maressa was enrolled in the ROTC program at Franklin & Marshall University where he was also a winning Division I wrestler. He joined the U.S. Navy during the war and was deployed in the Pacific theater where he served as a mine disposal officer, Lt.Jg. After the war he completed his undergraduate degree at Temple University and became a NJ State Trooper, Badge 888. With the initial intention of joining the FBI, he entered the Rutgers School of Law, Camden, and then decided to go into private practice in 1952. In his legal profession, he was a skilled trial attorney and for well over forty years he served as the solicitor and counsel for a significant number of Southern NJ school boards, boroughs, and authorities. In 1972 he was elected to the NJ State Senate, representing the Fourth Legislative district and was selected as the Majority Whip and Chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee. A life-long champion for the residents of South Jersey, the signature legislation that he sponsored during his ten year term in the NJ legislature was Senate Bill 1540, which created the NJ School of Osteopathic Medicine - The Southern New Jersey School of Medicine. Senator Maressa's substantial expertise in medical education and public health care was extremely valuable in his later service as a Board Member, a Chairman, and a Trustee to the Kennedy Health System, as well as his work as a Trustee and member of the Executive Board of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ. Always humble about the importance of his efforts, he was nevertheless honored with many awards, citations, and tributes by local, state, and national organizations for his advocacy and contributions to the health care profession. Among his accolades was the 2009 New Jersey Hospital Association's Healthcare System Trustee Award, and being named a 2010 recipient of the Kennedy Health System's Beacon Award.
A man of great faith and conviction, Senator Maressa was bestowed into "The Order of Saint Gregory" in 2001, in recognition by the Vatican of his distinguished loyalty to the Holy See and for his dedication and support of the church by his virtue and piety. Throughout his professional life, Senator Maressa also donated countless hours of his time and provided financial support to numerous charitable causes and organizations, far, far too many to list, but each of importance to him in the development and well-being of Southern NJ families and communities. For all of his innumerable accomplishments however, Mr. Maressa was first and foremost, a man completely dedicated to the love and welfare of his family. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his viewing on Sunday, November 4th, 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM at Christ the Redeemer Parish, Assumption Church, 318 Carl Hasselhahn Drive, Atco, NJ 08004. There will also be a viewing on Monday, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 12:30 PM. Burial will be at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Berlin, NJ. Funeral arrangements are the by LEROY P. WOOSTER Funeral Home, Atco, NJ. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Kennedy Cancer Center for Health and Hope, 900 Medical Center Drive, Sewell, NJ 08080 or the Senator Joseph A. Maressa Endowed Scholarship at the UMDNJ - School of Osteopathic Medicine, One Medical Center Drive, Suite 305, Stratford, NJ 08084
LeRoy P. Wooster Funeral Home and Crematory
441 White Horse Pike
Atco, NJ 08004
Published in Courier-Post from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3, 2012