Joseph Anthony Perna
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Joseph Anthony Perna, died Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. He was predeceased by his parents, Mildred Mineo and Joseph Perna Sr., loving stepfather, Sam Graziano, and his brother, Sam. He leaves to cherish his memory his devoted and loving wife, Gail; his daughter, Joanne Perna Maffei and her husband Joe; his adored grandchildren, Arianna (his Nana), Joseph (his pal), Millie (his tootie), and Zoie (his lil Zuzu). Also surviving are his sisters, Maryann and her husband Junior Montalbano, and Madeline and her husband Jack Pacailler; his brothers, Robert and Daniel Graziano. He also leaves many nieces and nephews. He was a devoted family man always protecting and guiding his family by sharing his knowledge and experiences.
He graduated from Passaic High School, then attended Thomas Edison College and John Jay College before receiving his master's degree from Pepperdine University. Joe had an accomplished career in law enforcement which all began one rainy day having a chat with a gentleman standing under an awning. He began his career as a Passaic police officer in 1965. He was drafted into the Army in 1966 and served in Vietnam and discharged in 1968. In 1972, Joe moved to Brick and was one of 6 people hired to start the Brick Police Dept. He rose through the ranks up to Police Inspector, retiring in 1992. During his career in Brick, Joe took a one year leave of absence to become head of security for the TVA in Chattanooga, TN. In 1993, he began a new law enforcement career as director of Ocean County Police Academy. In the late 90's, Joe was part time professor at Monmouth University. Joe finally retired from his law enforcement career in 2011.
Joe was many things to many people and very involved in the community. He was a member of the Brick Jaycees, Rotary Club, Emerald Society, Police Academy Directors Assoc, O.C. Mentoring services, Republican Club, Chiefs Assoc. and found time to coach in the junior sports league in Brick.
Joe was a man of great strength and kindness always ready to help those in need. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, especially those who had the privilege of calling him family or friend. His legacy will live on in our hearts for generations to come.
Viewing hours will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. & 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23 at Colonial Funeral Home, 2170 Hwy. 88, Brick. Funeral Mass and cremation will be private.
Colonial Funeral Homes - Brick
2170 Highway 88
Brick, NJ 08724
Published in Asbury Park Press on Aug. 22, 2013