Joseph John Nazarro. John and Armandina Nazzaro immigrated from Chiusano, Italy settling in the Boston borough of Dorchester, Mass., where their children, Georgina, Larry, Olga and Joe Nazzaro were born and raised - schooled during the beginnings of twentieth century. Joe was the last of his siblings to enjoy a long and fulfilling life. Joe excelled in scholastics, sports and social life in the big city. Joe enlisted in the Army Air Corp when World War II broke out, assigned to the 401st Bomber Squadron, rising to the rank of Tech-sergeant while serving in the European Theater. Joe married Irene Dagg of Natick, Mass., in 1943. Irene preceded Joe in death in 2006. After the war's end, Joe and Irene moved to Seattle, Wash., where their two sons were born, and embarked on a fascinating journey, joined by their life-long associate, Bettie Jennings, revolutionizing the sport of roller skating in the US and the world. Joe aggressively introduced teaching methods developing competitive skaters through a planned progressive system of group class instruction and private lessons. He acquired California skating centers in Redwood City, San Mateo, San Pablo, San Rafael and Bakersfield. Along the way, Joe and his sons maintained two successful skating equipment distribution centers servicing skating centers in the Western and Southwestern states with skating supplies and retail skate equipment. Joe also developed a skate floor coating (Roll-on®) that improved competitive roller skaters performances on most skating floors in the country. In 1965 Joe originated the "Gold Skate Classic," an annual roller skating event aired that year on ABC Wide World of Sports. The "Gold Skate" grew to become the largest privately hosted competitive skating event in the nation, continuously running for over 40 years. Joe Nazzaro's awards and recognitions are comments on the spirit of a man of passion, enthusiasm, principle and service to his fellows. A generous and giving man, a good listener and a good man with a great sense of humor is how his friends and even casual acquaintances remember him. Throughout their years together, Joe and Irene took up golf as their principle recreation and traveled the world together. Ever the man to be first on the scene, Joe became a Charter Member of Castlewood Country Club, Pleasanton, Calif., and also a Charter Member of Indian Wells Country Club where Joe enjoyed his winters away from their Atherton, Calif., home. Husband to Irene for 63 years, life-long friend to Bettie Jennings, Joe is survived by their two sons, Joe and John Nazzaro, grandson Joseph and grand daughter Jenisa. Joe lived an exciting life - a life that never failed to benefit all who knew him. Joe enjoyed good health, good spirits, and a sound mind and was within six weeks of his 94th birthday. A cardiac arrest took him from us quickly at the age of 93. Location and time of services will be determined at later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations to your favorite cancer research or heart research charity would be appreciated.
Published in The Desert Sun on Apr. 12, 2013