Joseph C. DeVita

Joseph C. DeVita
11/18/24 - 2/14/2013
Joseph C. DeVita, 88, beloved father, husband and friend has passed away on February 14, 2013.
Most recently residing in Shelby, NC and Highland Beach, FL, Joe was born on November 18, 1926 in Port Chester, NY, the son of Joseph DeVita and Florence Castiglione DeVita of Greenwich, CT.
He went on to the Navy during W.W.II (March 1943-February 1946). He later served in the Army and Army Air Corp. Joe then served in the Air Force during the Korean War (1951 - 53) by flying combat missions with the Mosquito Tactical Control Group, where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Kentucky and his Ph.D. from the University of Bridgeport and later his Doctorate in Education from Nova University. He began his 30 year career in education with the Norwalk Public Schools, working his way from teaching to serving as principal at Benjamin Franklin JHS and at Brien McMahon HS. He brought Brien McMahon through tumultuous times in the early 1970's, and was famous for his slogan and practice of “Mutual Respect and Dignity.” Joe later retired as assistant superintendent of Norwalk schools. During his career, he served as adjunct professor to the University of Bridgeport, University of Maine, Fairfield University, and Catholic University (Puerto Rico). In addition, he produced four notable books on education. In 1985, following the death of his beloved first wife, Jeanne Carrigan DeVita of 23 years, Joe retired to Florida. He spent many years as an ambassador for Crystal Cruise Line, touring the world several times. Joe was a brilliant, wise man who had a wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed (and was quite good at) ballroom dancing, cooking a big pot of Italian sauce and playing cards. Traveling was in his blood (he never missed a trip north to see his grandchildren each year), and he was an amazing story-teller. Some stories were hard to believe, but they were true and we all enjoyed hearing them. While on a cruise, he met and later married Jayne Paksoy. Wherever they traveled, he would always search out places where they could dance. Joe lived a spirited life full of fun and adventure.
He is survived by his loving wife, Jayne Paksoy DeVita, of Shelby, NC, his son Joseph C. DeVita III of Short Hills, NJ, his daughter Jeanne DeVita Jaskolski, her husband Michael and grandchildren: Sophia, Ava, and Wade of Pewaukee, WI, and son Nicholas DeVita, his wife Stacey and grandsons: Nicholas and Timothy, of Bethel, CT. He also has “bonus” grandchildren and several nieces and nephews in Connecticut, North Carolina and California whom he loved dearly.
Joe joins his brothers, Leonard and Nicholas, who have passed on before him. He will always be greatly loved and missed by all who had the honor of knowing him and the blessing of having him in their lives. A private “Celebration of Life” will be held in his remembrance by his family members.
You may contact his daughter, Jeanne, with any comments/stories at

Published in The Hour on Feb. 21, 2013