Joseph Roy Aversa

Joseph Roy Aversa, 87, a lifelong resident of Old Forge, died Wednesday after a three-week stay at Hospice Community Care in Dunmore. He is survived by his beloved wife, Elizabeth "Betty" Rybitski Aversa. Wed on Sept. 25, 1954, the couple would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary next year.

Born May 28, 1925, son of the late Anthony and Theresa Gentile Aversa, Joseph was educated in Old Forge schools before honorably serving in the Army. For nearly 50 years before his retirement, he worked as a brake repairman for the Pagnotti Coal Co. He also worked for almost 20 years as a ticket salesman at Pocono Downs. He loved horse racing as he enjoyed spending time at the racetrack with his friends. Dating back to his youth, he was active in Old Forge Blue Devils youth athletics, coaching many teams; umpiring many games; and rooting on many athletes. An avid sports fan, he enjoyed fishing and watching New York Yankees baseball but his favorite pastime came with watching his children and grandchildren play sports. Of Roman Catholic faith, he was a longtime member of Prince of Peace Parish in Old Forge.

A kind and soft-spoken man who will never be forgotten, Joseph was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle.

He is survived by his eight children: five sons, Anthony J. Aversa and wife, Colleen, New Hampshire; Joseph J. Aversa and wife, Sandra, Philadelphia; Martin J. Aversa and Matthew J. Aversa, both of Dingmans Ferry; Michael J. Aversa and wife, Molly, Old Forge; and three daughters, Elizabeth M. Hochreiter and husband, Neil, Old Forge; Christine M. Comerford and husband, Joseph, New Jersey; and Rene S. Aversa-Heeley, New York; his siblings: two brothers, Gregg Aversa and wife, Bette, Camp Hill; and James Aversa, Old Forge, and two sisters, Ann Calabrese, New York; and Rosemarie Brown, Camp Hill; 13 grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was also preceded in death by a brother, Ross Aversa; a sister, Marie Tomasetti, and a son-in-law, Keith Heeley.

The funeral will be Saturday at 9:15 a.m. from the Thomas P. Kearney Funeral Home Inc., 517 N. Main St., Old Forge, with a 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Prince of Peace Parish, Old Forge, to be celebrated by Rev. Louis T. Kaminski, pastor. Interment, Old Forge Cemetery.

Relatives and friends may pay their respects Friday, 4 to 8 p.m., at the funeral home. In appreciation of the H.C.C. staff's exceptional care for Joseph through his stay with them, memorial contributions may be made in Joseph's name to Hospice Community Care's Memorial Fund, 100 William St., Dunmore, 18510.

Visit www.kearneyfuneral for directions or to leave an online condolence.

Funeral Home

Kearney Funeral Homes
517 North Main Street Old Forge, PA 18518-1811
(570) 562-1590

Published in Scranton Times on May 2, 2013