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Joseph M. DE STEFANO


1921 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Joseph M. DE STEFANO Obituary
October 31, 1921 - October 11, 2016 Joe passed away peacefully at his home in Yorba Linda, surrounded by family, just 20 days shy of his 95th birthday. The youngest son of seven children, he was born in Manhattan to Mariannina (nèe Caivano) and Luigi De Stefano. Raised in Brooklyn, he graduated from Brooklyn Tech in 1940, and earned his engineering degree from Newark College of Engineering in 1950. Joe served his country during WWII as a Machinist in the U.S. Army Air Forces, and was assigned to Kingman AAF Base in Arizona. He was deployed to the European Theater of Operations from April 1945 through March 1946. As an engineer, Joe worked for Gulton Industries in the 1950s helping develop the first re-chargeable flashlight. After moving to Culver City, CA in 1957, he became involved in the fledgling aerospace industry, and worked as a subcontractor for the Apollo Space Program. He would make a name for himself in manufacturing, helping to advance miniaturization techniques for pressure transducers, earning him the nickname "Mr. Transducer." Variations on his processes are still in use today for "pressure to electrical impulse" applications, including the touch screen. Joe retired from engineering in 1981. He moved to Yorba Linda in 1971, where he would live out the remainder of his days. In 1974, he made a go at politics, running for Yorba Linda City Council, and although unsuccessful, he made lasting friends of his rivals. An avid athlete in his youth, Joe had a brief stint playing both semi-pro football and minor league baseball. In retirement, he coached youth baseball and soccer. However, it was a love for golf that kept him going well into his 80's. Family was a central theme in his life, and he loved family vacations, especially his annual trips to Maui, but he was happiest when surrounded by close family and friends at home. Joe was an active member of several organizations including the Knights of Columbus; the American Legion; the VFW; and Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. Joe was preceded in death by his parents; six siblings; his first wife, Frances; a stepson, Kraig; and a granddaughter, Chiara. He is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years, Sherley (nèe Catlett); two loving sons, Charlie (Cath) and Joey (Janelle); two beautiful granddaughters, Jennifer and Gigi; and numerous relatives and friends. A funeral mass was held on November 12, 2016 at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church, with interment at Miramar National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the National Italian American Foundation (NAIF) to support their educational and youth programs.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Nov. 11 to Nov. 12, 2016
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