Joseph DiMaria Of Dongan Hills, a consummate family man, dies at age 93 Joseph DiMaria, the consummate family man, died peacefully at home on Thursday. He was 93 and proud of his age. Born and raised in Brooklyn, the son of Sicilian immigrants, DiMaria enlisted in the U.S. Marines at age 16 and trained at Camp Lejeune where he became a drill instructor. He served in Guam and ended his tour in China. He was honorably discharged in 1950. After convincing the former Gregoria Arnone to give a Marine a break and go out with him, she finally accepted. The couple married on June 6, (D-Day) 1954. The DiMaria's would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary next month. Ten years later the couple relocated to Dongan Hills where they resided to this day. They shared five children, and DiMaria often joked that each one was his favorite. DiMaria, a graduate of St. John's University, began his life-long career in US Customs in 1964 where he served as a US Import Specialist. In addition to materials and chemicals, he became an expert in diamond appraisals. This included his assessment of Elizabeth Taylor's diamond for her engagement ring also known as the "Hope Diamond." Additionally, he received a commendation for the creation of an envelope which was used for foreign imports to expedite the examination of a package. He retired in 1994. He was a member of the American Legion, Patrick J. D'Alessio Post 1310 and also was active at St. Sylvester R.C. Church. He joined the Holy Name Society in 1964 as well as the Parish Council. He also was an usher every Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. mass. DiMaria was a music enthusiast partaking in the St. John's University Chorus. He loved to listen to both modern and classical music and in particular Italian operatic tenor, Luciano Pavarotti. His other hobbies included reading, fishing, building things with his hands, and smoking a good cigar. He also never turned down fine wine or chocolate. He reveled in traveling with his wife by his side. He also enjoyed trying out new restaurants but often stated how nothing could compare to his wife's cooking. Although he had many interests, his wife commented, "He always put his family first and loved having them around him. His children were his priority and grandchildren and great-grandchildren were his pride and joy." Both his children and grandchildren concurred that he often spoke of how he "lived a fulfilled life" and "how blessed he was." In fact, his favorite statement was "he loved his family big- big!" He is survived by his wife, Gregoria, his children, Guy DiMaria (Cesarina), Joseph (Gina) DiMaria, Antonine (Louis) Petrocelli, Michelle (Carmine) DeSantis, and Camille (Richard) L'Insalata, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Hanley Funeral Home, New Dorp with visitation on Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Tuesday from 3 to 8 p.m. A funeral mass will be offered at St. Sylvester R.C. Church Wednesday at 10 a.m. Flowers are suggested through Wildflowers or donations may be made to St. Sylvester R.C. Church in DiMaria's name. Hanley Funeral Home 60 New Dorp Lane Staten Island NY 10306 (718) 351-1800
Published in Staten Island Advance from May 29 to May 30, 2021.