McNulty Funeral Home
494 E Butler Dr
Freeland, PA 18224
(570) 636-3330
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Dr. Joseph M. DellaCroce DDS

Dr.  Joseph M. DellaCroce DDS Obituary

Dr. Joseph M. DellaCroce, DDS, best known by all as "Doc," a longtime Freeland resident, passed away Sunday surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Hazleton and was a graduate of MMI Preparatory School, Muhlenberg College and Temple University School of Dentistry. Prior to entering dentistry, he served in the U.S. Army.

Doc practiced dentistry in Freeland from 1964 until his retirement in 2016.

Doc had been an active member of the community throughout his life. He was a well known antique car owner and enthusiast as well as an "aspiring" mechanic. There seemed to be nothing that Doc couldn't do, fix or make. He knew something about almost everything.

During recent years, he could be found in his garage restoring an antique car or doing a woodworking project. Many people in town have swings, Adirondack chairs or decorative outhouses that Doc made.

Doc was a fixture at Gera's garage, grabbing a bite at the Freeland Diner, or having early morning coffee and donuts with the guys at the wellness Center after his workout.

As a dedicated member of St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church, Doc was an active volunteer every Thursday making pierogi after his retirement from dentistry after 51 years.

He always held a special place in his heart for Freeland and the surrounding communities and was fond of knowing people by their nicknames. Doc was constantly on the go. He found a friend wherever he went and always had a smile for everyone, usually followed by a funny story or bad joke. He knew everybody and was always ready to lend a hand to help a friend. People and animals were drawn to him and his easygoing nature.

Professionally, Doc was a past president of the Hazleton Dental Society, along with a member of the American, Pennsylvania and Third District dental associations. For a number of years, he served as chairman of both the People's Bank Advisory Board and the Foster Twp. Board of Supervisors. He was a board member of the Keystone Job Corps, along with the Lions Club, Northeast Small Business Association and Antique Car Club of America.

He is best known for his role as a loving and devoted husband to his wife, Dolores, an amazing, kind and generous father and role model to his four children. He was a doting and lovable grandfather. He always had a joke or funny story to tell and wore a contagious smile.

Doc was preceded in death by his wife, Dolores, of 61 years; his parents, Dr. Joseph and Elizabeth DellaCroce; and his brother, Dr. Jack DellaCroce.

He is survived by their four children, Dr. Joseph M. DellaCroce Jr., Yardley; Catherine Kost (Mark), Fairfax Station, Va.; Robert J. DellaCroce (Stephanie), Phoenixville; and Joan DellaCroce, Bear, Del.; along with eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, Dorothy Sparks (Bob), Lebanon; Elizabeth Leaser, Marco Island, Fla.; along with several nieces and nephews.

There will never be another Doc; he was truly one of a kind. A father and a friend, his passing has left a void in his family's lives that will never be filled. He will be deeply missed.

Doc's viewing will be held Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at McNulty Funeral Home, 494 E. Butler Drive, Freeland, for friends for a walk-through viewing; there will be no gathering at funeral home due to COVID-19 pandemic and CDC requirements - masks are required.

The viewing will also be available by Zoom. Those interested can contact McNulty Funeral Home at 570-636-3330 or [email protected] to arrange access.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Byzantine Church 643 Fern St., Freeland, followed by his burial at St. Mary's Cemetery.

The family requests that donations be made to St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church, 643 Fern St., Freeland, PA 18224, in lieu of flowers.

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