James "J.J." Sunseri, 70, of Erlanger, Ky., born as Tito Libero Cavanti in Ascoli Piceno, Italy on May 4, 1950, passed away on January 2, 2021 from injuries sustained in an auto accident on December 13, 2020.
J.J. was adopted in the United States when he was thirteen by Joseph and Dorie (Osinski) Sunseri of Erie, Pa., who are preceded in death.
He was a graduate of Erie Cathedral Prep High School in 1968. After high school he spent a year at Penn State Behrend Campus where he found his passion for horses. J.J. spent his adult life as a professional jockey with more than ten thousand thoroughbred mounts over 45 years. He has raced in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana and Florida. He also appeared in the movie "Dreamer" as the stunt jockey. J.J. received numerous awards including a Kentucky State Senate citation for his professional dedication. He was also a member of the Florence Elk Lodge #314 for 17 years serving in several capacities including chaplain. He was a great Storyteller! and dancer. He never forgot a birthday or special occasion for anyone in his huge extended family. He was always sending cards with underlines on the meanings he wished to emphasize. His love for his cousins and their children went beyond happiness. Mr. Santa is what he was! He gave love and smiles for all who knew him.
He is survived by his "Lady" Judith Costigan of Cincinnati, Ohio, an uncle and many aunts and cousins.
A memorial visitation will be held Saturday, February 6, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with funeral services to follow at Linnemann Funeral Homes in Erlanger, Ky. Memorial contributions can be made Elks Lodge #314 "Christmas Giving Tree In Memory of J.J.," 7704 Dixie Hwy., Florence, KY 41042. Online condolences can be made at www.linnemannfuneralhomes.com
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Published by Erie Times-News on Jan. 30, 2021.