Joseph Anthony Materna, Esq., of Prince's Bay, a noted Staten Island attorney known as much for his love of family as his legal expertise, died Wednesday, Jan. 27, after a short and aggressive battle with Covid-19. He was 73 and died in Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
He was surrounded by his wife, Dolores, daughters Jodi Marie (son-in-law Tad Davis), Jennifer, and Janine. He and his wife just celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary Dec. 14.
Mr. Materna achieved many accomplishments in life but beamed when he was recognized by Columbia University as the first alumnus of Columbia College in its history who had three daughters who also graduated from Columbia College.
His family remembered how he enjoyed being a lawyer and giving lectures in his spare time on behalf of the N.Y. Archdiocese -- and also how he adored spending time with his family, especially while vacationing to nearly 50 countries.
Most recently, Mr. Materna was honored by the Top 100 Registry as the 2020 Attorney of the Year in the State of New York.
His family recalled how was known for his speeches and toasts, whether profound eulogies, or toasts at graduation parties or weddings. His toast for daughter Jodi Marie's wedding in November 2019 still has people talking about how it was the best wedding toast they ever heard, family said.
He loved to tell "jokes," whether at a will signing, family gathering or when meeting new people. He was definitely a "girl dad," they said, in loving gossip, "the story," shopping and "getting a deal."
Mr. Materna was born in Garfield, N.J., to Peggy and Anthony Materna on June. 13, 1947. He received his B.A. degree from Columbia College and his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School, both of Columbia University. He served his country in the military, and will receive a military funeral.
He started his career with an established law firm, and later established his own firm: the Law Office of Joseph A. Materna, Esq., primarily focusing on Trusts & Estates Planning. He served as a lecturer in the field and an expert witness in Trusts and Estates field court litigations. He also provided pro bono work to those in need.
He was a member of a host of professional organizations -- the American Bar Association, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York County Lawyers' Association, New York State Bar Association, Committee on Estate and Trusts Administration, Richmond County Bar Association, Queens County Bar Association, Florida Bar Association, and the New Jersey Bar Association.
Also, the New York City Civil Court Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, American Judges Association, Estate Planning Council of New York City, Planned Giving Board of the Arthritis Foundation, Bequests and Planned Gifts Committee of the Archdiocese of New York, National Association of the Estate Planning Council, Memorial Sloan-Kettering National Trusts and Estates Association, Columbia College Alumni Association Alumni Class President, Columbia Law School Alumni Association, and Richmond Town Historical Society.
He was a member of the Bar of New York, New Jersey, and Florida, and admitted to all local State and Federal Courts, U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit, U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Supreme Court, and Probate Courts in all counties in Florida.
Notably, he held the Peer Review AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell for over 25 years. Since 2010, he also possessed the Highest Possible Peer Review Rating in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards.
He was presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who; International Who's Who; Who's Who in the World; Who's Who in America; Who's Who in American Law; Who's Who in the East; Continental Who's Who; Strathmore's Who's Who.
He was named Top Trusts & Estates Attorney in New York City by Avenue Magazine; Who's Who Lifetime Achievement; named Top 100 Trusts & Estates Attorney in New York State by The American Society of Legal Advocates, 2014-present; named Top 10 Best Estate Planning Attorneys in New York for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service by the American Institute of Legal Counsel – 2019; and Lawyers of Distinction Recognizing Excellence in the Practice of Law.
He has been published in The Arthritis Reporter, writing about wills and tax law.
"Our hearts are heavy for the sudden loss of my extraordinary loving husband," said his wife, Dolores. "He shall be remembered for being a loving father and honored for his gifts of love, inspiration, patience, kindness and immeasurable warmth."
"He had numerous professional accomplishments in his life, but what he felt was his most profound accomplishment was his marriage to his loving wife, Dolores . . . and the accomplishments of his three daughters, Jodi Marie, Jennifer and Janine," read one tribute.
In addition to his wife, Dolores, and daughters Jodi Marie (son-in-law Tad Davis), Jennifer, and Janine, he is survived by two brothers, Dr. Thomas Materna and Kevin Materna.
Colonial Funeral Home at 2819 Hylan Boulevard, New Dorp, is handling arrangements. A wake will be held Sunday, Jan. 31, from 3 to 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be Monday, Feb. 1, at 10 a.m. in St. Clare's R.C. Church, 110 Nelson Ave., Great Kills.
All Covid-19 face mask and social distancing restrictions will be in place.
Published by Staten Island Advance from Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, 2021.