Father and grandfather; decorated Korean War Marine veteran, active in his community, especially the Cranford Little League Joseph Thomas DelGrippo, age 88, who was born in Newark, NJ and a 55-year resident of Cranford, NJ, died December 3, 2021 at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital after a brief illness. Mr. DelGrippo was predeceased by his wife, Margaret Kennedy DelGrippo, and is survived by his three children: Joseph Samuel DelGrippo, Anne Vaccaro and Lesley DelGrippo. He also leaves behind four grandchildren: Allison DelGrippo, Marc Vaccaro, Joseph Paul DelGrippo and Hannah Symanski. Born Guiseppe DelGrippo on October 14, 1933, in Newark, NJ, to Sabato DelGrippo and Carmela Policastro, he was one of four children and the only son. While he grew up in Newark, he forged a lifelong love with the game of baseball, becoming an adept hitter with a good eye at the plate. He became a lifelong New York Yankees fan, idolizing Joe DiMaggio due to their shared Italian heritage and having the same first name and initials. Joseph attended Irvington Tech high school before he left during his senior year in 1952 to join the Marine Corps. Joseph is a veteran of the Korean War, also known as The Forgotten War, where he served for 16 months in the First Marine Division until the truce in 1953. He then transferred to the 155th Artillery Battery 11th Marines and was honorably discharged in 1956. Joseph was awarded the Korean Services Medal with 2 stars, National Defense Medal, United Service Medal and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal. After getting married, he and Margaret eventually moved to Cranford in 1966, setting up the roots which would support him for the next 55 years. While in Cranford, he joined the Rodney Newell Fiske VFW Post 335, eventually becoming Post Commander in 1971-72, and was elected as a two-term District Commander from 1989-91. He also became the Voice of Democracy District Chairman for 12 years, the VFW Student scholarship program. In addition to his VFW and veteran's duties, he was active in multiple Township of Cranford activities, being a long-term usher at St. Michael's church, active member of the Cranford Booster Club, but primarily in his long-term commitment to the Cranford Little League including a 15-year stint as minor league (8-9 year old) coach, member of the Board of Directors and as the 30+ year manager of the Cranford Little League equipment department. He was a regular visitor to various Veterans Administration hospitals, sitting with disabled and aging veterans who often didn't have anyone else visit in the final months and days of their lives. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Marines never left him, as family, friends and fellow veterans will attest. Services will be held this Monday, December 6th, 2021 from 4-8 pm at Dooley Funeral Home on North Avenue in Cranford, NJ, with a funeral mass at 9 am Tuesday in St. Michael's Church, also in Cranford. He will be interred beside his wife at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, NJ. In lieu or in addition to flowers, a donation can be made to the Tunnels To Towers Foundation. Info can be found at t2t.org
. Dooley Funeral Home 218 North Avenue West Cranford, NJ 07016 (908) 276-0255
Published by The Star-Ledger from Dec. 4 to Dec. 5, 2021.