Eugene “Buddy” P. Sacco, Jr., lifelong resident of Chatham, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at King James Care Center of Chatham on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. He was 91.
Buddy was a graduate of Chatham High School, where he was the school’s first All-State soccer player as a junior. He was an accomplished man who led a life dedicated to the service of others. He was a member of the Chatham Volunteer Fire Department for over 60 years.
Buddy attended Seton Hall and Rutgers before enlisting in the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor. He served as 1st Lieutenant in the 15th Air Force “Flying Fortress” bombardiers in England, completing 64 missions and was the recipient of the Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters, and a Presidential citation.
Following his service to his country, Buddy enrolled at Drew University where he majored in classics and was an outstanding member of the Drew baseball team. He was regarded by coach, Doc Young, as “one of the greatest hitters in American college baseball,” and “a great team player.” He would later be inducted into the Drew University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
Buddy owned and operated the family business, Chatham Moving and Storage, started by his father, Eugene, in the early 1900s, and was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Church. He was a founding member of the “Appalachian Toy Drive” and assisted with drive efforts for over 30 years. His family continues to donate their time through the Chatham Moving company, now owned and operated by his children and grandchildren, to deliver donations to the people of Appalachia every year.
Buddy was predeceased by his parents, Hazel and Eugene P. Sacco, Sr. He is survived by his sister, Hazel “Sis” Badcock, Florham Park; former wife, Bette Sacco, Chatham; his eight children, Linda (Scott) Stehlgens, Pete (Amy), Craig (Clarissa), Brian (Renee), Mark (Robin), Jeff, Jennifer (Rick) Bumgarner, and Amy; 14 grandchildren, Chase Stehlgens (Rich) Haffner, Tyler Stehlgens, Taylor Stehlgens, Jason Sacco, Jonathan (Krystle) Sacco,Victoria Sacco, Kevin Sacco, Danny and Allison Sacco, Shelby, Clay and Kurt Sacco, Colin and Colby Bumgarner and 2 great-grandchildren,
Avery and Camryn Haffner.
Services will be held at Wm. A Bradley & Son Funeral Home in Chatham on Sunday, October 27, from 4-7 pm. A mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Churchon Monday, October 28th at 10 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to the Chatham Borough Volunteer Fire Department, One Fire House Plaza, Chatham, NJ 07928