Joseph J. Jurczak, 90, of Mountainside, NJ, passed away on September 5, 2023. Memorial visiting hours are at Bradley, Smith & Smith Funeral Home, 415 Morris Ave. Springfield will be on Tuesday, September 12th from 3 to 7pm. Interment is private.
Born in Newark, the son of Stefan and Maryann (Bazydlo) Jurczak, Joseph was raised in Harrison where he graduated high school and lettered in baseball and football. He had also lived in Roselle Park before moving to Mountainside in 1964. Joseph proudly served in the United States Navy during the Korean War aboard the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Ticonderoga, earning a National Defense Service ribbon and a Good Conduct medal. He was known as, “Jersey Joe Jurczak” when playing baseball in the Navy. He was a star hitter and shortstop for the “Ti” team.
A member of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers’ Local Union #25, he worked as a sheet metal welder and fabricator and recently received his 50 Year Gold Card. In his earlier years, Joseph coached Mountainside Football and Little League Baseball and was a member of the Mountainside Volunteer Fire Department. He was a hardworking, dedicated husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather who in his active years dedicated his time and talents to his community.
Affectionately nicknamed, “Papa Joe”, his tough-guy exterior melted away with the addition of two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. He enjoyed many celebrations with the Bongiovanni and DeCristoforo families. He was very proud of his sons and all their personal and professional accomplishments.
Joseph was the beloved husband of Sylvia (nee Domin) for over 63 years. He was the loving father of Stephen and his wife Linda, Stewart and his wife Kelly. He is also survived by his cherished grandchildren, Stephen, Jr. and his fiancé, Heidie Beyer, Matthew, Cailyn, and Kara as well as many loving relatives and friends.
The highlight of any week was enjoying a family dinner. Joseph and Sylvia mastered the art of making pasta sauce, to the delight of all. Joseph could spend hours preparing a seafood feast or enjoying a Thanksgiving turkey leg. He was an attentive host, and always willing to help when he was a guest.
Joseph may have been a man of few words, and even fewer with the onset of Alzheimer’s Dementia, however, the love of family was ever-present in the twinkle of his crystal blue eyes.