Joseph T. Strempek– A devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, great-uncle, and cherished friend to many, passed away peacefully at his residence on Saturday, April 15th, surrounded by his loving family. Aged 94, his life was marked by dedication and achievement, leaving an enduring legacy to those he touched.
A proud veteran, “Joe” as he was affectionately known, served with distinction in the US Army during the occupation of Tokyo, Japan in World War II and later in the Korean War. His skill as a marksman earned him numerous service medals for sharpshooting and marksmanship, along with two prestigious Bronze Stars.
Following his honorable military service, Joe pursued higher education at The Pennsylvania State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. He soon married his beloved Scranton sweetheart, Irene, and together they embarked on a new chapter in their lives. Joe’s career took them to New Jersey, where they made their home in Summit for more than six decades, raising their four children.
Joe’s professional career began as a Marketing Manager at Worthington Corp. in Harrison, NJ. His talent and dedication led to his promotion to Marketing & Advertising Director for Climatrol Industries, a pioneering subsidiary of Studebaker-Worthington that specialized in modern air conditioning systems.
Subsequently, Joe was recruited by the renowned Babcock & Wilcox Company in Manhattan, where he served as Senior Manager of Advertising & Sales Promotion. B&W, a leader in manufacturing commercial boiler systems and steam generators, focused on advancing nuclear energy technologies. In 1975, Joe’s team was enlisted in marketing the construction of Duke Power Company’s Oconee nuclear plant in South Carolina, which stood as one of the largest investor-owned nuclear power plants in operation at the time.
In the early 1980’s, Joe was brought on board as the Director of Marketing for United States Lines, Inc. in Cranford, NJ. He managed a dedicated team responsible for sales promotions for one of the largest international cargo shipping companies in the world.
Due to a reorganization plan at US Lines, Joe was hired as Vice President of Marketing at Thompson Transport Press, Inc. in Manhattan. He successfully led their advertising and publishing divisions, overseeing numerous marketing initiatives. Among his accomplishments, Joe created, edited, and published the company’s monthly newsletter, keeping their account base informed of new business developments, activities, and events.
Seeking to work closer to home, Joe was hired by his parish St. Teresa’s of Avila in Summit as the Manager of the Mausoleum, overseeing the day-to-day business operations.
Joseph Thomas Strempek was born June 18, 1928 in Scranton Pennsylvania, the youngest of four children of Joseph and Mabel (Killian) Strempek. He was raised by his paternal grandparents after his parents’ untimely deaths.
He is predeceased by sisters: Bernadette, Dorothy and Alice.
Survived by- Irene (Miglot) beloved wife of 68 years, Mary Jo Miller (Edwin), Jeffrey, Joseph (Jennifer) and Christopher. Grandchildren- Matthew (Kate), Brett (Cassandra), Julianna (Colton), Gianna and Ronan. Great Grandchildren- Adalyn Jo, Douglas, Claire, Madison and Bryce.
J.T. Strempek, was a beloved family man and held in high esteem by many. His passions included voracious reading and an appreciation for the art of cinema. In his youth, Joe excelled in speed skating, the only sport he had time for as he held many jobs to contribute to his family. During his time in Japan, he honed his skills in table tennis, earning recognition and accolades among his fellow Army comrades. As he matured, Joe occasionally indulged in golf and traveling with his beloved wife Irene. He also took pleasure in watching his children and grandchildren flourish in their chosen sports.
A fervent supporter of the New York Football Giants, Joe proudly cheered on his Penn State classmate and Giants’ star player, Rosey Grier. He fondly recalled attending games when the Giants played several seasons at the original Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Joe’s sports enthusiasm extended to the New York Yankees, as he rarely missed even a pre-season game. Among his all-time favorite players were legends such as Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter, and Aaron Judge. As a proud alumnus, Joe rarely missed a televised game featuring his beloved Penn State Nittany Lions football team.
Joe took great pleasure in cooking for his family, especially earning a great reputation for his delicious homemade soups. As a member, he created the Knights of Columbus newsletter for the Summit-Springfield chapter, serving as its author, editor, and publisher.
Volunteerism was a cornerstone of Joe’s life, as he devoted years of service as a member of The American Red Cross and as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Central to Joe’s life was his unwavering devotion to his faith. Alongside his wife, Irene, the couple remained steadfast parishioners of St. Teresa’s of Avila Catholic Church since they first settled in Summit.
Joseph Thomas Strempek’s life serves as a testament to his unwavering commitment to his family, his country, and his professional pursuits. He will be fondly remembered for his lasting contributions and the lives he touched with his devotion, wisdom, warmth, kindness, humility and humor leaving an indelible mark on the lives of those he encountered.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 10:45 am at St. Teresa of Avila Church, 306 Morris Ave. Summit, NJ. Entombment St. Teresa’s Cemetery. Visiting hours, Friday, April 21, 2023 from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Bradley Brough & Dangler Funeral Home, 299 Morris Ave. Summit, NJ.
Donations in Joe’s name may be made to: Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of Rosary, 543 Springfield Ave. Summit, NJ 07901 or St. Teresa of Avila Church, c/o Food Pantry, 306 Morris Ave. Summit, NJ.