Joseph Pannullo, 91, of West Caldwell, NJ, passed away peacefully on April 30, 2022. Joe experienced a vibrant life which he often described as "a little crazy," rich with love and the joys of his family.
Joe dedicated himself to family, ever smitten with his late wife Arlene (nee Biancardi), a dazzling beauty who "was not supposed to die first." He was a proud father to their three children, Joseph (Susan), Valerie Wood (Paul), and Lorrie Pannullo. He most cherished the time he spent with his seven grandsons, Joseph, Robert, Richard, Steven, Gerard, Michael, and Matthew. The youngest of five boys, he was predeceased by all his brothers, Vincent, Peter, Gaetano ("Thomm"), and Anthony ("Sonny") Pannullo.
Joe grew up in the Ironbound section of Newark, then raised his family in North Caldwell and Essex Fells. He spent the early days of his work life in the hospitality and food service industry, beginning in the 1940s, then opening Thomm's Restaurant (1957, Newark), The Fountain Restaurant (1964, Belleville), and Valor Foods (1970, Kearny). Joe enjoyed traveling worldwide and especially relished the summers spent with Arlene and friends in Positano. He had an interest in real estate development and purchased the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City in 1977. Later, he developed the Absecon Golf Course and the Fountain Condominiums in the 1980s. Joe acquired his commercial real estate license at age 75, was intentionally successful in "unretirement," and continued to make deals even in his last days.
Joe was a man of honor and integrity who was committed to service. Over many decades in Hudson and Essex County, he employed thousands of people and served millions of meals. He supplied hot meals to children in underserved areas and was honored multiple times for his employment of people with disabilities. During the pandemic, Joe volunteered to make sandwiches for a local food bank in Essex County. During his life, he was an active member of The Boys Town of Italy, the Columbian Foundation, UNICO, and The National Italian American Foundation.
A celebration of Joe's life will occur on Thursday, May 5, at Galante Funeral Home, 54 Roseland Ave in Caldwell, with visitation from 2-4 PM and 5-8 PM. The Funeral Mass will be held on May 6, at 11:30 AM, at Newark's Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
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