Joseph Vella

Obituary of Joseph L. Vella

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Formerly of South Plainfield, NJ – Joseph L. Vella, 102, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 at Complete Care at Holmdel.  Born April 22, 1921 in Elizabeth, Joe lived through the Great Depression, played drums for the St. Anthony & Bugle Corp and was a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School.


Joe served proudly in the United States Navy as Chief Petty Officer, where he was honored to receive the Navy letter of Commendation for his acts of heroism during his time in the Pacific.  He fought with the fleet in the Okinawa Gunto Campaign, Eniwetok and Saipan and served thirty-seven years in the United States Naval Reserve prior to his honorable discharge.


After attending night class for six years, Joe graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University.  He started his career as a tinsmith, then a painter and Industrial Engineer.  He retired from GAF Corporation where he was a Supervising Purchasing Agent and was President of Local 146.  He was also the former owner of Alchar, Inc., Director of the Advisory Board for Franklin State Bank for ten years and in his spare time, he enjoyed writing poetry.


A dedicated member of his community, Joe was involved as founder/chairman of the Gran Centurions in Clark, and was President of the Woodbridge Rotary Club for two years.  He was director for thirteen continuous years for the Community Association Board of Greenbriar Woodlands, member of the golf club and founder of the Emergency Management Team.


Joe also served and devoted his time to Veterans.  He was former Adjutant of the VFW Post 8885, member of the American Legion Chaumont Post 243, former Commander of Grasselli Veterans and intermittently Junior Vice Commander of VFW Post 673.


A devout catholic, Joe was an Extraordinary Minister of St. Luke’s Parish, chairman of their Food Pantry for six years, and was Co-Bible Class Facilitator for Sacred Heart Church in South Plainfield.


Predeceased by his beloved wife of sixty-nine years, Mildred Rose who died December 28, 2012 and by his granddaughter Tara, he leaves behind his children; Joseph and his wife Diane, Barbara Young and her husband Alan and Susan Vasquez and her husband John, as well as five grandchildren; Justin, Lauren, Bryan, Christian and Ryan as well as seven great-grandchildren; Alyssa, Andrew, Rachel, Julian, Ryan, Daniel and David.


Visitation will be held at McCriskin-Gustafson Home for Funerals, 2425 Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield, NJ 07080 on Thursday, December 28, 2023 from 4pm until 8pm, with concluding services and reflections at 7:30pm and on Friday, December 29, 2023 beginning 9am.


Funeral services will begin at 9:30am in the funeral home on Friday, December 29, 2023 followed by a 10:00am funeral mass at Sacred Heart Church in South Plainfield.  Joseph will be laid to rest with his wife Mildred at Woodbridge Memorial Gardens.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Joe’s name sent to Sacred Heart Church would be appreciated.



4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, December 28, 2023
McCriskin – Gustafson Home For Funerals
2425 Plainfield Avenue
South Plainfield, New Jersey, United States
A concluding service and reflections will begin at 7:30pm.

Funeral Mass

10:00 am
Friday, December 29, 2023
Church of the Sacred Heart
149 South Plainfield Avenue
South Plainfield, New Jersey, United States
Prior to mass, additional visitation will be held in the funeral home beginning 9:00am.

Mausoleum Entombment

Woodbridge Memorial Gardens
Route 1
Woodbridge, New Jersey, United States
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Joseph Vella

In Loving Memory

Joseph Vella

1921 - 2023

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