Joseph (Joe) Sebastian Papa of Cranford, New Jersey, passed away at age 83 on Sunday April 12, 2020 while in residence at the Cornell Hall nursing home in Union New Jersey.
Joseph was born on January 23, 1937 in Long Island City, NY to Joseph Papa and Carmella (Caudo) Papa. His family moved to Roselle, NJ in 1947 where he graduated from Abraham Clark High School in 1954. He lettered in football and baseball for the "Rams".
He met his future wife Barbara L. Breden (Bebe) at Abraham Clark in 1951. They were married on July 6, 1957 and he spent the next 62 plus years telling people what a beautiful wife he had. This included the last couple of years as a nursing home resident when despite a failing memory he was sure to inform every aid there about the love he carried for his beautiful wife.
He worked for Esso/Exxon in Linden, NJ for 40 years as a lithographer. He forged many lasting friendships there while also playing softball for the company sponsored team.
He moved his family to Park Terrace in Cranford in 1961, where he and his wife Barbara raised four boys. He enjoyed volunteering his time supporting the Cranford Boys little league between 1970-1983 where he umpired and later managed the National League Pirates.
Joe was shy by nature, but most people would not think of him in that way as he was always finding ways to make people laugh. He loved his family and spoke of the accomplishments of his brothers and sister as well as their children with great pride. He bestowed great love upon his children and swelled with pride over their accomplishments. This later extended to his grand children who adored him.
Joe enjoyed watching football and baseball and was a huge Dodger fan starting from their days in Brooklyn. He also passed on an intense love of music to his children. He was an exceptional singer and was known to clear the dance floor when a jitterbug was in order.
In retirement, Joe enjoyed trips to Atlantic City with his wife Barbara and spending time with his children and extended family.
He is survived by Barbara, his wife of over 62 years, his brother John Papa and his wife Ann, his son Joseph and his wife Joanne, son Kevin and his wife Lisa and sons Mark and Ron. Also, his grandchildren Rachel, Vanessa, Joseph, Jessica, Daniel, Julianne, Justin and Brian.
He was predeceased, by grandson Jonathan, and brothers Salvatore, Frank, and his sister Flo Buonocore Papa.
Due to the unusual circumstances at this time there is no service planned. The family asks only that you raise a glass in the safety of your home and let those in your family know how much they're loved. It's what he always did.