Joseph Michael DeStefano II, “Joe,” passed away peacefully at the age of 58 on March 12, 2023.
Kind, caring, and greatly respected are just a few of the words used to describe Joe. Beloved by family, friends and coworkers alike, he was your go-to man when you had a question. Gifted with the knowledge of nearly everything; if you were to pose an inquiry, be it about the chemistry behind your latest prescription, how to caulk the bathroom sink, or how many episodes of The Simpsons exist, you were sure to be educated. Correctly, no less.
A graduate of Rutgers University in Camden, Joseph pursued an education in biochemistry and organic chemistry. While doing so, at 21 years old, he created a computer program that would help students analyze the results of titration experiments in an analytical chemistry lab. In his own words, as borrowed from a feature in the 1986 Philadelphia Inquirer that highlighted his achievement, “the programs plot the graphs and give supplemental data. Plotting graphs is a tedious and time-consuming process. With this step already done by the computer, the students can concentrate on other areas of the lab.”
This careful consideration and desire to help others extended far beyond his college years. He was known to be a helper.
He pursued a career as a chemist for a number of years after graduation before shifting his focus to craftwork. He was a skilled contractor and renovated homes that would be stunningly revivified for their newest tenants. These skills were put to good use by his family members as well who were always benefiting from his advice and expertise. He renovated his sister’s entire kitchen, built a sunroom for his parents, and lent a hand to all of his siblings, and his nieces and nephews, whenever home repairs became daunting.
When he grew tired of such manual labor, he returned to his love for computers. He put his coding skills to work, creating new programs, and offering support to his employer and coworkers at PTI, Packing Technologies and Inspection, where he stayed until his passing.
A native New Yorker, as he was born May 4, 1964, in Bay Shore, NY, he was destined to be a fan of the Pinstripes. An enduring Yankee fan, baseball brought much joy to his life. You could always count on a rousing conversation if you merely mentioned the game. For those of us who could not meet his intellect, pivoting the conversation to the Yanks was a safe bet.
But it was his gift of knowledge, and his patience and grace that became pivotal when his mother suffered a stroke and he became a full-time care-giver. He doted on her and his father in the most difficult of times. He quietly bore the weight of the world in making sure that they were cared for and comfortable. He joins them now in heavenly peace.
He is survived by his brother Michael and sister-in-law Jenine DeStefano, his sisters Lisa Campochiaro and Lori DeStefano, nieces Marissa Campochiaro and Gina Rodriguez, and nephews Nicholas Campochiaro and Joseph Rodriguez along with many more beloved family and friends.
Services will be held on Wednesday, March 22nd at St Charles Borromeo Church, located at 176 Stagecoach Rd, Sicklerville, NJ 08081. The visitation will take place from 9:30am -10:45am. Mass to follow at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Heart Association. Memories and condolences may be shared on the tribute wall.
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