Joseph Vincent Giandurco Jr.(Joe) of Port Chester, NY died peacefully in Stamford, CT on May 26, 2020. He was born on March 13, 1927, and was 93. He was the devoted and beloved husband of Ann Theresa (nee Camillo) Giandurco. They were wed at St. Roch’s Church in her hometown of Greenwich on April 26, 1952, and were married for more than 68 years.
Joseph was a noted business and public figure in the Sound Shore area for many decades. He was the President and CEO of Panob, Inc., a manufacturer of aerospace cockpit instrumentation, one of the community’s largest employers. He oversaw Panob’s merger with Paramount Panel of Ontario, CA in 1995. He was the co-owner of a real estate firm for three decades, owning several commercial properties. He was also CEO of the Triple A Federal Credit Union, one of Westchester’s largest, and in that role helped nurture the visions of countless entrepreneurs. He oversaw the union’s merger with Quorum, one of the largest in the nation, in 2007.
During his first year as President of the Credit Union, 1958, its membership donated an outdoor, larger-than-life Shrine to Our Lady of Fatima to both Holy Rosary Church and the Village of Port Chester. It was sculpted by a member of Gutzon Borglum’s school, and still stands behind the former convent. At that time, Joe adopted Fatima as his patroness, and she remained so his entire life, along with his namesake, who as the Patron of Work and the Family aptly reflected Joe’s two main driving passions. He was a daily Communicant for the last two decades of his life, a practice interrupted only by the Covid-19 quarantine rules.
Those are just two examples of his deep and abiding Catholic faith. He was a lector at Our Lady of Mercy parish (now St. John Bosco) for many decades, and also was a philanthropic contributor to many Catholic causes, including missions in Native American tribal areas, and his sons’ high school alma mater, Stepinac in White Plains, where for example he (anonymously) donated a new tennis facility. He also was a brother of the Knights of Columbus.
Joseph’s career in public service included more than two decades as Commissioner of Parks for Port Chester. Highlights of his tenure were the commissioning of the VietNam Veterans Memorial, the Willam James Medal of Honor Memorial Gateway Park, and the erection of the baseball facilities in Lyon Park. He was nominated to run for office many times by the Republican Party, including both Mayor and State Senator, but he declined as his other interests required much of his time. He also served as campaign manager for his brother Jay’s successful Trustee runs.
The center of his life was his family. He is survived by his wife Ann, and his five children: Joanne Barnhart (predeceased by husband Thomas) of Newtown, CT, and their daughter Nicole; Kathleen Kruze of Brookfield, CT and her children Kristin Caputo, wife of Giuseppe and mother of great-grandchild Gabriella; Andrew Kruczkiewicz, and Kara Freedman, wife of Justin and mother of great-grandchild Gavin; Monsignor Joseph Giandurco, the pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Yorktown Heights; Vincent and his wife Brenda (nee Lynn) of Fairfield, CT and their daughters Grace and Ava; and Jeffrey and his wife Cathy (nee Conley) of Fairfield, CT and their children Jeffrey Jr. and Jillian. As part of his evangelization of his faith, he is the godfather of many relatives and friends, and was the sponsor for many confirmants, including his grandson Andrew Joseph and as recently as 2018, his granddaughter Grace.
He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Angelina Maria Giandurco, emigrants from Italy, and by his sisters Carmella (Millie), Catherine, Ginger, and brothers James (Jay), Vito (Bill), and Domenic. Many other relatives and non-relatives commonly refer to Joe as their second father or grandfather, a testimony to the good counsel, friendship, and love that he shared generously with so many people.
He was a fan of all things sporting, including games of chance. He was a Yankee and Giant fan, most prominently, and the family attended many of their games, and he watched Yankees’ broadcasts especially with a devotion and regularity surpassed only by his daily church attendance. His favorite ballplayer was Joe DiMaggio, and his favorite team leader was Vince Lombardi, who also served as a sort of role model in the spirit of the coach’s strong Catholic faith, unapologetic patriotism and love of country, belief in the primacy of fair play and hard work, and pride in their Italian-American heritage. Other pastimes included voracious reading of books and news media, and the enjoyment of many restaurants in this area and around the world, on the family’s many travels, which he cherished He was a regular golfer and also shared a weekly card game for many decades, until his golf and card partners became infirm over the past few years. He was a caddy in his early years to supplement his other labors, and caddied for Claude Harmon during two of his Westchester Open wins.
To all these endeavors he brought a gentle patience, wise leadership, passionate curiosity, humor instead of cant, and an abiding humility despite all that he accomplished in his life, as only partially described herein. Perhaps his greatest gift was the ability to understand and listen and counsel. His belief that life is a gift from God to be enjoyed with loved ones led him to host or enjoy thousands of celebrations throughout his life, one of which will be a public memorial and Mass after the quarantine period has come to an end. Joseph’s burial will be handled by the Craft Memorial Home, Inc. 40 Leicester St. Port Chester, NY and they will have information about the memorial on their website as it becomes available.
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