Joseph John Martucci died peacefully in Philadelphia with his children by his side March 11, 2021. He succumbed to a short battle with cancer. He was 69.
Joseph was born on February 22, 1952 in Philadelphia to Joseph and Helen Martucci (née O’Brien). He is a graduate of Father Judge High School, Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in English, and St. Joseph’s University with a master’s degree in organizational development. Most recently, he lived in Ellendale, Delaware.
Joe leaves behind his two children, son Philip (husband David Heulitt) and daughter Marisa Codi, and two grandchildren, Mia Belle and Ella Mae Codi. He also leaves behind his ex-wife and life-long friend, Carolann Martucci, his mother, Helen, and brother Daniel Martucci.
Joe had two great passions in life—teaching and animals. After leaving a successful corporate job, he transitioned to teaching as a professor at Philadelphia University and Wilmington College, where he touched the lives of many students over the years. And in his later years, he managed a successful dog-sitting business out of his home in Delaware where, at any time, he was caring for a number of furry friends. His own dogs, over 20+ years, were like his children, including Leather Marie, Harley Davidson, Birdie Mae, Diva DeeDee Delores, Gus, Ozzie and Ted.
Joe is best known for his intellect, prolific writing, culinary expertise and humorous storytelling. The most cherished memories of his children will be sitting around the dinner table, enjoying a huge Italian meal and laughing for hours over wine as everyone listened to his unique and hilariously witty brand of storytelling.
To everyone else, including his students and friends, he leaves behind a legacy of comfort, care and support, and the ability to challenge minds and open hearts to living as true, strong individuals, as proven in the final assignment given to university students of his Brainpower & Creativity class:
“A theme throughout this class has been the gift--the special attribute, ability or talent that makes you unique and that will, some day, form the basis of your legacy. Some of you have already found it and some of you are still searching. That’s fine too--there’s no set due date. But you all ultimately have this task before your life is done: to leave behind a contribution, a marker, of your time here. Your diversity--your race, your gender, ethnicity, cultural background, religious beliefs, political stance, whatever-- is just your shell. I want you to crack that open and find the nugget that will make you remembered as the person you are.”
“Find your point of excellence, your gift to the world, and share it. Tell a story, make someone laugh, lend a hand, shed a tear, plant a seed. Leave this world gently but with a footprint. Then you will have succeeded.”
A private funeral mass will be held Thursday, March 18, followed by private interment at All Saints Cemetery in Wilmington, Delaware. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Delaware Humane Association. https://delawarehumane.org/donate/gift/
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