Joseph Valentine Fazzina
Joseph Valentine Fazzina 2/14/1933-9/6/2022
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
Joseph Valentine Fazzina passed peacefully in his sleep into the glorious presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on September 6th 2022, after a brief bout with cancer. He was 89. Joseph was a recent arrival to his new home in Newport News, Virginia, where he moved from Long Island, New York in February 2022 to be closer to his only son, Daniel Fazzina and his family, who are residents of Yorktown, Virginia.
Joseph was born on a snowy Valentine’s Day in Boston, Massachusetts in 1933 to Sicilian immigrants Salvatore and Maria Fazzina. He spent his elementary and high school years in Boston, graduating from Brighton High School in 1950. He then left for college, studying at many universities and earning a baccalaureate degree and several masters degrees in education, counseling, administration, and foreign languages from colleges such as McGill University in Canada, St. John’s University in New York City, and St. Joseph’s College on Long Island, New York. He also studied in seminary for 6 years, and was in full-time ministry for over 10 years before transitioning to his true calling and passion of teaching.
He started teaching in 1955, and throughout his long career as an educator, taught romance languages at all levels – from Kindergarten through college. In addition to English, he was fluent in Italian, Spanish, French, and Latin. He spent 29 years teaching at Longwood High School in Middle Island, New York, from 1971 until his retirement in 2000. He loved sports, especially basketball, baseball and football. He played, refereed, coached and managed many teams over the years. He was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church in Mastic Beach, New York and deeply loved his friends from the congregation, whom he considered to be family. He would often rave about his home church, saying, “There’s no place like Grace.”
Joseph was an intelligent, kind, patient, humble, easy-going and generous man with an infectious smile and jovial demeanor. He was very social, and made friends easily wherever he went because he knew how to honor people and make one feel special. He was very spiritual and loved Jesus and desired to emulate and be close to Him. He loved to laugh, tell jokes and stories, and spend time with friends and loved ones. He loved volunteering at church and most of all, teaching. Nothing gave him more satisfaction than seeing a student learn, grow and develop.
Joseph is pre-deceased by his parents, Salvatore and Maria Fazzina, parents-in-law, Nicholas and Arline Large, sisters Josephine Fazzina Eliboro, Edythe Fazzina Dell’Orfano, Elvira Fazzina Martori, and by his wife of nearly 50 years, Gwendolyn Large Fazzina. He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law Paul and Anne Fazzina, brother Frank Fazzina, sister Elinore Fazzina Souza, sister-in-law Marilynn Large Shultz, step-daughter Janine Van Zwienen, son Daniel Fazzina, daughter-in-law Sahani Howie-Fazzina, grandchildren Evangeline Fazzina, Gabriella Fazzina and David Fazzina, and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and many other family members too numerous to list.
Service details are as follows Saturday, September 10th, 2022 Celebration of Life Service 1:00 PM Coastal Church 101 Village Avenue Yorktown, VA 23693 www.gocoastal.org 757-867-5683
Friday, September 16th, 2022 Visitations: 2:00 PM-4:00 PM and 7:00 PM-9:00 PM Roma Funeral Home, 539 William Floyd Parkway, Shirley, NY 11967, www.romafuneralhome.com (631) 281-0800 Saturday, September 17th, 2022, Celebration of Life Service at 1:00 PM Grace Lutheran Church of Mastic Beach, 240 Masatic Road, Mastic Beach, NY 11951, www.graceinmb.org/ 631-281-8196, Reception in the fellowship hall immediately following