Joseph R. Santoliquito, 84, former Darby Twp. administrator

Posted: November 28, 2012

JOSEPH R. Santoliquito liked nothing better than to don his Eagles sweatshirt, grab a beer, and chill out watching a game.

Joe deserved some downtime after he retired. Raising three children after his wife died in 1977, he worked three jobs to keep the family going, walking to each one from his home in Darby Township, and was lucky if he got four hours' sleep.

Did he lament his plight? Hardly. That wasn't Joe Santoliquito's style. He did what he had to do and accepted his situation like the man he was.

Joseph Santoliquito, a 20-year employee of the old Jerrold Electronics Co. and former office administrator for Darby Township, an Army veteran and a quiet man who took a little prodding to become the life of the party, died Sunday. He was 84 and was living in the Wayne Nursing Home in Radnor Township, having previously lived in Darby Township and South Philadelphia.

One evening in the early '60s in a Knights of Columbus hall in South Philadelphia, a frisky young woman grabbed Joe's hat off a rack.

His comment was, "Whoever marries that girl, God bless him."

She was Dorothy Pauciello, a lovely young lady who friends said resembled Elizabeth Taylor. Of course, Joe married her on Nov. 4, 1961.

Family and friends said that Joe, with his sparkling blue eyes, looked like Paul Newman. So it was a marriage not quite made in Hollywood, maybe, but close enough.

They had two sons and a daughter, and when Dorothy died, Joe took on the responsibility of raising them.

Joe was laid off from Jerrold in the mid-1970s. He then took the job as an administrator for Darby Township. He would work a 9-to-5 shift there, then walk to what was then the Two Guys department store on MacDade Boulevard to work as a salesman from 6 to 10 p.m.

He then would walk to a gas station a few blocks away on MacDade and work from 10:30 p.m. to 4 or 5 a.m.

He would grab a couple of hours of sleep before the kids got up. He would see them off to school, then start his routine all over again.

Joe was born in South Philadelphia to Joseph and Helen Santoliquito. His father was a truck mechanic for Bond Bread.

Joe graduated from Southeast Catholic High School, now Ss. John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School. He later attended a technical school to learn the electrician's trade.

Joe entered the Army and was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, where he trained radio operators. He was discharged in 1952 and went to work for Jerrold.

He told of when he was in Texas and offered his seat on a bus to a black woman. Other passengers made it clear that you didn't do that in Jim Crow Texas, but Joe gave up his seat anyway.

"That was the kind of guy he was," said his son, Joseph Santoliquito, a former Daily News sportswriter who still contributes to the paper's SportsWeek edition.

"He was basically a regular guy who liked to have fun," his son said. "He had a great sense of humor, and he was a hell of a dancer. You had to get to know him. It took a little prodding to loosen him up, but then he became the life of the party.

Besides Joseph, he is survived by another son, James, a Radnor Township police detective; a daughter, Elena Roscoe; two sisters, Anna Vecchiolli and Elena O'Brien; a brother, Robert Santoliquito, and six grandchildren.

Services: Funeral Mass 11 a.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 1 Fatima Drive, Secane. Friends may call at 9:30 a.m. at the church. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon.

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