Joseph Molinari, 67, math teacher

Joseph V. Molinari
Joseph V. Molinari
Posted: October 25, 2013

Joseph V. Molinari served as an Air Force cargo pilot in Vietnam in the 1970s during the conflict there.

Later, while in the Air Force Reserve, he was needed again.

So Mr. Molinari interrupted his teaching and coaching career at Burlington City High School and flew cargo missions in the Middle East during the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91.

On Sunday, Oct. 20, Mr. Molinari, 67, of Cherry Hill, died of cardiac arrest at St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark, N.J.

Born in Newark, Mr. Molinari graduated from Kearny High School and earned a bachelor's degree in education at Seton Hall University.

After teaching for a year in Kearny, he enlisted in the Air Force, graduated from flight school in October 1970, and was on active duty until 1974, his daughter Sarah Brewer said.

Mr. Molinari began teaching at Burlington City High School in 1975 and retired in 2001.

"He taught different subjects in math," his daughter said. Just as he did at home with his daughters, "he liked to solve problems and liked to show people how to solve problems."

Mr. Molinari had been on the wrestling team all four years at Seton Hall - competing among the lightweights "because he was very skinny," she said - so it was natural that he coached wrestling at Burlington City from 1975 into the early 1980s, she said.

"He was very competitive," Brewer said, so coaching and teamwork attracted him.

The Burlington County Times named him its coach of the year for 1978, she said.

Mr. Molinari then coached the high school's junior-varsity girls' soccer team from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, she said.

After retiring from the Air Force Reserve in 1999, he flew commercial aircraft for Hortman Aviation Services Inc. in Northeast Philadelphia.

"He was the chief pilot from 2001 to 2011," his daughter said. "He flew different planes for different owners," sometimes carrying human organs for transplant.

In his leisure time, she said, he could be found playing cards at the Italian-American Roma Club in Burlington City.

Besides Brewer, Mr. Molinari is survived by his mother, Irene; a daughter, Amy Sullivan; a sister; four grandchildren; his former wife, Sandra Molinari; his partner of 20 years, Judith Shaw; her son, Geoff Lavinson, and his two children.

Visitation was set for 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Tilghman Funeral Home, 52 Main St., New Egypt. A second visitation was set for 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the Church of the Assumption, 28 Monmouth Rd., Wrightstown, before a memorial service there at 11 a.m.

Burial with military honors will follow at Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in North Hanover, Burlington County.

Donations may be made to www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.tilghmanfh.com.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

 

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