Joseph A. Gorman, 91, stenographer, musician

Joseph A. Gorman
Joseph A. Gorman
Posted: February 13, 2014

Weekends for Joseph A. Gorman were not spent sleeping in, not 50 years ago.

On Saturday mornings, "he wakes up, vocalizing," before heading off to sing at Gloucester City church weddings, his son Joseph A. Jr. said.

Later on Saturdays, he is playing the piano and singing at Kenny's restaurant on Market Street in Camden.

"On Sunday mornings, he plays for Mass" as the volunteer organist and choir director at St. Mary's Church in Gloucester City.

"That was the routine," his son said. "He loved it."

Mr. Gorman, 91, of Gloucester City, part-time secretary for the Board of Health there from the late 1960s into the 1970s, died Friday, Feb. 7, at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center.

"He did it on the side," his son said of Mr. Gorman's time on the Board of Health, while working as a safety engineer at New York Shipbuilding Co. in Camden.

Born in Gloucester City, Mr. Gorman graduated from St. Mary's High School there. During World War II, he was a Coast Guard radar man, serving from October 1942 to March 1946.

He had been a stenographer for New York Ship and returned there after the war. When New York Ship closed in the 1960s, Mr. Gorman continued with the South Jersey Port Corp. and retired in the 1980s.

Mr. Gorman had a lifelong interest in calligraphy, begun when he was taught by Dominican nuns in grammar school, his son said.

"One year after he retired, we gave him the Book of Kells, and he could imitate" the stylized writing from a copy of the Gospels thought to have been produced around 800 A.D.

But music defined him, his son said.

At the annual Christmastime sing-along at the Knights of Columbus hall, "he played the piano and led the singing."

And at Irish Night at the Gloucester Catholic High School gym in March, "he played piano for them and helped people coordinate the show."

Mr. Gorman was a member of the Gloucester City Democratic Club.

Besides his son, he is survived by sons John and Thomas; daughters Mary Ellen Plews, Peggy Jones, Katie Johnson, Anne Hagan, Teresa, and Joan Quinton; a brother; a sister; 19 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. His wife, Mary Elizabeth, died in 1987.

Viewings were set from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, and 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14, both at St. Mary's Church, 426 Monmouth St., Gloucester City, N.J. 08030, before an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass there, with burial in New St. Mary's Cemetery, Bellmawr.

Donations may be sent to the Stained Glass Window Fund at the church.

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


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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