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Giuseppe Vito Paternostro was born on June 6, 1960 in Vallata, Italy. He came to America at the age of 12 with his parents, twin brother, and younger sister. He lived in Elizabeth, NJ most of his life and at the age of 20 he opened Tommy’s Pizzeria and Restaurant with his brother.
Joe loved soccer. He played soccer throughout his life and was an avid soccer fan. He loved the Italian national team and the club teams of his family members and friends. Throughout the high-school soccer careers of his children, nephews and nieces, he attended every game and was awarded the “Best Fan” award by the Jonathan Dayton Boys Soccer Team, a team that later became Group I State Champions in 2009.
Joe was a positive presence on the sidelines and in the hearts of many. He was quick to forge personal relationships with people in his community or lend a helping hand to someone in need. Whether he was offering assistance to his church-run community functions or helping with youth soccer programs, Joe insisted on being in the middle of the action. A true connector, there was no limit to Joe's circle of intimate friends.
On the morning of October 10, 2008, Joe was working at his restaurant serving customers. During lunch he began feeling sick and called his doctor. He left the pizzeria and drove to his doctor but never made it there. On the way, Joe had a massive heart attack and died tragically in his truck. He left behind a wife, and three children, two of which are attending college full time and the oldest, a Marine, who is currently deployed in Afghanistan.
We created the Joe Paternostro Memorial Fund to raise money for soccer scholarships, Joe’s family and the American Heart Association. Our goal is to create awareness for others to take better care of their health.
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