Although this obituary doesn't begin to describe dad's life and loves. it's a start. The rest we hope to fill in with your stories. Thanks in advance for your comments and know how much we love reading them. For the technologically challenged, just hit comment below this or any of the posts and write. We will compile all of these into a book that his children and grandchildren will treasure. If you want your comments to appear in the program we are creating for the funeral, please post them before Tuesday night. Otherwise take as much time as you need.
Note that the formal service on the 29th starts at 11:30 contrary to a previous post, but other details re hotels etc are accurate. Another hotel recommendation is the Fairfield Inn & Suites , 2215 N. Atherton St.
Joseph Tocci, 84, of State College, died January 21, 2010 surrounded by friends and family at the Forbes Hospice in Pittsburgh, PA. He was born July 16, 1925 in Ridgewood, Queens, NY; son of the late Joseph Nicholas and Julia Martin Tocci.
On August 16, 1952, he married the love of his life, Dolores Asper, with whom he shared 54 years of marriage. She preceded him in death on May 3, 2007.
Joe graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, Queens, NY in 1943. Upon graduation from High School he enlisted and served in the U. S. Navy from July 15, 1943 to March 12, 1946, and during World War II he served on the Aircraft Carrier USS Card in anti-submarine duty in the North Atlantic. He earned the American, Asiatic, Victory and European Theatre Medals.
Upon his honorable discharge, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Development at Penn State University in 1950 on the GI Bill. While studying at Penn State, he co-captained the Penn State basketball team and is listed as one of the 50 greatest basketball players in Penn State History. Also while on the Varsity baseball squad, he was named all Eastern All-Star second baseman in the 1949 and 1950 seasons. In 1958 he earned a Master of Education degree at Penn State University. He went on to complete a thirty credit, sixth year certificate program at Bridgeport University in Bridgeport Conn.
Joe Tocci served as a Physical Education Instructor and freshman basketball coach at Penn State from 1950 – 1951. In 1951 through 1953 coach Tocci taught Phys Ed, Social Studies and coached at Blairsville High School. From 1953 to 1963 he taught Phys Ed and served as a coach at Mansfield High School. Returning to State College in 1963, he taught Phys Ed and served as an assistant basketball coach at Penn State University until 1968. In 1968 he moved his family to Trumbull Ct, where he coached basketball, golf, cross country and tennis, and taught Phys Ed. He led several teams to compete in their respective state championships. In 1986, he and his wife Dolores retired to State College. Coach Tocci’s continued relationships, some spanning over 50 years, with former teammates, players and students is an example of the impact he made on people’s lives.
Joe was a devout Catholic and belonged to Our Lady of Victory Church in State College. He was a most enthusiastic supporter of Penn State athletics, and was an active member of the Penn State Nittany Lion Club.
Surviving are his daughter M. J. Tocci and her husband Jonathan Rest of Pittsburgh, two sons, Joseph Michael Tocci and his wife Susan of Belmont, MA and Timothy John Tocci of Pittsburgh, four grandchildren, Sam, Zoe, Catherine and Joey, and one sister Dorothy Tocci and life long family friend Margaret Wigiser of Hobe Sound. FL.
A memorial mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. on January 29th, 2010 at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 820 Westerly Parkway, State College with Msgr Lockard as Celebrant. Family and friends will be received one hour prior to the memorial mass. Graveside services and burial will be in Blairsville Cemetery, Blairsville, PA at 1 p.m. on January 30th, where he will be buried alongside his beloved wife Dolores.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Forbes Hospice, 115 S. Neville Street, Pittsburgh Pa, 15213