Joseph L. De Ricco Jr., 74, passed away peacefully Tuesday, June 25, 2013, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. His wife, Mary Ann (Retkovis) was at his bedside in Seasons Hospice at Christiana Hospital.
Joe was born Nov. 22, 1938, to Mary (Barko, Fogg) and Joseph De Ricco Sr. in Salem, N.J. He grew up in Penns Grove, N.J., with his brothers, Bob and Tom De Ricco. The family enjoyed camping in Virginia, New York and Canada with Aunt Ethel, Uncle Eddie and cousin Betty (Cali). Joe was a member of the Boy Scouts of America for years, earning the Order of the Arrow. Joe was a 1957 graduate of Penns Grove Regional High School. Following graduation, he joined the Air Force Reserves and was called to active duty in 1962 for the Cuban Missile Crisis. Joe attended Potomac State College and night classes at Temple University. He married Mary Ann June 17, 1961 (52 years), and they had five sons. All the boys enjoyed Boy Scouts, their father being scoutmaster of Troop 346. They camped and hiked the Appalachian Trail (160 miles of it), and the whole family enjoyed camping vacations every summer, especially at Myrtle Beach.
Joe worked as an installer of telephone equipment for over 40 years with the same company, although the name changed: Western Electric, AT&T and Lucent Technologies. Joe could repair, construct and install anything electrical and was also proficient in plumbing, masonry and carpentry, having shared his talents with friends and neighbors. He enjoyed gardening, keeping his lawn nicely manicured and the flowers blooming. His favorite pastime was fishing on the beach at Cape Henlopen, Indian River and the Outer Banks. For 31 years, Lazy Lake was the home base at the beach.
Grandchildren enjoyed time with Joe, including Rachel, Michelle, John Jr., Joshua, Daniel C., William Jr., Casey and Brittany, who was raised by Pop-Pop and Mom-Mom. Three great-grandchildren are Mikayla, Alexandra and Landon De Ricco.
Joe was predeceased by sons, Joseph Brance (Sharon) De Ricco and Daniel Paul De Ricco. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; sons, John Anthony (Shirley), William Edward and Steven Charles (Eileen); and his brothers, Robert (Barbara) and Thomas (Janet).
Family and friends are invited to visit at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road, Wilmington, from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, June 30. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Monday, July 1, at Resurrection Parish, 3000 Videre Drive, Skyline Ridge. Interment will follow in All Saints Cemetery.
Contributions in Joe's memory may be made to Resurrection Parish, 3000 Videre Drive, Wilmington, DE 19808.