Nunzio J. Palumbo, toy engineer

February 8, 2020

Nunzio Joseph Palumbo, 90, of Milton passed away Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at Cadia Rehabilitation Renaissance Healthcare in Millsboro. He was born Jan. 23, 1930, in Brooklyn, N.Y., son of the late Salvatore Palumbo and Isabella (Giacalone) Palumbo.

Mr. Palumbo graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnic University (now part of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering) with his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Out of college, he started his lifelong career in toy engineering for multiple companies including Lionel, Amsco, Marx Toys, Hasbro, and many others. Mr. Palumbo was an active parishioner of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, and a charter member of the Knights of Columbus.

In his spare time, you could find Mr. Palumbo inventing things and tinkering. He even invented Easy Oilers, a tool that he manufactured and sold for over 50 years. Along with his wife Joan, Mr. Palumbo enjoyed going on cruises, but most of all, he loved his family and spending time with them. Mr. Palumbo also loved a good game of golf from time to time.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Palumbo was preceded in death by his late wives: June and Charlotte; his stepdaughter, Susan Kemper; and his brother, Frank Palumbo. He is survived by his loving wife of 17 years, Joan; his four children: Jane Mullen and her husband Bill of St. Augustine, Fla., Robert Palumbo and his wife Frances of Big Flats, N.Y., Dr. Michael Palumbo and his partner Kevin Knight of Pound Ridge, N.Y., and Richard Palumbo and his wife Mariana of Somerville, N.J.; his six stepchildren: David Kemper and his wife Madeline, Cheryl Starner and her husband Michael, Robert Kemper and his wife Robin, Barbara Murphy and her husband Sean, Robert Kennedy and his wife Jennifer, and Kristin Tindall and her husband Jason; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11, at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, 152 Tulip Drive, Lewes, where friends may call beginning at 10 a.m. Interment will be private. Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, Lewes.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Palumbo's name to Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19963; or to St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, 152 Tulip Drive, Lewes, DE 19958.

Visit Mr. Palumbo's Life Memorial webpage and sign his online guest book at

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