Abbruzzesi, Joseph

Joseph Abbruzzesi, 88, of Newark, DE passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, May 11, 2023.

Joe was born in Chester, PA the son of the late Dorothy (Franceschino) and Louis Abbruzzesi. He graduated from Chester High School where he played Football, Basketball and participated in Track and Field. As the football teams’ quarterback, he was described as “light as angel food, Joe has more guts than the string section of the Phil Spitainy’s band.” Shortly after graduation from high school Joe enlisted in the Army and served as Military Police at Fort Benning.

Through his adult life Joe loved to stayed active. In his 30’s he played softball with Eddie’s Café then picked up the game of golf in his 40’s. Golf quickly became his passion and was known to play 3-4 days a week. He worked hard on his technique and built homemade gadgets intended to help improve his swing. He loved the game and the camaraderie of those he played with. He talked about his club, the FOGS, as his brothers. Over the years the golf courses may have changed but the FOGS remained the same.

When Joe wasn’t playing golf, he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He loved the ‘Zesi family dinners, the Willis gatherings, and enjoyed being PopPop armed with bags of M&M’s. Joe and Judy spent many winter’s months in Naples, Florida, enjoying the warm weather, extending his golf season and particularly enjoyed the weeks his children were able to join them. In 2002, they embarked on an excursion to search out his family in Italy. They found many 1st cousins who embraced them with unconditional love. These relationships filled his heart. He considered his actions to find his extended family one of the best things he had ever done.

As a professional, Joe was a mechanical engineer who held positions at Baldwin and Westinghouse designing turbines for Hydroelectric dams. In 1975 he accepted a position with the New Castle County where he grew his career and remained until his retirement in 1999.

Joe is preceded in death by his parents Louis and Dorothy Abbruzzesi and his sister Helen Weber.

Joe will be dearly missed by his loving wife of 36 years, Judy of Newark, DE, his sister Julia Zappacosta, his daughters, Lauren Fuhrman (Chuck), Joanne Abbruzzesi (Jacquie), son Louis Abbruzzesi (Judy), and step-daughter Deborah Lynn Williams (Mike); his grandchildren, Chuck Fuhrman (Natalie), Joe Fuhrman, John Fuhrman, Austin Abbruzzesi (Tori), Sophie Abbruzzesi and Joe Abbruzzesi; and 2 great grandchildren; Colt and Brooks Fuhrman. Joe will also be missed by his constant canine companion, Bette.

Visitation will be held on Friday, May 19 from 10-11 am with a Mass to follow at 11 am at Holy Angels Church, 82 Possum Park Rd, Newark, DE 19711. Private burial will be held at All Saint Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joe’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society (

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